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Don’t fall victim to fake news

Written by Geneva Crooks, Staff Writer

Social networks can be a pretty scary place when a bunch of “fake news” is going on.

Fake news took the internet by storm during the 2016 election. Using eye-catching titles, such as “Donald Trump says the earth is flat,” and “Germany folds to Shariah Law, approves child marriages,” fake news has the ability to not only draw users in but get them to stay. The titles above fake news stories are intriguing, but the stories that lie beneath them do just that, lie.

Fake news is a new wave of clickbait articles that are completely made up but can easily be mistaken for real news.

Clicking on these pages allows for the writer, and the website itself, to profit from advertisements by grabbing viewers through curiosity.

Often, viewers of these “news” articles believe what they read, and this can cause problems to arise. Many of these fake news articles were used to sway citizens to a certain side of the political campaign, and they defamed both presidential candidates during the campaign.

According to Buzzfeed, a great majority of students fall victim to fake news. This is no surprise, considering the fact that the majority of students get their news from social media.

As college students in this day and age, we often visit social media sites, and in turn, get our news from them. Being millennials, we spend more time on social networks then we do watching the news or reading a newspaper. This opens us up to the bad side of the internet, where honesty isn’t a policy.

Overcoming the grip of fake news is simple really. If something sounds unrealistic or ends with jaws dropping, a Google search will suffice. Vetting what we read on the internet is important. When having discussions, whether they be about politics or a recent crime in the neighborhood, we want to be accurate and credible.

The internet has greatly improved the lives of college students, making research and communication easy. But, the internet is a creature nearly too big for us to wrap our minds around, and it allows for just about anyone to be able to post and share whatever they like. Although we would hope people don’t abuse the power the internet can so easily give, we have to remember that not everyone is interested in being truthful or morally correct.

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