My question is: Since all news reported contains at least a slight bias, when does a news story become altered enough to become fake versus excessively biased? I know that statistics can be picked to back up someone’s story without truly representing the truth.
“You only hear what you want to hear, not when I tell you to wash the dishes,” is a phrase my mother would often tell me. I think this holds true for when people read any news, that people read something and believe it’s true (even if it actually isn’t) because when they see a story that reinforces their viewpoints they are more likely to believe it and not do the necessary research to confirm if it is true or not. Fake news can also be used to in a satirical manner, such as in Jonathon Swift’s “Modest Proposal” to spread a more serious opinion as well as mock the viewpoint of those opposing.
This news story above is obviously fake, saying that Obama is banning Christmas cards sent to servicemen overseas because they are offensive. This is obviously not true, however to someone who thinks former President Obama wasn’t patriotic enough or more sympathetic to Muslim people than he should be, it is almost believable. It seems like something he would do. This fake news can be used to spread a viewpoint, as well as for the fiscal benefit of the creator of this news (like the people from Macedonia).
Fake news can also be used for comedic relief. A perfect example of this is the Onion. The article below was written in the wake of the tragic Patriots Super Bowl win that left the majority of America in sadness. It’s funny because the Patriots just won their fifth super bowl.
Sixth Super Bowl Win Continues To Elude Patriots
Fake news is a common term used today with Donald Trump and his Press Secretary Sean Spicer. There isn’t as much as a financial gain for them, but more to save face. Many of the false news stories regarding Trump are actually quite believable, and sometimes the truth is stranger than fiction.
In Swift’s “Modest Proposal” he uses an absurd idea of eating poor children to show people that the poor need to be sympathized with more. Although it is apparent that he actually isn’t supporting eating little peoples, it helps people to his view.