At one point or another we have all been tricked by the internet. We’ve all had those moments where we saw some piece of juicy
gossip or something disguised as news and took it for fact. We blindly shared it and upon someone of higher intelligence (or skepticism) showing us that it was in fact false, felt like an idiot. Usually people of good sense delete it or apologize and then we have a good laugh about how we were trolled by the internet.
The problem now though is people are having a harder time than ever distinguishing what is real and what is fake. They are mistaking fact for fiction and fiction as the cold hard truth.
It’s no secret that the media can be manipulated. Negligence, corruption, personal and business views all play a factor on what types of stories are printed in mainstream media. (And just think. These guys are the professionals.) So when I see an article about Miley Cyrus announcing a pregnancy at the BET Awards or President Obama offering to personally pay to keep the “museum of Muslim culture” open during the government shut down, I can’t help but wonder how people aren’t even just a little skeptical about these stories.
I’m not talking about a few isolated incidents here or there. I’m talking about MULTIPLE incidents on a LARGE scale. Don’t believe me? Google search fake news articles and you’re head will spin from how much garbage and satirical content is being passed around and believed as “news.”
The media itself is partially to blame for this. For some media outlets and bloggers, writing and printing stories becomes less about the truth and more about the bottom line. It starts to become more about page views and provoking a reaction then it does about providing quality and honest content. No one bothers to update or make corrections to the news they find. It becomes about getting the “scoop” and only showcasing things that appeal to our own personal interests and beliefs.
Now don’t get me wrong. Not all bloggers and writers are like that. The majority of us are interested in revealing the truth. Most of us are honest people who just want to share our interests, lives, and own personal truths with our readers. Most of us just want to change the world one word at a time. But you can’t expect every writer to be a hero. You can’t expect everyone to be a good guy.
Which makes it CRUCIAL for readers to question EVERYTHING they see. If something sounds sketchy, it should be researched before you spread the information to others. Look further into it and decide for yourself if it’s true or not. Check the source, be a critical reader, use common sense. Although the internet can provide a wealth of knowledge, ANYONE can post ANYTHING on the internet. This makes it vital to actively take a hard look at the things you see online and in mainstream media.
But hey, what do I know. I’m just some chick posting articles on the internet.