The term “fake news” can be described as news that is swayed or biased by some type of motives, which most recently has been politically, to fit some type of narrative. We have seen a lot of recent “fake news” with regards to politicians on both sides of the aisle and has been omnipresent ever since President Trump donned the term during his campaign for the 2016 presidency. In the recent years and months, we have seen a deluge of this so-called “fake news” with many in the media reporting the news that they want to hear or somehow swinging the news to fit the narrative that their political party wants to portray. Personally, I find this both annoying and potentially dangerous going forward. I find it annoying because, when I look at news, I want to be able to trust the news that I am reading and don’t want to have to question whether or not the news being reported is actually factual or whether or not it is being skewed or swayed to fit some sort of narrative. I also see it as potentially dangerous as there could be no end in sight for this new “fake news” deluge. As of right now, we are mostly looking at “fake news” in the political space, but there is the potential that it could spread to other spaces and make much more of an impact in the world. And even if it were to stay in the political space, it could greatly sway the general public’s point of view of a candidate.
Speaking of that, we have already seen that play out on a lower scale in the 2016 Presidential election between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. In the lead up to this election, news displayed on sites such as Facebook was completely polarized. Those that were classified by Facebook as liberal, were only shown news that Facebook thought fit their political views and the same went for those that Facebook classified as conservative. Because of this, people thought that the news that the other political party was reporting was “fake news” and shouldn’t be trusted at all. This only played into the new reality that our country is becoming more politically polarized than ever and bipartisan thinking and cooperation in our government becoming increasingly more difficult. One large piece of news that seemed to have an impact on the 2016 election was the report that Russian hacking largely swayed the election in the favor of now President Trump. For liberals, this was the reason why Hillary Clinton lost and for conservatives, this was “fake news” spread by the left in the wake of Clinton’s defeat. In reality, this is somewhere in the middle and, as shown by an article I had read found here: https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/how-much-did-russian-interference-affect-the-2016-election/, it was shown that this Russian hacking most likely had no measurable effect on the 2016 election. This piece of news and others like it is why I believe that we should be trying to “snuff out” this “fake news” because it can lead to increasing polarization in politics and can greatly impact the way people think about the world.