Fake News Essay

Total Length: 944 words ( 3 double-spaced pages)

Total Sources: 2

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The Real from the Fake

Fake news is a phenomenon that arguably arose during the present decade. It has become a catchword, a battle cry, or perhaps just the repeated punch line of jokes. In that sense, it is similar to the world ‘selfie’ a few years ago. Nonetheless, fake news is more important than photographs and paraphernalia designed to promote the taking of photographs of one’s self. It has the power to distort the truth and, in doing so, influence actions that are unmistakably true. Fake news can become the basis of reality, depending on how exactly people choose to react to it. As such, there is a great deal of importance attributed to defining fake news, in order to successfully understand it and to counteract some of its less than desired outcomes. To that end, fake news is defined within this paper as news reports that are either knowingly or deliberately inaccurate and which mislead the people by subverting the truth.

Perhaps the most prominent of the three parts of this definition is the fact that fake news is inaccurate. There are certainly few people or sources that would argue with this aspect of the definition. If a news report is true, then by definition it cannot be considered fake news. Fake news is the deliberate perpetuation of news which is falsehood (LaCapria). Accurate news, such as that found on credible news sites, is not fake news. This simple reality is actually the defining point of understanding exactly what fake news is. It is falsehood that is inaccurate.
To that end fake news is wrong. It makes claims or presents information that is incorrect. This aspect of fake news is critical to understanding what this term actually means.

Another revealing aspect of fake news that is foundational to its definition is the fact its inaccuracy is either deliberate or known to the entities spreading the news. This point is extremely important. Actual news reports may include factual or statistical errors—such as the misspelling of a person’s name. In most of these incidents the errors were unknown or unintended by those who either made or published them. Fake news, by definition, is the exact opposite. It is inaccurate news which people realize is incorrect, yet still disseminate as though the news were real. The deliberate intention of spreading false news as true is a basic characteristic of fake news, in which “In its purest form, fake news is completely made up, manipulated to resemble credible journalism and attract maximum attention and, with it, advertising revenue” (Hunt). This quotation makes it clear that there is intention associated with fake news to pass off unreality as reality. That is why fake….....

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Works Cited

Hunt, Elle. “What is fake news? How to spot it and what you can do to stop it.” The Guardian. 2016. Web. https://www.theguardian.com/media/2016/dec/18/what-is-fake-news-pizzagate

LaCapria, Kim. “6 Quick Ways to Spot Fake News”. www.snopes.com 2016. Web. https://www.snopes.com/news/2016/01/21/6-quick-ways-spot-fake-news/
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