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Fake News Resources: Technology and Fake News

This guide explores what fake news is, how it affects us, and how faculty can incorporate information about fake news in their lesson plans.

What is behind the spread of fake news?

Where is news coming from?

Younger generations primarily access the news through online outlets. While individuals 50+ still prefer television as a news source, it's important to note that across the board television is on the decline and the group driving the increase in online news is older Americans.

How are we getting news online?

Social media and news websites are the most common pathways to online news.    Facebook is a pathway to news for around four-in-ten U.S. adults.

For those who do get their news online, not everyone is using a news site or accessing a news feed from a credible news organization. Just as many if not more are receiving their news via Facebook feeds and links sent by friends and family. The problem with getting news from social media and viral links is that there are no standards for ethical journalism governing them, meaning it's easy for misleading or false information to spread very quickly.

Fact-checking Articles are Less Viral

Humans are hard-wired to pay attention to things that are emotionally engaging, and unfortunately misleading news knows how to exploit that. It grabs our attention and makes us more inclined to spread it. However, the truth is that it doesn't even take humans to make misleading news spread like wildfire. Hoaxy helps us visualize the spread of information and shows us that bots do a lot of heavy-lifting when it comes to posting and sharing misleading information. Because ethical journalism and fact-checking takes time and is often less emotionally charging, they simply lag behind in the race against fake news.

Photo Checking Sites

If an image looks suspicious, the best thing you can do is use a reverse image search to see where it came from.   

Here are two we recommend:

Echoes in the Algorithm

We need to actively search for opposing viewpoints because algorithms (the artificial intelligence behind your social media feeds, ads, and recommendations), tend to create echo chambers that only expose us to ideas and opinions we agree with.

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