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Stop Spreading Fake News

Know that your source is credible before sharing news. The results in not doing so may have a lasting effect on all of us.

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Envision yourself driving on Interstate 270 when, suddenly, clouds of smoke begin to form in the sky as you notice a burning building miles off in the distance.

By the time you reach your destination, there are most likely already several Facebook statuses and tweets posted online regarding this fire.

Eventually, there will be several news stories published online as well, some of which may be true and others which may not.

New events, occurrences, tragedies and miracles take place each and every day in this ever-changing world, and we are reaching a certain day in age where the word on all of these happenings is spread quicker than you can possibly imagine.

There are several factors involved in the starting of a building fire, including when it happened, how it started, who is responsible for it, in addition to many other variables.

Some reporters gather every bit of evidence possible, interview those involved, gather meaningful and truthful quotes and finally edit their work for complete accuracy and truthfulness before ever publishing it.

These are called good reporters.

However, unfortunately, there are dwindling numbers of this type of reporter, leaving the other type, the bad reporters, those who are untruthful and inaccurate with their information.

This matter of there being two different types of reporters comes down to one fact: one tells the truth and the other does not.

You might think that these “bad reporters” make simple mistakes by missing a few details here and there, yet when the topics enter major controversial areas and topics such as the 2017 presidential election, for example, there is nothing innocent about stating untruthfulness or inaccuracy.

As a matter of fact, it hurts us as a society to spread fake news, especially when it is spreading fast and people genuinely believe that it’s true.

We, as citizens, deserve to know the difference between a truthful article and a fake one.

Just one simple lie in an article is crucial in knowing that it should not be trusted.

News articles must always be grounded in truth, and we must stop spreading fake news because whether you want to believe it or not, it affects us all as a society.

We need to take more pride in knowing the difference between real and fake news.

Writing fake news is essentially an acceptable form of journalism simply because it is parody, which is generally protected by law. Some of these fake news sources include “The Onion,” “The Borowitz Report” and “Empire News.”

It is significantly important today to know whether or not a news source is fake or not, because so many people do not.

I find my friends sharing articles on Facebook which they feel the need to let others know of because of how shocking the stories may be. Yet after I do my research and discover that so much of the time the stories are not even close to true, it upsets me to know that people are spreading fake news during a time in the world where truthfulness is so needed.

It will be sad once there is such a large accumulation of fake news circulating throughout the internet that people question the credibility of real, truthful news.

In order to minimize the large amount of misinterpretation from news sources, there is a simple solution: We cannot believe everything we read.

However, do not become blind to accurate news, pay attention to the truth. We, as humans living in a functioning governed society, need accurate news because it is crucial to our lives.

However, by knowing if the source you are reading is accurate or not and whether or not it is a parody site are a couple of ways we can limit the growing amount of ignorance that is seen today.

The bottom line is, never hit “like,” “send” or “share” prior to checking the facts.

  1. What is the website?
  2. Is the website credible?
  3. If you’re sharing an article from a parody site, make sure you clearly state your reason for sharing, whether it be for humor or informing others that it’s fake.

Let’s have a better, prouder, more intelligent sense in what online news we spread.

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Jessica Danielle Moore

Jessica Danielle Moore

Jessica Danielle Moore is a staff journalist/editor for MBU Timeline. Born and raised in St. Louis, Moore is a journalism major, shooting guard on the women’s basketball team, as well as a member of the MBU Institute for Leadership.

@mbutimeline

About MBU Timeline

MBU

DID YOU KNOW?
   
Here are some interesting facts about MBU Timeline, the student news network of Missouri Baptist University.
   
*The WordPress site has been up since late-fall 2013. We average about 3,000 sessions and about 5,000 pageviews per month.
   
*Our stories and galleries get as few as 40 or 50 hits, or as many as 8,000 hits.
   
*We have readers in every state and 93 countries around the world. We have several readers in Brazil, the United Kingdom, India and Australia.
   
*Most of our readers are in Missouri, followed by Illinois, California and Texas.
   
*We do not accept advertising as we are a not-for-profit online newsmagazine.
   
*Our mission statement is: MBU Timeline is the student news network of Missouri Baptist University, a private Christian university that embraces the essential core value of “social change through service and leadership.”
   
*The Bible verse that drives our mission is 2 Timothy 2:15 (Worldwide English Version): “Tell the true message in the right way.”
   
*We welcome contributors from all walks of MBU life, regardless of your major. Contact us at: mbutimeline@mobap.edu.

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