BBC School Report

Fake News Shakes Internet

Fake news is all around you and almost everywhere that you might care to look. However, it isn’t just news that is fake. Figures, statistics and many more things like social media posts can all be fake. A recent study has shown us that apparently 90% of all statistics are fake. This then poses the question of, is that statistic fake.

The fake news and information is everywhere but the creator of the World Wide Web has recently said he wants to tackle the issue. Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the creator of the internet, said he wants to put “a fair level of data control back in the hands of the people”. In a letter that Sir Tim wrote for the 28th anniversary of the internet, he said that he has a 5 year strategy for the issue. However, Sir Tim also wants to tackle misused personal data on the internet.

At the moment, the issue of fake information and news is on a variety of different platforms and sites all over the internet. Social media giant Facebook has said that it wants to eradicate fake news from your news feed and page. However, fake news will still appear within the social media site itself but will be lower on your feed. Facebook have said “if page posts are often being hidden by people reading them, that’s a signal that it might not be authentic”.

The 45th U.S president Donald Trump has also made a vow to bring down fake news. He also said that a controversial video of him is an example of fake news. However, it is believed that fake news actually assisted President Trump in his election win. An example of this is that the gunman that went into the ‘Pizzagate’ in North Carolina had committed the crime thinking that Hilary Clinton had children in the basement. As crazy as it may seem, people believed this story and it may have helped President Trump win the election.

Due to more social media appearing all the time and more people wanting to get a vast amount of followers of likes. This race for likes and followers has caused many people to start spreading fake news and information all across the world for this sole purpose. These people may not mean for the effects that they cause however fake news has had massive impacts across the world and it continues to spread and cause these impacts.

The hypodermic needle theory suggests that mass media could ‘inject’ someone with information and that information would trigger a desired response from the audience. This desired response could be anything between a like to voting in an election. The theory also states that the audience would start thinking that that piece of information is real because they have no other source of information. In a world run by social media, how can we be sure what is true and what isn’t?

Fake news and information will continue to go on everywhere that you will look. It will definitely continue to be created even as you are reading this article but it makes you think. Do you know the world anymore? Or is almost everything that you read online there to make you click a button or add someone?