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Fake News: How Did We Get Here?

How to Identify and Avoid Fake News

Fake news isn't new, it's been around a long time. Why is it so prevalent in today's world?


Why Is Journalism Important?


With all the discussion about fake news, it's important to remember why journalism plays an important role in our lives. This clip from Last Week Tonight's John Oliver highlights the current state of journalism: the good and the bad and why it's necessary.


 

 

 

Social Media & Fake News


In the past, news came at a slower rate and more than likely came from a reputable source. Here is a visual representation from Rose-Stockwell's How We Broke Democracy:

However, social media has increasingly become the place people turn to for news. From the same article, here is a visual representation of how we get news today:



This graphic from The Pew Research Center shows how the number of people turning to social media for news has increased in 2017.

In 2017, two-thirds of U.S. adults get news from social media

Example

There is no denying that social media has played a role in the spread of fake news. Here is an example of a common meme on Facebook which highlights the importance of fact checking. No source is listed to back up these "facts." Most of them are misleading, only somewhat true or completely false. Fact-checking sites like Politifact can help determine if memes and news stories contain false information.