paper writing

timer Asked: May 8th, 2018
account_balance_wallet $20

Question description

Purpose: This paper provides you with the opportunity to write a well-organized, well-developed and well-edited paper under time constraints, a common requirement in university classes. It will also allow you to demonstrate your awareness of how to address audience and genre expectations.

Topic: Recently, social media websites have been severely criticized for allowing the spread of fake news. Often, the intent of such news is to provide a distorted view of reality to manipulate readers’ beliefs and actions. Many argue that this type of manipulation is unacceptable. For these individuals, something must be done to eliminate the manipulative effect of fake news on its readers. However, there remains a heated debate concerning who should take responsibility for such an endeavor and how it should be done. The purpose of the current unit is to explore this debate.

Task: You will write a paper in response to a prompt

Genre and Audience: This will be a response paper. The audience will be named on the prompt.

Paper Requirements:

  • Target Length: a minimum of 1000words.
  • Use of sources: You must explicitly cite and discuss at least three of the sources below.
  • Heading: Put your name, date, course-section, and word count at the top.)
  • Title: Your paper should have an appropriate, centered, and properly capitalized title.
  • Format: Double-spaced, indented paragraphs.
  • “How to Prevent Smart People from Spreading Dumb Ideas” by Michael J. Socolow
  • “The Honest Truth about Fake News … and How Not to Fall for It” by Matthew Green
  • “How to combat fake news and disinformation” by Darell M. West
  • “Outlawing fake news will chill the real news” by Sandeep Gopalan
  • “The Victims of Fake News” by Nina Berman

3: No plagiarism, good organization and no grammar mistake. thanks for helping

Outlawing fake news will chill the real news by Sandeep Gopalan, Pro Vice-Chancellor & Professor of Law, Deakin University The Conversation, April 5, 2018 The term “fake news” has gained prominence in recent years thanks to US President Donald Trump’s attacks against the media during the 2016 US election. In 2017, it was one of Collins Dictionary’s 2017 words of the year. Unsurprisingly, politicians use the fake news label to discredit media stories that portray them in a negative light. And it’s back in the headlines after the largest television company in the US – Sinclair Broadcasting Group – issued a coordinated campaign of scripted warnings about fake news in terms that echo Trump’s sentiments: The sharing of biased and false news has become all too common on social media … Some members of the media use their platforms to push their own personal bias … This is extremely dangerous to our democracy. Trump tweeted in support of Sinclair’s message, slamming the mainstream media in the process. Meanwhile, a new study suggests that actual fake news may have helped Trump to secure the election. Ohio State University researchers found a high statistical association between belief in fake news items and voting in 2016. Whatever the impact of fake news on election outcomes, some governments are introducing legislation to control the problem. But these laws are more likely to limit free speech, chill the real news, and create unintended consequences. Public trust in media is low Trump and other politicians’ attacks mirror widely held suspicions about the media. A recent poll by Monmouth University showed that more than 77% of Americans believed that mainstream media reports fake news. One in three believed this happened regularly, whereas 46% thought it only happened occasionally. Fake news was defined broadly: 25% thought it referred to wrong facts, whereas 65% believed it also covered editorial decisions and news coverage. 87% of Americans thought interest groups plant fake news on platforms such as Facebook and YouTube. Of concern, 42% believed media reported fake news to push an agenda, and 35% trusted Trump more than CNN. Australians also have low confidence in the media. According to the 2018 Edelman Trust Barometer, just 32% trust the media – the second lowest score out of the 28 countries surveyed. New laws take aim at fake news The congruence of public distrust and politicians’ self-interest has reached an obvious denouement: legislation. The most egregious of these laws was just passed by the Malaysian Parliament’s Lower House. The Anti-Fake News Act 2018, which imposes jail terms of up to six years, will become an Act after Senate approval. The law defines fake news broadly to include: …any news, information, data and reports, which is or are wholly or partly false, whether in the form of features, visuals or audio recordings or in any other form capable of suggesting words or ideas. The law is particularly dangerous because it has extra-territorial application – foreigners can be dealt with “as if the offence was committed” within Malaysia. In other words, it is not just Malaysian journalists who could be locked up – foreign media can also be locked up if Malaysian law enforcement can reach them. Malaysia is not an isolated instance. The Philippines is considering a similar law. The Irish Parliament is also considering a bill to criminalise the use of bots on social media platforms to promote fake news – such as those thought to have been used by Russia to influence the US election. India proposed a law that would suspend the accreditation of journalists for fake news, but retracted the order within a day due to a backlash. Problems with regulating speech It is unclear if the Malaysian law – and other national variants – is masquerading as an attempt to promote real news when it is actually an attempt at censorship by stealth. Regardless, even assuming good intentions, anti fake news laws are incapable of tackling the menace. Fake news is a slippery concept. Who decides what is fake? And how do we manage the distinction between facts and opinion? There is no bright-line definition that would provide clarity, and each item has to be assessed on its own. Moreover, not all fake news is harmful – a precondition for regulation. Regulation would turn judges into fact-checkers for potentially millions of news items or social media posts – an impossible task even without crowded dockets. Replacing judges with bureaucrats might improve efficiency marginally, but would generate a censorship state. Buttressed with criminal penalties, these laws will chill free speech and substantially diminish the marketplace for ideas. Media outlets will be overly cautious with negative consequences for transparency and accountability. In addition, the laws are unlikely to advance the cause of real news – they have no connection to the incentives for providing truthful information. The current system is sufficient Countries committed to free speech should not adopt anti fake news laws. The current legal regime represents a pragmatic compromise. Our system of free speech tolerates the risk of inaccurate news for several reasons. Firstly, it is difficult to establish intention to fabricate falsehoods and harm, and the causal link between the two. And giving the state tools to police speech is dangerous, with fear alone generating self-censorship. Also, judges and bureaucrats are not experts at separating fake from real news – public debate in the marketplace of ideas is more efficient. Finally, modern news does not stop at geographic boundaries, and national law cannot solve a transnational problem. This does not mean that social media platforms should be free to spread falsehoods and compromise elections. Some options for preventing the proliferation of fake news that could crowd out real news include accreditation to distinguish legitimate news outlets, liability for search engines and distributors where actual harm and intent to fabricate can be established in private litigation, and accessible remedies for defamation. However, such regulation goes well beyond the scope of current anti fake news laws.
The following are excerpts from the original article published by the Columbia Journalism Review. The victims of fake news Conspiracy theories thrive online, but their consequences are real. Just ask these people. By Nina Berman FALL 2017 Photographs by Nina Berman Today, the most outrageous spinners of hateful, horrific, and fake stories show absolutely no evidence of regret or remorse for the damage they do. On the contrary, refusing to exhibit civil decorum or own up to their lies even when confronted with irrefutable facts often bolsters their reputations. For this piece, CJR interviewed people who have been on the opposite end of fake news stories. Repeatedly, the victims complained about a lack of accountability. Some declined to speak, fearing any public comment would spark a new round of attacks. The interviews have been edited for length and clarity. David Wheeler, who lost a child in the 2012 Sandy Hook massacre and has been accused by Second Amendment advocate and conspiracy theorist Alex Jones of Infowars, among others, of falsifying his child’s murder as part of a campaign to undermine gun rights, had this to say: “It has been incredibly painful to have to live through this, to have to face this kind of thing for the offense of speaking publicly, but it comes back to something I landed on days after. From this point forward, are you going to make your decisions out of fear or out of love? I don’t always succeed, but I try like hell to not have my decisions come out of fear.” THE MANIPULATION OF TRAGEDY Sandy Hook, Connecticut On the morning of December 14, 2012, Adam Lanza, 20, stormed into Sandy Hook Elementary School and, in the space of five minutes, shot to death 20 firstgrade children and six educators before turning the gun on himself. The incomprehensible tragedy turned the national conversation once again to gun control. While efforts to change federal law have failed, the Connecticut legislature passed some of the strictest gun regulations in the nation. Shortly after the massacre, stories started circulating on social media claiming that the grieving parents were frauds, that their children hadn’t existed and the massacre never occurred. Sandy Hook parents received death threats. Jones, of Infowars, railed the loudest and most consistently, and continues to question the veracity of the shooting and encourage his millions of viewers to dispute the facts of the tragic massacre. Benjamin Wheeler was 6 years old when he died at Sandy Hook Elementary School. (Nina Berman) David Wheeler, father of Benjamin Wheeler, 6, killed in the 2012 Sandy Hook massacre Somebody set up a couple of fake Twitter accounts for my wife and me, and those were awful. Of course they latched on right away to the fact that we were once actors to justify their theory. They didn’t really have a coherent answer as to why [they say the shooting was] fake, just “He was an actor.” But you never heard about the other 10 dads who work in finance, or the other three dads employed in sales, because that doesn’t fit their twisted narratives. The way this propaganda works is you take something insane and wrap it in a little bit of truth, and then all those people swallow it because it’s wrapped in a little bit of truth. Look, he was an actor, that’s the little bit of truth they wrapped around me. Well, yes, I was, congratulations, you found someone who once was in theater in a town of 28,000 people 65 miles from New York City. You are a fucking genius. We were eventually able to close down the Twitter accounts. Twitter has a much more robust end-user agreement regarding truth and transparency [than] YouTube and Facebook, [which] have been much harder. In the moment, it’s very hard not to click reply and swear and use every facility at my disposal to try to take these people down, but you have to take a breath, and you have to step back, and you have to realize that it’s not about me, it’s not about Benny, it’s not about my family, or even this town or this event. It’s bigger than that, which is comforting and horrifying at the same time. It comes back to the question of brain pathology, of monological thinking. It comes back to why they have to feel this way, that they know something that you don’t know, that they feel like they have some power, like they matter in the world. They have to prove their narrative because it’s too much a part of how they identify and validate their existence on this planet. I spent 45 minutes on the phone with Megyn Kelly asking her to not run that show where she interviewed Alex Jones. My point to her was, don’t just hold up this guy and say “Can you believe he thinks this?” That’s not enough. Look into why is he that way, why does he think these things, what happened to him to make him think this? Why? When you look at this behavior, this unconscionable, devoid-of-any-kind-ofhuman-empathy behavior that has been directed at us, that’s mental illness. THE ESCALATION OF PIZZAGATE Washington, DC In early November 2016, soon after WikiLeaks published hacked emails from Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager John Podesta, posts started appearing in various chat groups, including 4Chan and Reddit, focusing on Comet Ping Pong, a popular pizza place in Northwest Washington owned by James Alefantis, who was mentioned in one of Podesta’s emails. The posts described a cavernous venue with creepy murals and secret symbols of pedophilia and perversion. The restaurant, it was alleged, was a front for a vast child sex trafficking ring operated by prominent Democrats. The alleged perpetrators communicated in code through images of butterflies and spirals that appeared on dinner menus and storefronts. The furor around what was dubbed Pizzagate escalated into social media attacks, phone calls, and daily death threats against Comet Ping Pong and surrounding businesses, including the owners of Politics and Prose bookstore, a DC institution. On December 4, 2016, Edgar Maddison Welch, 28, walked into Comet Ping Pong and fired several shots from an AR-15 assault rifle. He was looking to rescue the children he wrongly believed were being abused there. No one was hurt, and Welch was arrested and later pleaded guilty to illegally transporting firearms across state lines and assault with a dangerous weapon. Some Pizzagate believers claimed Welch’s assault was a false flag operation, a covertly planned event carried out for propaganda reasons, or designed to cast blame away from those who secretly orchestrated the operation. Lissa Muscatine and Bradley Graham, co-owners of Politics and Prose bookstore, near Comet Ping Pong (Nina Berman) Bradley Graham We had an event going on that day. [Former Democratic politician and author] Mark Shriver was giving a talk. At 3pm, we saw the police, guns drawn. We were told to stay indoors and to stay away from the windows. Instinctively, we made the link to the social media threats. We had gotten frustrated with the police and the FBI because they didn’t seem to be doing much to address our concerns. One reason law enforcement didn’t act earlier is that they’re overwhelmed. Everyone is getting threats these days. They have to prioritize. Lissa Muscatine You have a person at the top encouraging, inspiring it, and engaging in fake news. The greatest disseminator of fake news is the president of the United States.
THE LOWDOWN, KQED NEWS The Honest Truth about Fake News ... and How Not to Fall for It by Matthew Green, May 3, 2017 Did you hear that Pope Francis endorsed Donald Trump for president? Or that Hillary Clinton sold weapons to ISIS? Crazy, right? And … 100 percent false. But if you were one of the millions of people drawn to a bogus headline in your Facebook feed -- or other social media platform of choice -- and found yourself reading an article on what seemed like a legitimate news site (something like, say, The Political Insider, which “reported” the Clinton-ISIS story), then why wouldn’t you believe it? I mean, people you supposedly trust shared it with you and it ranked high in the Google search. How could it be made-up information? Welcome to the world of “fake news.” Digital deception It comes as little surprise that the web is chock full of commercial click-bait hoaxes: getrich-quick schemes, free Caribbean cruises, erectile dysfunction treatments ... you name it. But as it turns out, the internet is also teeming with bogus information sites that masquerade as real news. And in the run-up to the 2016 election, many of these hoax news posts spread like wildfire. [Snopes, a fact-checking site, maintains a comprehensive and growing list of fake news outlets.] President-elect Donald Trump's contempt for "the mainstream media," an industry he uniformly dismisses as a corrupt, lying "bunch of phony lowlifes," has further obscured the boundaries between fact and fiction. So, too, has his use of Twitter to widely disseminate unsubstantiated allegations and, on numerous occasions, downright falsehoods. Even President Obama weighed in (while still president), assailing the rapid accumulation of fake news as a "dust cloud of nonsense." "If we are not serious about facts, if we can't discriminate between serious arguments and propaganda, than we have problems," he said at a recent press conference. Fake news, real profit, serious consequences In fact, a recent BuzzFeed News analysis of election-related web articles published in the three months before Election Day found that the 20 most popular fake news stories generated significantly more engagement on Facebook (shares, reactions, comments) than did the top 20 real news stories from major news outlets like the Washington Post and New York Times. And of course, the more engagement, the more ad revenue; a major financial incentive for unethical folks with overactive imaginations to whip up ever more outlandish, attention-grabbing conspiracy theories. According to the analysis, the majority of the most popular and prolific purveyors of fake news -- websites like Ending the Fed and InfoWars -- are either full-on hoax sites or “hyperpartisan” right-wing platforms that creatively obscure the truth (a handful of leftwing sites were also in the mix). Strangely, BuzzFeed also found more than 100 U.S. politics websites run out of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, usually authored by web-savvy, entrepreneurial young people -- including teenagers -- trying to make a fast buck by creatively duping American media consumers. One recent notably viral fake news headline espoused an utterly baseless conspiracy theory that a Washington, D.C. family-friendly pizza place was actually a front for a child sex ring run by Hillary Clinton's campaign manager. Michael Flynn, Jr., son of retired U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn -- Trump's pick for national security adviser, and a Clinton-related conspiracy theorist himself -- further promoted the story, while serving on Trump's transition team, by sharing it with his thousands of Twitter followers. The younger Flynn has since been removed from the transition team due to his aggressive trolling habit. But the bogus rumor, which became known as Pizzagate, had some serious ramifications when a man armed with an assault rifle entered the restaurant on Sunday, Dec. 4 and fired several shots in what he later told police was an attempt to "self-investigate" the claim (there were no reported injuries). And no, you really can't make this stuff up. To what degree the overall proliferation of fake news affected the election results remains unclear. But it almost certainly did have some impact, particularly on undecided voters. After initially deflecting criticism that his company bore some level of responsibility for the dramatic spread of political misinformation, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg published a post (on Facebook, of course) less than a week after the election, stating: “We have already launched work enabling our community to flag hoaxes and fake news, and there is more we can do here.” Several days later, both Google and Facebook announced new efforts to prevent identifiable fake news sites from using their respective advertising networks to generate revenue. Fake news is nothing new Fake news has long had a presence in America's media landscape: Since the colonial period, various news outlets have played fast and loose with the truth for commercial or political gain. A particularly notorious era of journalistic misinformation emerged in the 1890s when competing newspapers owned by rival media titans William Randolph Hearst and Joseph Pulitzer fought mercilessly for the attention of readers by liberally embellishing stories to sell more papers, a style that became known as yellow journalism. But the sheer volume of information at our fingertips (and thumbs) today, and the ease with which we can inadvertently spread falsehoods with the simple click of a "share" button, puts us in uncharted territory. Impressionable young minds Young people are among the most vulnerable and impressionable consumers of this kind of misinformation, according to a recently released study by Stanford’s History Education Group. Researchers collected nearly 8,000 responses from middle school, high school and college students -- aka "digital natives" -- around the country who were asked to evaluate online information presented in tweets, comments and articles. "Overall, young people’s ability to reason about the information on the Internet can be summed up in one word: bleak," the report states. "Our 'digital natives' may be able to flit between Facebook and Twitter while simultaneously uploading a selfie to Instagram and texting a friend. But when it comes to evaluating information that flows through social media channels, they are easily duped." The researchers were consistently "shocked" by the number of students who couldn’t effectively evaluate the credibility of the information they were presented with. More than 80 percent of middle schoolers in the study believed that “native ads” resembling articles were actually real news stories, even though they were labeled “sponsored content.” High school students were asked to evaluate a post from a popular image-sharing site featuring a picture of unusually formed daisies and titled "Fukushima Nuclear Flowers: Not much more to say, this is what happens when flowers get nuclear birth defects." Despite the complete lack of attribution or evidence, most students accepted the picture at face value. "They didn't ask where it came from. They didn't verify it. They simply accepted the picture as fact," Sam Wineburg, a history and education professor at Stanford University, and the lead author of the study, told NPR in a recent interview. Many of the high school students in the study also couldn't tell the difference between real and fake news sources in their Facebook feed. Meanwhile, most college students in the study didn't suspect any kind of bias in a tweet from a left-leaning activist group that cited a public opinion survey on gun ownership and background checks. It's incumbent on educators, the study authors note, to show students how to be more discerning about the information they consume. In other words, how to identify fact from fiction and not to be a sucker. “But the only way we can deal with these kinds of issues are through educational programs and recognizing that the kinds of things that we worry about, the ability to determine what is reliable and not reliable, that is the new basic skill in our society,” said Wineburg. Along those lines, WNYC's On the Media made this nifty cheat sheet, which combined with an array of excellent, non-partisan political fact-check sites, provide the necessary tools to weed out the fake and focus on what's really going on.
How to combat fake news and disinformation by Darell M. West The Brookings Institute, December 18, 2017 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Journalism is in a state of considerable flux. New digital platforms have unleashed innovative journalistic practices that enable novel forms of communication and greater global reach than at any point in human history. But on the other hand, disinformation and hoaxes that are popularly referred to as “fake news” are accelerating and affecting the way individuals interpret daily developments. Driven by foreign actors, citizen journalism, and the proliferation of talk radio and cable news, many information systems have become more polarized and contentious, and there has been a precipitous decline in public trust in traditional journalism. Fake news and sophisticated disinformation campaigns are especially problematic in democratic systems, and there is growing debate on how to address these issues without undermining the benefits of digital media. In order to maintain an open, democratic system, it is important that government, business, and consumers work together to solve these problems. Governments should promote news literacy and strong professional journalism in their societies. The news industry must provide highquality journalism in order to build public trust and correct fake news and disinformation without legitimizing them. Technology companies should invest in tools that identify fake news, reduce financial incentives for those who profit from disinformation, and improve online accountability. Educational institutions should make informing people about news literacy a high priority. Finally, individuals should follow a diversity of news sources, and be skeptical of what they read and watch. THE STATE OF THE NEWS MEDIA The news media landscape has changed dramatically over the past decades. Through digital sources, there has been a tremendous increase in the reach of journalism, social media, and public engagement. Checking for news online—whether through Google, Twitter, Facebook, major newspapers, or local media websites—has become ubiquitous, and smartphone alerts and mobile applications bring the latest developments to people instantaneously around the world. As of 2017, 93 percent of Americans say they receive news online. When asked where they got online news in the last two hours, 36 percent named a news organization website or app; 35 percent said social media (which typically means a post from a news organization, but can be a friend’s commentary); 20 percent recalled a search engine; 15 percent indicated a news organization email, text, or alert; 9 percent said it was another source; and 7 percent named a family member email or text. DECLINING TRUST IN THE NEWS MEDIA In the United States, there is a declining public trust in traditional journalism. The Gallup Poll asked a number of Americans over the past two decades how much trust and confidence they have in mass media reporting the news fully, accurately, and fairly. As shown in Figure 4, the percentage saying they had a great deal or fair amount of trust dropped from 53 percent in 1997 to 32 percent in 2016. Between news coverage they don’t like and fake news that is manipulative in nature, many Americans question the accuracy of their news. A recent Gallup poll found that only 37 percent believe “news organizations generally get the facts straight.” This is down from about half of the country who felt that way in 1998. There is also a startling partisan divide in public assessments. Only 14 percent of Republicans believe the media report the news accurately, compared to 62 percent for Democrats. Even more disturbingly, “a solid majority of the country believes major news organizations routinely produce false information.” This decline in public trust in media is dangerous for democracies. With the current political situation in a state of great flux in the U.S. and around the world, there are questions concerning the quality of the information available to the general public and the impact of marginal media organizations on voter assessments. These developments have complicated the manner in which people hold leaders accountable and the way in which our political system operates. CHALLENGES FACING THE DIGITAL MEDIA LANDSCAPE As the overall media landscape has changed, there have been several ominous developments. Rather than using digital tools to inform people and elevate civic discussion, some individuals have taken advantage of social and digital platforms to deceive, mislead, or harm others through creating or disseminating fake news and disinformation. When [fake news] activities move from sporadic and haphazard to organized and systematic efforts, they become disinformation campaigns with the potential to disrupt campaigns and governance in entire countries. As an illustration, the United States saw apparently organized efforts to disseminate false material in the 2016 presidential election. A Buzzfeed analysis found that the most widely shared fake news stories in 2016 were about “Pope Francis endorsing Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton selling weapons to ISIS, Hillary Clinton being disqualified from holding federal office, and the FBI director receiving millions from the Clinton Foundation.” Using a social media assessment, it claimed that the 20 largest fake stories generated 8.7 million shares, reactions, and comments, compared to 7.4 million generated by the top 20 stories from 19 major news sites. Fake content was widespread during the presidential campaign. Facebook has estimated that 126 million of its platform users saw articles and posts promulgated by Russian sources. Twitter has found 2,752 accounts established by Russian groups that tweeted 1.4 million times in 2016. The widespread nature of these disinformation efforts led Columbia Law School Professor Tim Wu to ask: “Did Twitter kill the First Amendment?” A specific example of disinformation was the so-called “Pizzagate” conspiracy, which started on Twitter. The story falsely alleged that sexually abused children were hidden at Comet Ping Pong, a Washington, D.C. pizza parlor, and that Hillary Clinton knew about the sex ring. It seemed so realistic to some that a North Carolina man named Edgar Welch drove to the capital city with an assault weapon to personally search for the abused kids. After being arrested by the police, Welch said “that he had read online that the Comet restaurant was harboring child sex slaves and that he wanted to see for himself if they were there. [Welch] stated that he was armed.” A post-election survey of 3,015 American adults suggested that it is difficult for news consumers to distinguish fake from real news. Chris Jackson of Ipsos Public Affairs undertook a survey that found “fake news headlines fool American adults about 75 percent of the time” and “‘fake news’ was remembered by a significant portion of the electorate and those stories were seen as credible.” Another online survey of 1,200 individuals after the election by Hunt Allcott and Matthew Gentzkow found that half of those who saw these fake stories believed their content. False information is dangerous because of its ability to affect public opinion and electoral discourse. According to David Lazer, “such situations can enable discriminatory and inflammatory ideas to enter public discourse and be treated as fact. Once embedded, such ideas can in turn be used to create scapegoats, to normalize prejudices, to harden us-versus-them mentalities and even, in extreme cases, to catalyze and justify violence.” As he points out, factors such as source credibility, repetition, and social pressure affect information flows and the extent to which misinformation is taken seriously. When viewers see trusted sources repeat certain points, they are more likely to be influenced by that material. Recent polling data demonstrate how harmful these practices have become to the reputations of reputable platforms. According to the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism, only 24 percent of Americans today believe social media sites “do a good job separating fact from fiction, compared to 40 percent for the news media.” That demonstrates how much these developments have hurt public discourse. THE RISKS OF REGULATION Government harassment of journalists is a serious problem in many parts of the world. Overly restrictive regulation of internet platforms in open societies sets a dangerous precedent and can encourage authoritarian regimes to continue and/or expand censorship. This will restrict global freedom of expression and generate hostility to democratic governance. Democracies that place undue limits on speech risk legitimizing authoritarian leaders and their efforts to crackdown basic human rights. It is crucial that efforts to improve news quality not weaken journalistic content or the investigative landscape facing reporters. OTHER APPROACHES There are several alternatives to deal with falsehoods and disinformation that can be undertaken by various organizations. Many of these ideas represent solutions that combat fake news and disinformation without endangering freedom of expression and investigative journalism. Government responsibilities 1) One of the most important thing governments around the world can do is to encourage independent, professional journalism. The general public needs reporters who help them make sense of complicated developments and deal with the ever-changing nature of social, economic, and political events. Many areas are going through transformation that I elsewhere have called “megachanges,” and these shifts have created enormous anger, anxiety, and confusion. In a time of considerable turmoil, it is vital to have a healthy Fourth Estate that is independent of public authorities. 2) Governments should avoid crackdowns on the news media’s ability to cover the news. Those activities limit freedom of expression and hamper the ability of journalists to cover political developments. The United States should set a good example with other countries. If American leaders censor or restrict the news media, it encourages other countries to do the same thing. News industry actions 1) The news industry should continue to focus on high-quality journalism that builds trust and attracts greater audiences. An encouraging development is that many news organizations have experienced major gains in readership and viewership over the last couple of years, and this helps to put major news outlets on a better financial footing. But there have been precipitous drops in public confidence in the news media in recent years, and this has damaged the ability of journalists to report the news and hold leaders accountable. During a time of considerable chaos and disorder, the world needs a strong and viable news media that informs citizens about current events and long-term trends. 2) It is important for news organizations to call out fake news and disinformation without legitimizing them. They can do this by relying upon their in-house professionals and wellrespected fact-checkers. In order to educate users about news sites that are created to mislead, nonprofit organizations such as Politifact,, and Snopes judge the accuracy of leader claims and write stories detailing the truth or lack thereof of particular developments. Technology company responsibilities 1) Technology firms should invest in technology to find fake news and identify it for users through algorithms and crowdsourcing. There are innovations in fake news and hoax detection that are useful to media platforms. For example, fake news detection can be automated, and social media companies should invest in their ability to do so. Former FCC Commissioner Tom Wheeler argues that “public interest algorithms” can aid in identifying and publicizing fake news posts and therefore be a valuable tool to protect consumers. 2) These companies shouldn’t make money from fake news manufacturers and should make it hard to monetize hoaxes. It is important to weaken financial incentives for bad content, especially false news and disinformation, as the manufacturing of fake news is often financially motivated. Like all clickbait, false information can be profitable due to ad revenues or general brandbuilding. Educational institutions 1) Funding efforts to enhance news literacy should be a high priority for governments. This is especially the case with people who are going online for the first time. For those individuals, it is hard to distinguish false from real news, and they need to learn how to evaluate news sources, not accept at face value everything they see on social media or digital news sites. Helping people become better consumers of online information is crucial as the world moves towards digital immersion. There should be money to support partnerships between journalists, businesses, educational institutions, and nonprofit organizations to encourage news literacy. 2) Education is especially important for young people. Research by Joseph Kahne and Benjamin Bowyer found that third-party assessments matter to young readers. However, their effects are limited. Those statements judged to be inaccurate reduced reader persuasion, although to a lower extent than alignment with the individual’s prior policy beliefs. If the person already agreed with the statement, it was more difficult for fact-checking to sway them against the information. How the public can protect itself 1) Individuals can protect themselves from false news and disinformation by following a diversity of people and perspectives. Relying upon a small number of like-minded news sources limits the range of material available to people and increases the odds they may fall victim to hoaxes or false rumors. This method is not entirely fool-proof, but it increases the odds of hearing wellbalanced and diverse viewpoints. 2) In the online world, readers and viewers should be skeptical about news sources. In the rush to encourage clicks, many online outlets resort to misleading or sensationalized headlines. They emphasize the provocative or the attention-grabbing, even if that news hook is deceptive. News consumers have to keep their guard up and understand that not everything they read is accurate and many digital sites specialize in false news. Learning how to judge news sites and protect oneself from inaccurate information is a high priority in the digital age. CONCLUSION From this analysis, it is clear there are a number of ways to promote timely, accurate, and civil discourse in the face of false news and disinformation. In today’s world, there is considerable experimentation taking place with online news platforms. News organizations are testing products and services that help them identify hate speech and language that incites violence. There is a major flowering of new models and approaches that bodes well for the future of online journalism and media consumption. At the same time, everyone has a responsibility to combat the scourge of fake news and disinformation. This ranges from the promotion of strong norms on professional journalism, supporting investigative journalism, reducing financial incentives for fake news, and improving digital literacy among the general public. Taken together, these steps would further quality discourse and weaken the environment that has propelled disinformation around the globe.
How to Prevent Smart People From Spreading Dumb Ideas By Michael J. Socolow March 22, 2018, The New York Times We have a serious problem, and it goes far beyond “fake news.” Too many Americans have no idea how to properly read a social media feed. As we’re coming to learn more and more, such ignorance seems to be plaguing almost everybody — regardless of educational attainment, economic class, age, race, political affiliation or gender. Some very smart people are helping to spread some very dumb ideas. We all know this is a problem. The recent federal indictment of a Russian company, the Internet Research Agency, lists the numerous ways Russian trolls and bots created phony events and leveraged social media to sow disruption throughout the 2016 presidential election. New revelations about Cambridge Analytica’s sophisticated use of Facebook data to target unsuspecting social media users reminds us how complex the issue has become. Even the pope has weighed in, using his bully pulpit to warn the world of this new global evil. But there are some remarkably easy steps that each of us, on our own, can take to address this issue. By following these three simple guidelines, we can collaborate to help solve a problem that’s befuddling the geniuses who built Facebook and Twitter. If the problem is crowdsourced, then it seems obvious the solution will have to be crowdsourced as well. With that in mind, here are three easy steps each of us can take to help build a better civic polity. This advice will also help each of us look a little less foolish. Advertisement 1. No link? Not news! Every time somebody tweets “BREAKING” a little bell should go off in your head. Before you even read the rest of the news, look for the link. Average Americans almost never break news about big stories. Even most professional journalists lack the sources and experience to quickly verify sensational information. If news breaks on a truly important story, there should be a link to a credible news source. But I still regularly see tweets that have no connection to reality being retweeted thousands of times by people who should know better. Here’s but one example of completely fictional “news” that was retweeted over 46,000 times. It involved Haiti’s supposed reaction to President Trump’s recent insult: It was retweeted by the Harvard law professor Laurence Tribe. His retweet was retweeted over 2,000 times: Yet there’s no evidence anywhere that Haiti’s “high court” did this. There was no “emergency” session and there was no “agreement to unseal & release documents.” The event is fabricated. Remember: No link? Not news! 2. I knew it! If breaking news on social media aligns perfectly with your carefully structured view of the world, then pause before liking it or retweeting it. Why? Because you — like most of us — have curated a personal news feed to confirm things you already suspected or “knew.” If you didn’t do this yourself (by unfriending people who dared argue politics with you on your feed), Facebook and Twitter are doing it for you. They structure your timeline to make it as agreeable as possible. Cambridge Analytica’s success was premised on building a distribution system tailored to precisely exploit the biases and preconceptions of specified Facebook users. But Cambridge Analytica is the symptom, not the disease. The larger problem is that unpleasant and frustrating information — no matter how accurate — is actively hidden from you to maximize your social media engagement. George Orwell once noted that he became a writer because he possessed “a facility with words and a power of facing unpleasant facts.” There’s no place for “unpleasant facts” in our social media universe. Were Orwell alive today, he’d remind us of the terrible political costs caused by this devolution in our informational habits. 3. Why am I talking? My wife is a psychotherapist, and occasionally I skim her Psychotherapy Networker magazine. I read a piece by a therapist who realized his most effective communicative moments often occurred when he asked himself a simple question: “Why am I talking?” Inevitably this question shut him up and allowed him to absorb much more information. “Why am I talking” works out to a great acronym: WAIT. If we all just asked ourselves this simple question immediately before posting or retweeting, we’d all be better off. There are numerous reasons to participate in the public sphere, and everyone can contribute something valuable. But there’s also far too much noise out there, and we need to think more seriously and realistically about the added value of our own communication. These are three simple rules. Of course, they contradict every mechanism Facebook and Twitter uses to encourage our behavior on social media. Being more skeptical, engaging more selectively and prioritizing links to information providers outside our social media silos will hurt the bottom line of the social media giants. Using social media in a more responsible manner might ultimately leave these companies to rot away as they cede their civic responsibilities to the Russian trolls and bots dedicated to polluting our discourse. If they won’t act, it’s up to us. If we’re collectively smarter and more skeptical about social media as an information delivery device, it will ultimately lessen the influence that these corporations and trolls have on our civic governance.

Tutor Answer

School: Carnegie Mellon University




Paper Writing
Institutional Affiliation



In the modern society, fake news is one of the defining issues facing humanity. With the
emergence of social networks, it has become easier for purveyors of fake news to disseminate
their information in order to alter the thinking of people into believing that the news being spread
is true. Interesting, fake news tends to spread faster than the real news. People spread it faster
and gets to many people and since it is widely spread, there are those who believe the fake news.
With the alarming rate in which fake news is gaining huge momentum in the society, the big
question is who should entirely take responsibility for such endeavor and how should they go
about to end such malicious information. West (2017) argues that in order to combat fake news
and disinformation, government, consumers, and businesses should work together to avert the
According to West (2017), the government has the responsibility of promoting strong
professional journalism as well as enhancing new literacy. West (2017) argues that news industry
has the responsibility of providing high-quality journalism so as to build public trust and correct
sophisticated disinformation and fake news without legitimizing them. West believes that
technology companies need to invest in sophisticated tools that can easily identify fake news,
improve online accountability, and cut...

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