Fake news is something much deeper than a nuisance.
By: BRANDEN RAULSTON
FEB. 15, 2017
Fake news may be likened to a human-manifested brother of the multiverse theory. Anything can happen, everything happens, and it has all already happened. If it can be dreamed, it exists.
Humans have made such exciting progress! Not quite.
From Harambe to Salt Bae, the surreally seductive man who has his way with slabs of meat before gently adorning them in salt, the internet has given society so many exceptionally important artifacts. Fake news is no such thing.
It can ruin friendships, make someone unfollow that wilderness-dwelling uncle, or even prompt Pakistan to direct a nuclear threat towards Israel. Yup.
Is enough being done? Only time will tell, but there have been some moves in the right direction. Facebook, a large medium for the proliferation of fake news, has announced “The Facebook Journalism Project,” aimed at reducing the spread of hoaxes and fictitious information. Major news outlets are also seeing spikes in subscriptions following Trump’s election.
Speaking of Trump, he seems to be leading a crusade against fake news as well, but his jabs have been aimed at some of the country’s most professional news outlets, making the average news consumer’s search for the truth even harder.
So what are concerned citizens left to do? Reading an article instead of sharing a headline would be a good start. Following and supporting reputable news organizations or checking facts against them is also swell. Websites like PolitiFact are also helpful in wading through the muck.
Here at The Edge we want to do our part as well. In the name of truth we have compiled a list of the fakest of the fake. These are new and old articles, but they are continuing to be shared today. Have a laugh and sharpen those fake-news-detecting-skills.
- Mike Pence: “Allowing Rape Victims To Have Abortions Will Lead To Women Trying To Get Raped”
“And it gets worse – when you get an abortion, you get several days off of work and whatnot to recover. And there are a lot of crazy people out there. What if women would go out and get raped on purpose just so they could get off work?” the article, via Politicot.com, reads.
Americans just love it when a politician says some crazy shit. It is no wonder an article like this would take off. It is the kind worthy of check-free share. Mike Pence already has a pro-life aroma about him. Throw in a dash of far-rightedness, a sprinkle of the South, and confirmation bias does the rest.
- “HIV Virus” Detected In Walmart Bananas After 10 Year Old Boy Contracts The Virus
The children damnit! We must protect the children!
Alright, you get a pass if you are one of the alleged 236,000 shares behind this gem. Public safety is number one, and who knows which one of your friends could have been about to bite into a banana when you reposted? Articles like this prey on public panic. They also use web addresses that resemble legitimate news sites. This one came from cnnews3.com. Look familiar?
- Donald Trump the last President of these “United” States? America may fracture and descend into civil war
Nothing motivates a share like the fear of civil war. Have you looked out of the basement window lately though? Seems pretty non civil-warish over here.
This article, from naturalnews.com, is pure speculation. The equivalent can be found around 2 a.m. in the static of AM radio. The author provides not a single outside reference to his claims except one link, an article about a man getting a ticket for leaving his car running. They know you’re not clicking.
- Woman arrested for defecating on boss’ desk after winning the lottery
Who doesn’t want to believe this? My Lord! If there ever was a hero, it would be a lottery winner who left a log on her boss’ desk.
This article, from thevalleyreport.com, was engaged on social media 1.7 million times, and it embodies most clearly the root of the fake news problem in this country.
Some of us want to hear that Mike Pence is an ignorant bigot. Some want to save children from bananas. Others want conflict. All of us want to win the lottery and shit on our boss’ desk.
In these ways, fake news is a reflection of society. We are one with fake news. In every headline is another American looking back at you.
Don’t share it, learn from it.