By Cameron Northan
To whomever scholar may read this letter, I’ve got some advice for you about how you should navigate in this vast world of information. This world has such a pivotal role in society as a way for us to get information, but not everything is true, let me help you be able to tell what's true and what's false.
“Fake News” is a term to describe a story that is false, with no viable evidence to support it. Some fake news is propaganda designed to intentionally mislead the reader. Misinformation is false or inaccurate information that is accidentally spread, the intent is not to deceive. There are plenty of ways of detecting fake news, some of which are checking the source, examining the evidence, and checking that it “sounds right.” Fake news and misinformation are harmful because many people believe them, it can be harmful to your health, and it can make it hard to see the truth.
Bad news goes viral much more than good because negativity is more impactful positivity, and news companies tend to publish more negative information because it captures the attention of views more than positive information does, bettering their view ratings.
We are vulnerable to manipulation by 6 different biases:
Some ways I think we can prevent ourselves from being manipulated is by looking for websites, newspapers, stories, etc. that don’t have any bias opinions, searching for multiple sources when reading about a story make sure you’re getting both sides, and pay attention to the way stories or articles are formatted to recognize a type of bias.
You should be careful when reading a satirical article because satirical articles do not have to true, satire is a literary form that involves a balance of criticism and humor. It’s tricky when navigating through satirical articles because some people use satire when making true statements and other use it when make false statements, this often confuses people and makes it hard to tell what’s true and what's false.
All and all, when navigating the internet, don’t believe everything you see at first sight. If you want to share something that you are unsure is true or not, either check to make sure it is true, or do not share it at all. Look out for patterns that would align with the different biases I listed above. Overall, just make sure you are being safe when looking for information, make sure it’s from a trusted source, that it is fair to both sides of the argument, and that you double check with other sources to check its viability.