Lions and tigers and fake news…oh my!

I know what news is. Our Journalism instructor Mr. Hanif says one definition might be a recent and significant event. Another he likes to give is something that’s not supposed to happen.

But the recent phenomenon of so-called fake news has been broadcast everywhere.

Fake news has been around for a long time. The National Enquirer is an example. It is in stores, gas stations and probably even your email. But nobody really worried about it.

The 2018 election is what erupted fake news into the air, thanks to our beloved social media websites. It’s all over Facebook, Instagram and even Twitter.

According to, “Facebook’s algorithm prioritizes ‘engagement’ and fake stories” that “attract more user attention, thus engaging them better.” This is another thing that can affect our nation, because people know there is false information in the world but still choose to believe and follow these misdirections.

Russia is the problem, some say, and it’s true. Although they’re the main problem lately, they’re not the only problem.  Fake news is taking over major news outlets, tempting people to want to produce more.

CNN did a documentary on a little town in Macedonia, which is home to dozens of website operators “who churn out bogus stories designed to attract the attention of Americans.”  Each click on these websites adds money to their bank accounts.

Creating headlines like “Michelle was caught cheating” or “Trump is soon to be impeached” is how they get to you. False information attracts peoples’ interest more than true information, and we all know that’s a fact.

“When the need for certainty is activated, people are attracted to simplistic messages that can deliver it,” a Huffington Post says, meaning that fake messages phrased with simple conviction are more accepted than something with more detail and evidence. In easier terms, messages displayed with a specific outcome that is pleasing to the eye – whether fake or true – is more likely to be appealing.

So back to the fact that it’s taking over our social media websites, meaning random people are making random profiles to display random information. With a different persona every night, writing up fake news stories is not hard nor is it illegal. You could be Jessica one day and Ben the next.

With fake news in the air of this new digital age, the new generation needs to find a solution, before there isn’t one.