The Causes Of Fake News And How To Prevent It Essay


Thesis statement: Internet technologies enable the proliferation of fake news, and only education and awareness can curtail the influence fake news has on society.A. Claim: Prior exposure to a fake news story makes a person more likely to believe in the veracity of the information.

1. Evidence: Just a one-time exposure to a fake news item on a social media platform like Facebook increases the likelihood that a person will believe the fake news story, with the effects lasting as long as a week (Pennycook, Cannon, & Rand, 2017).

2. Evidence: The prior exposure phenomenon is a type of confirmation bias, whereby “ We pick out those bits of data that make us feel good because they confirm our prejudices,” (Heshmat, 2015, p. 1).

B. Claim: Mob mentality is at work with fake news, as research shows a viral post is more likely to be perceived as trustworthy even when it is fake.

1. Evidence: Becker (2016) notes that the proliferation of fake news is akin to a mob mentality, whereby people believe what they read simply because it is popular.

2. Evidence: A viral post on social media is more likely to be perceived of as true than one that can be fact-checked (Papanastasiou, 2017).

C. Claim: Free speech...


Evidence: Librarians are at the forefront of media literacy, and can help stop fake news (Becker, 2016).
2. Evidence: Aggressive and systematic tagging of fake news is essential because anything that is not tagged as “fake” will be perceived of as real (Pennycook & Rand, 2017).

D. Claim: Technological tools can help prevent fake news from proliferating, even though it is technological tools that cause fake news to be so easily propagated.

1. Evidence: There are ways of “curbing social bots,” (Shao, Ciampaglia, Varol, et al, 2017, p. 1).

2. Evidence: Using technology would be “an effective strategy for mitigating the spread of online misinformation,” (Shao, Ciampaglia, Varol, et al, 2017, p. 1).

3. Evidence: To overcome the problems with algorithms, it is also important to target audiences and bots that are geared towards vulnerable populations like “Trump supporters and young adults,” (Pennycook & Rand, 2017, p. 1)

E. Claim: Educators, news agencies, and other leaders need to take responsibility for their role…

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