Spreading fake news through social media

In the growing digital age, it is becoming increasingly hard to pick out truth and to slow roll rumors once they begin. In situations of danger, rumors circulating on the internet are specifically meant to provoke shock and mass hysteria.

It is imperative to see where the information you are about to repost is coming from, rather than reading a headline and immediately clicking share. False information typically spreads faster because it is shocking. Our society has a tendency to drag situations out and make the most horrific information, true or not, seen by a large number of people. Recently the Iran missile launch in Iraq caused mass hysteria on social media platforms while America waited for information back home. Not long after the attack started, false information about casualties started to surface including a random report of 30 dead U.S. soldiers.As the information gained popularity on the internet, it became increasingly dangerous as worried families started to panic.

Not long after, the tragedy of Kobe Bryant happened, false information started flooding in including a report that all four of his daughters were on the helicopter with him. Consumers are not the only problem then, it is also the media outlets sharing the information.

From the panic of getting the breaking news out first, it has become less important for some media outlets to ensure they have the correct information before they report. It is paramount that instead of wanting to be the first, news stations should focus on being the most accurate.

Adding to the consequences of rumors on social media, the spread of false threats is gaining popularity more than ever in public schools. A post from an anonymous user is almost always randomly spotted, provoking panic in students and parents. Investigation after investigation, the threat is either not credible or is addressed and the perpetrator is taken care of, yet the fear still lingers.

With the increasing amount of school shootings, the possibility of that happening is always in the back of student’s minds. When parents hear of these rumors, as they have passed through the grapevine multiple times, they almost always have exaggerations added to them. It is almost as if the story needs to be more shocking, and there is a sense of disappointment when it turns out to be nothing as the story continues to grow. The consequences of false information, fake news, or simply just rumors circulating faster than the truth is something our society as a whole needs to be consciously aware of and work to end. It hurts families, quality news outlets, and others involved.

As people scroll through social media, they need to be conscious consumers and verify if the information is credible or not. We need to be immune to the clickbait and shock factor so factual information gets out first and deliver the news as it should. be delivered.