When you read the latest headline is your first reaction to run a quick Google search to get more information and see if it is true or do you automatically click ‘share’? As we saw during the 2016 US presidential election, it is most likely the latter.
The rise in the use of social media platforms for getting news has helped keep voters informed more than ever before, but has unfortunately been taken advantage of by some groups hungry for clickbait traffic. It has also created an exceptionally challenging and fast-paced news climate where publishers are competing to be the first on a user’s news feed. As a result, even credible publishers have been faulted for making mistakes and spreading sound bites that provide false information. This is especially detrimental as readers tend to absorb these sensational fabricated stories, but rarely notice their corrections. The fake news frenzy has gotten so bad that trust in mass media has dropped significantly.