Written by DML
I am on the road and thought I’d share a piece of “fake news” I came across, and in the process, SLAM the social media giant that put it at the top of a news feed.
If you follow me, then you know I hate the term “fake news.” Yes, the term has a meaning, but the problem is the term “fake news” isn’t being used correctly.
What we are suffering from is biased news. Biased news is not “fake news.”
Examples of both:
(BIASED NEWS) “President Trump Can’t Find His Groove.” Obviously, the title is an opinion-based headline, which is anti-Trump. But, it’s not a “fake news” item. Opinions are not fake.
(FAKE NEWS) “Trump Painting Air Force One Gold.” Obviously, that’s a news headline which is indeed false. It is fake news.
Sadly, most people are classifying “biased news and opinions” as “fake news.” That said, make no mistake, fake news exists, and it often comes in the form of “satire.”
Satire is the use of humor, irony, exaggeration, or ridicule to expose and criticize people’s stupidity or vices, particularly in the context of contemporary politics and other topical issues.
Unfortunately, we are blanketed with a biased media, and it’s so hard to weed between what it credible and what is not, what is biased and what is unbiased. Therefore, the “satire” articles, if done in a sneaky manner, can really cause confusion for people.
Case in point, I consider myself a smart guy who is hard to trick. I don’t fall for many pranks, and I don’t click on satire-based articles. But I did get tricked recently, well, sort of. I clicked on a satire article because of its placement in a news feed.
While I was traveling on a train I went to Twitter and searched “Trump.” My hope was to get a quick menu of recent tweets that would provide some sort of news in headline format. To my great shock, the top story was that the president is demanding all phones in the White House to be covered in tin foil.
With all that’s taking place with wiretapping claims and Russian hacking stories and such, I thought to myself, “What? No way he would do that. Ordering tin foil would be nuts.” I couldn’t believe the headline, but it was sitting at the top of the Twitter feed. So, I clicked on the big bold article.
Within a few seconds of reading the article, I knew the piece was totally fake, and I found myself furious over Twitter’s placement of such garbage. How irresponsible can they get? I wonder how many people clicked on the article and believed it to be true.
Here is the snapshot of the search results. The one “clue” is the “Not the News” title to the right, but that could mean anything, and it is placed and colored in a way to throw people off, especially if in a rush or traveling on a high-speed rail.
Twitter, shame on you.
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