The Internet and Social Media: The Impact of Fake News

Published: 2021-07-07 00:04:02
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Category: Sociology

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Fake news in the 21st century is one of the major issues that have raised concern among governments, intermediaries and even end users of the information. Fake news is a series of deliberately created stories that are incorrect that are spread to promote or favor some specific individual’s interests (Balmas 440). With the development of the digital world, fake news has found a perfect platform in the social media and the internet to spread such news. This is because there is access to massive audiences on the social media platforms than any other news outlet. In addition to that, the news is spread fast thus reaching as many people as possible before it is discovered it is a created story. Therefore in this paper will discuss the spread of fake news through social media and the internet and the impacts the information may have on the end users.The greatest enemy to the economic developments in the digital fake news that leads to the spread of unreliable information. Regardless of the fact that most fake stories in the internet and social media platforms revolve around politics, we cannot ignore the fact that the information does have an impact on the society and the economy at large. For instance, fake news is the main factor responsible for polarizations witnessed in our societies. This is witnessed more during the political events. One example of such was during the gubernatorial elections in Jakarta where more than 1000 reports regarding the elections were confirmed as fake. One specific story regarding the election was about the candidate form the opposition that said that in case he lost the elections the country was to fall into a Muslim revolution (Allcott, and Matthew 234). This fake news exacerbated tension that was in the society and pulled the nation cultures even further apart.In addition to polarization, fake news leads to destruction of relations between different countries. For instance, one of Qatar’s news agencies was hacked and its tweeter account was used to spread fake news in May 2017. The comments published alleged that the Emir criticized the United States’ Foreign policy. Even if the news company acted swiftly in labeling the news fake, it did not prevent the international community from severing diplomatic ties with the country.In another level, development of the internet and social media has increased the obsession the society has on the celebrity concept that it has never been before. The social media platforms are dominated by celebrity scandals and tabloids on a daily basis. But regardless of the fact that the stories regarding celebrities can be seen to be fake, a lot of people cannot be able to differentiate between fake stories and real stories (Nielsen and Kim 480). Cruel fake tweets go viral on a daily basis ad this not only affects the esteem of the person in question but also affects his or her family or even funs. Sometimes such news destroys a person’s carrier completely. And to make matters worse, people tend to believe fake news than they believe the correct and true stories. This has led to increased racial discrimination in our societies, harassments, damage to reputations and even intimidation. For instance, the recent hoax news regarding a jewelry store in the United States claiming that real diamonds were being replaced by fake ones by the store thus selling fake ones to their customers. This hoax led to the fall of the shop’s stock in the market by 3.7% thus causing irreversible damage to the reputation of the business (Marchi 250).The dawn of the digital media has was a breakthrough in many aspects of the society we a living in today. For instance communication in the 21st century. People can share information while thousands of miles apart, such kind of information could take days in the old days. This has helped incorporate developments as companies are able to monitor the international market every minute thus making the most viable decisions that lead to the development of the economy. In addition to that, the digital media led to the development of social media platforms that have led to rapid globalization and development of digital markets (Balmas 440). Companies don’t have to spend millions of money designing and organizing campaigns for advertisement of their products and services. Instead, marketing is done online in the 21st century. This has helped the society have a variety to choose from and also the companies to market their products with ease (Berthon et al 268). The digital media has also helped in political developments as people are able to track all the advancements in the political arena thus making informed decisions.But with the existence of the fake news in the social media, the benefits are almost suppressed as most people are not able to differentiate real stories from the fake news. Therefore governments should come up with policies that are aimed at controlling the digital media and the social media platforms that are responsible for the spread of fake news. This will ensure that the society receives the exact stories that are not engineered to suit the interests of some specific politicians or influential personalities in the society. In addition to that, gaining control of the social media platforms will mean improvement of world peace as countries and societies will co-exist with each other without any tension.Works CitedAllcott, Hunt, and Matthew Gentzkow. “Social media and fake news in the 2016 election.” Journal of Economic Perspectives31.2 (2017): 211-360Balmas, Meital. “When fake news becomes real: Combined exposure to multiple news sources and political attitudes of inefficacy, alienation, and cynicism.” Communication Research41.3 (2014): 430-454.Berthon, Pierre R., et al. “Marketing meets Web 2.0, social media, and creative consumers: Implications for international marketing strategy.” Business Horizons 55.3 (2012): 261-271.Marchi, Regina. “With Facebook, blogs, and fake news, teens reject journalistic “objectivity”.” Journal of Communication Inquiry 36.3 (2012): 246-262.Nielsen, Rasmus Kleis, and Kim Christian Schroder. “The relative importance of social media for accessing, finding, and engaging with news: An eight-country cross-media comparison.” Digital journalism 2.4 (2014): 472-489.

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