Internet and Social Media may have exacerbated low trust and Fake News
21 July 2018
An excerpt from Paul Gillin’s book New Influencers states ‘’ Transparency may be the most disruptive and far-reaching innovation to come out of social media’’. The American Press observes the importance of journalism in aiding the citizen’s with the best possible information to help them take the best possible decisions with regard to their lives, societies, and community. The Fallacy of Fake News Fake news acts as a social currency in the modern world. This is because of a two-fold demand. Readers want the fastest access to news and happenings, with the advent of mobile journalism and digital reporting people can now view world happenings in a matter of a few seconds. On the other hand, these web portals want to gain more like, reads, subscriptions, and views. Mostly, fake news is mostly made viral for strategic reasons, elementarily with the aim of swaying people’s opinion or views. Since most people do not verify the contents of such news it becomes easier for such news pieces to remain relevant on social media. It is hard to tell the difference between fake and real because platforms like Google and Facebook use AI and algorithms to promote such fake news. What makes them sell? Consumers are vulnerable today because they are victims of the big data analysis where with every click, subscription and like personal data are being collected and stored on the web level. There are several social media channels that are minting big fortunes by selling out private data about customers to big companies. That is exactly why when you open the internet you are flooded with offers perfectly suited to your area of interest. Since there are millions of readers reading up fake content on these portals, these online news sites or social media handles have many companies posting ads on their pages, the more ads they receive the more likely you click on them, which makes these sites popular. The Changing Landscape of the Internet and Social Media The evolution of fake news has its roots in reader’s seedy interest in getting a side-view of electoral results. The partial news stories are nothing but malicious political influence backed narratives and it largely mars the conscious thinking of the readers at large. A report from Buzzfeed stated that fake news pieces had a greater level of engagement with them than real news stories. However, in recent times Google, Facebook, and Twitter have made a commitment to use trust indicators to help the users spot the validity of news. Over time internet to has turned towards yellow journalism. They trade on the reader’s trust to mint money and garner popularity. This situation can only change if new media and traditional media act in cooperation to deliver true and honest content to their readers. They should form a conglomeration to help the people form good opinions bereft of irrational readings of paid journalism. The Internet and social media should uphold news in its truest virtue of being the mirror of the society.