Fake News and the Impact on the News Industry

This article tackles the spread of fake news and gives examples on what we, as the users and readers, can do to combat fake news.

News is everywhere. Whether one reads the current events in the paper or in a magazine with celebrity gossip, no news (no matter how small or impractical) is subject to fake news. There may be a number of reasons as to why fake news is being spread or even produced, ranging from obtaining more viewers to just plain boredom.

Since the rise of social media, fake news has been easier to spread to a variety of different audiences. Ranging from blogs to social media (such as Facebook) to even search engines like Google. However, many CEOs are well aware of the spread of fake news. While no one likes fake news, the ability to combat such this growing predicament is becoming increasingly difficult. The solutions in combating fake news is still a work in progress.

In December of 2016, Facebook had announced an easier way to fight against the advancement of fake news. According to an article in the New York Times, “The tests include making it easier for its 1.8 billion members to report fake news, and creating partnerships with outside fact-checking organizations to help it indicate which articles are false”. Facebook has created a much easier way for their users to fight fake news. The social media platform employees have taken great lengths to stop the rise of fake news.

Fortunately, Facebook is not the only company trying to stop fake news from spreading. The search engine Google has even “permanently banned nearly 200 publishers from its AdSense advertising network near the end of last year, after putting into effect a policy in November to choke off websites that try to deceive users from its online ad service” according to this New York Times article.

As the companies are making an effort to battle the growth of fake news, I believe that  readers and users can partake in the fight against fraudulent reports. Readers can ignore fake news since news stories need to generate as many views and shares as possible. Once the number of views has decreased tremendously, writers of fake news would be forced to write events that are not fictitious.

Another action that we, as the readers and users, can take is to simply do what Facebook tells us to do: Report. Report the fake news and the sites will eventually come to see that social media platforms and search engines will not tolerate and even show the articles, thus generating a decrease in views.

If we work together, we will solve the problem.

“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.” – Helen Keller

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