False Information – The Danger of News Items on the Internet

News is an unpublished account of human action, that seeks to influence, inform, or entertain the readers. It’s like a hot piece of cake coming out of the oven. The term “news” was first used in the English language in the 17th century, according to the Oxford English Dictionary. Whatever, it didn’t come from the dictionary. Any item, which has been published before, doesn’t constitute news.

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Fake news has become a buzz word among US citizens in recent times. Some have blamed the proliferation of fake news on social media, saying that people are getting more lazy these days and are more likely to fall for false information. This could be true; however, most news items are not fake news. False information is made up of false facts and half-truths and is often promoted by someone who has a financial stake in disseminating the information. Someone like a government or an insurance company or even a celebrity can get their name on news items, if they have a public profile or write a news story. Sometimes celebrities get their names on news items because they endorse products in a short video, where they are interviewed by some entity and the product is promoted in the video.

Many US citizens fall victim to false information on social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter and MySpace. It is quite natural that US citizens should be concerned about this. With all this fake news, one wonders if it is becoming too difficult to distinguish between the truth and not-so-true information. There is a lot of “fake news” on the internet today.

In addition, the anonymity of the internet has allowed for spreading of false information, simply because no one will challenge the validity of the story. A person can post something on the internet under a false identity, and if that person writes a news story quoting themselves as the source of information, they can make that story seem factual, no matter how many times it is proven untrue. Many people write false information in order to promote a business or a website, therefore it is very important to read what you are reading, before it gets you on the wrong side of the law.

When you are checking up on the latest news on the internet, be very careful with what you are reading. False news items can be dangerous for those of us who are not that well versed in the world of blogging and social media. For example, the recent story about Senator John McCain having Parkinson’s disease was not true. However, many people shared that story and it began to spread like wildfire across the internet. Before long, it was everywhere and seemed to be a fact. Many times, news items etc can be viral.

So, now you know, there can be false information posted online. It’s important to look at what you are reading, before you just run with information. Many people love to share information through the internet, even if it is false. Therefore, when you are reading any type of news item, it is important to critically think about what you are reading, so that you can make sure that it is true, before you begin sharing it with others.