Fake news articles aren’t new. In the past, we have informed readers of various phishing scams, targeting reader’s curiosity with bogus news stories exploiting trending news topics. Now, fake news stories have made their way onto major search engine results and social media platforms.
It’s highly likely you have come across a handful of these articles before, whether you knew it or not.
Now, hopefully we can all appreciate this quote. Obviously Abraham Lincoln was not alive when the internet originated. But I found a quote, clearly from Abraham Lincoln online, so it must be true!
As a society, we are quite naïve about the internet and the quality of the material we find online. According to Tech Crunch, 62% of individuals get their news from social media. This is alarming because it doesn’t take a lot for a false article to go viral on a social media platform. Now these 62% of people believe they are getting accurate news, when that is clearly not the case. In many instances, the websites themselves are legitimate, but they are falsifying all or pieces of the news story to generate more traffic.
It is a bit more difficult for these fake articles to go viral on major search engine result pages, such as Google; however, it can be done. This has been proven by the false election results page that has been popping up in Google search results.
One of the most important things you can do, is ensure you are getting your news from credible sources. This means not only looking for the https:// to ensure the site is secure, also be sure the resources rare reputable. With the increase in media outlets, it is a bit more difficult to determine what is reputable and what is not.
What media outlets do you use to get the latest news?