Fake News is Modern Information Consumption

The attacks on fake news seem to boil down to attacks on modern consumption methods. The interview of Ali G by Andy “Runey” focus around a caricature of what youth are seen as. Full Frontal with Samantha Bee also seems to exemplify a sense of superiority over those who seem to fall for the malicious forms of fake news. With consumption being just bytes of information, vetting the quality of content falls by the wayside for convenience. John Oliver attacks the modernization of journalism in America as being ridiculous and as a marker of declining quality in journalism.

Fake news usually entails two separate ideas. One is news delivered with an air of humor unlike most mainstream consumption which was focused around delivering the news with a sense of seriousness. Fake news in this form is used to stir the public around a topic. By making the news humorous, it can keep conversations about the topics light. No one would really talk about the TPP before but after a piece on the bill by Jon Stewart, more attention was given to the topic. The same can be said about John Oliver’s segments, especially ones like predatory lending that had social media followings. Fake news in this sense serves as a tool to mobilize the public on an issue.

The other type of fake news is considered a more malicious type. This type deliberately spreads misinformation in attempts to get ad-revenue. This detrimental click-bait style of news leads to the easy proliferation of fake articles that seem real enough initially. This fake news also has the side-effect of people just parroting back headlines without reading the article. This lack of vetting of the information in a story leads to vast amounts of disinformation being spread and making it tough on the individual to sift through a massive amount of data in the search for reliable information.


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