Ever since Donald Trump became the 45th President of the United States the words ‘fake news’ have taken on a whole new life. The widespread problem of fake news had already been a growing issue with Facebook being pressured to filter out fake news sites. Now comes the Donald Trump era where he constantly accuses news media of fabricating the truth. But he has been caught doing just that himself. His administration recently banned CNN and The New York Times from a White House press conference; He regularly accuses them of fake news. He also comes up with many conspiracy theories not based on any evidence and then it quickly spreads.
With the increase in the number of satire news websites over the last five years it’s no wonder that fake news stories spread like wildfire. Sometimes the stories seem so real it’s easy to click ‘share’ when you’ve read it on Facebook or some other website. In fact, many people don’t even read past the headline and share the story. Before they know it, they’re contributing to the spreading of false stories.
When you see a headline that’s caught your attention you should actually read the story. Then ask yourself who this news outlet is? If you click on the ‘About’ page of a website it clearly tells you if they are a satire news site. Then you know it’s not real.
Also cross-check other sources. Is this story being reported by most reputable news media? If not, it could be fake. Always take your time before you share. Sometimes the satire stories are meant to be funny and have a good laugh. If you share, make sure to put a note that it’s fake, but a humorous take you wanted to share.
I’m guilty of sharing a story and then quickly realizing it was fake. I felt embarrassed and since then I’m always checking and asking “Is this real? Or is it a joke?