A. Thesis statement: Internet technologies enable the proliferation of fake news, and only education and awareness can curtail the influence fake news has on society.
II. Body Paragraph
A. Claim: Prior exposure to a fake news story makes a person more likely to believe in the veracity of the information.
1. Evidence: Just a one-time exposure to a fake news item on a social media platform like Facebook increases the likelihood that a person will believe the fake news story, with the effects lasting as long as a week (Pennycook, Cannon, & Rand, 2017)
2. Evidence: The prior exposure phenomenon is a type of confirmation bias, whereby “ We pick out those bits of data that make us feel good because they confirm our prejudices,” (Heshmat, 2015, p. 1).
3. Discussion: Fake news is sinister and difficult to curtail because even just one exposure to a fake news story can reinforce prejudicial or irrational beliefs.
III. Body Paragraph
A. Claim: Mob mentality is at work with fake news, as research shows a viral post is more likely to be perceived as trustworthy even when it is fake
1. Evidence: Becker (2016) notes that the proliferation of fake news is akin to a mob mentality, whereby people believe what they read simply because it is popular.
Pennycook, G. & Rand, D.G. (2017). The implied truth effect. https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3035384
Shao, C., Ciampaglia, G.L., Varol, O. et al (2017). The spread of misinformation by social bots. Social and Information Networks. https://arxiv.org/abs/1707.07592
Verma, N., Fleischmann, K.R. & Koltai, K.S. (2017). Human values and trust in scientific journals, the mainstream media, and fake news. 80th Annual Meeting of the Association for Information Science & Technology, Washington, DC, VA | Oct. 27-Nov. 1, 2017