“You’re a fake news man. Start acting like one!”
This line tells us the whole story!
When people change to get the news from online sources, and non-traditional outlets started to have considerable readerships, we have to face with a new crisis. Fake news!
Remember the news crisis during 2016 US presidential election? It might be one of the worst examples of “Fake news” crisis in this digital age.
During the election, fake news about both Trump and Hillary were spread like a tsunami across social media platforms. People become confused about what they can believe. However, the shares, comments, and reactions to these fake stories never stopped.
Fake news has become a true nightmare.
Who should be blamed for this crisis?
According to Canberra University News & Media Research center, an increasing number of people depend on social media as their main source of news. More than 30% of us love sharing photos, videos, news and current affairs on social media. Nowadays, social media give users full power to freely produce and distribute information without censorship. That’s why many believe that social media are the culprits for the “fake news” crisis. In the effort to control fake news, Germany even threatened to bring in legislation to fine social media sites that let fake news and hoaxes flourish. Facebook and Google also had plans to fight against fake news sites.
But did we catch the right culprit? Should mainstream media also take responsibility?
In recent years, more and more people have lost their faith in mainstream media. Instead, they rely on social media as news publishers. This shift of trust happens even more popular in countries where almost news corporations are state owned like my country, Vietnam. Mainstream media are widely believed to be led by political agenda. People turn to voices and news sources that echo to their concerns and prove to be free from political controlled. This paves the way for fake news on social media to immerse.
What are the solutions? Let’s watch this video
Media-literacy: Whenever encounter any news source, these questions should be kept in mind: What kind of content I am reading? What evidence is provided and how was it checked? What might be an alternative understanding or explanation?
In this digital age, mainstream media also need to improve their journalism quality. Rebuilding public trust is crucial.
In your opinion, who should be blamed for the fake news crisis? Feel free to share your thoughts below.