A 425-pound teacher was suspended for sitting on her student and flatulating in his mouth. In October a 26-year old disconnected her grandfather’s life support to plug in her phone. Morgan Freeman said that former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton should be jailed to restore public faith in the United States government.
All of these FALSE claims were reported as real news on several disreputable news sites including the World News Daily Report, Elite Readers and Punishers Patriot-News Watch.
Fake News has become such a commonplace word in everyday vocabulary that Collins Dictionary has made it the 2017 word of the year. Defined as “False, often sensational, information disseminated under the guise of news.”
According to the dictionary, the association of ‘fake’ and ‘news’ started with satirical stories specifically stated as untrue. Sites such as ‘theonion.com’ and ‘empirenews.net’ still exclusively use satirical stories on their websites to entertain their readers.
Around 2005 ‘fake news’ started to become associated with false stories parading around as truth. These stories usually have the intent to be harmful to someone, rather than to be entertaining.
In 2016 campaign experts exposed the large number of websites broadcasting false stories about the candidates under a veil of truth, according to the dictionary. Then, in Jan. of 2017 President Trump used the term regarding allegations of ties to Russia, and the media exploded into a fake news witch hunt.
Fake News may sound like a mythical animal found in an enchanted forest, but it is very real, so make sure to be on high alert for false stories, don’t fall into the trap that the media has set for us.