Today, “fake news” is becoming more prevalent, especially in online sources. Many readers are willing to believe the information posted online is true without conducting any research themselves. Facebook has a significant number of posts containing “fake news” published every day without the information in them being fact-checked. This case study will examine three articles found on Facebook that can be characterized as “fake news.”
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The first post is an article stating that COVID-19 vaccinations might become mandatory. The post contains a link to the MailOnline website, with Karen Ruiz stated as the author (Ruiz, 2020). The search of the website shows that Ruiz wrote a total of 19 articles for MailOnline. The article’s title utilizes the word “can” in capital letters to ensure an emotional reaction to the statement (Ruiz, 2020). In the body of the article itself, the writer fails to name the legislation that allows employers to make vaccination compulsory (Ruiz, 2020). Overall, this article can be considered inflammatory as it does not provide any evidence to support its main claim.
The second post contains a link to the article, claiming the 2020 Presidential election was falsified. The article contains the link to the full video with General McInerney, who makes extraordinary claims, stating that the election was influenced by “Democrats, Russians, Chinese and Iran” (Humans Are Free, 2020). The author of the article on the Humans Are Free website is unknown, and an online search shows the claims being debunked by most news outlets, including The Military Times (Altman & Winkie, 2020). Overall, the video can be considered “fake news” and inflammatory.
Similarly, the third post concerns alleged ballot fraud at the Presidential Election. According to the article (Mann, 2020), the contractor at Detroit’s TCF Center saw various workers scan the ballots numerous times, resulting in a disproportionate number of votes beings ascribed to Biden. Although the article itself does not show signs of falsifying any information, it reports unconfirmed and incendiary claims which were not confirmed in the court of law.
In summary, false or unconfirmed information presented as news by unknown journalists and authors is becoming more common. Social media users can easily share “fake news” with their online community without fact-checking, leading to the global spread of misinformation and inaccurate claims. The three articles selected for the case study show unverified information from various online sources published and shared by Facebook users as news.
Humans Are Free. (2020). 3-Star general McInerney (Ret.) calls for President Trump to invoke insurrection act and initiate mass arrests. Web.
Mann, S. (2020). Dominion contractor at Detroit counting center says thousands of ballots were scanned multiple times. Just the News. Web.
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Ruiz, K. (2020). Employers CAN make the coronavirus vaccine mandatory at the workplace. Mail Online. Web.