Social Media Story Providers Spread Fake News

The invention of social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, etc., has made the lives of those who wish to stay connected easier. People who no longer live in the same area as one another and family who live far away can have access to the posts of those they miss and be able to share a piece of life with them. News, important events, and celebrities are often showcased on social media. Social media is a platform used to share information, but it is not always accurate and people abuse the power of social media a lot.

People, mostly teens, overuse social media and process information that is not true, as true. The use of social media has become too much of a distraction for the progress of society and it should be limited.

The amount of interaction people have on a daily basis has dramatically decreased due to the creation and overuse of social media. Studies show that computer-mediated communication and depression are often linked (Pantic).

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One particular study from 1998 showed that prolonged use of the internet “relates to the decline in communication with family members as well as the reduction of the Internet user’s social circle” (Pantic). Though this study may be older with not as many social networking sites existing, it holds more truth now than ever. Interactions between individuals may be more numerous because of social media but the “interactions are shallow and cannot adequately replace everyday face-to-face communication” (Pantic). When it comes to online communication, everything cannot be typed out to another person, which makes people tend to send very vague, uninteresting responses.

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Dating has also become particularly limited due to social media. People think they can hide behind the screen in order to be the perfect match for anyone and catfishing is also something that can occur. Asking someone out on a date used to be an act of bravery and now it is considered abnormal to ask someone out face-to-face. Using social media as the only form of communication affects individuals’ real life communication skills and can cause people to become antisocial, which is why social media has a negative effect on teens. When technology began developing, it was seen as a luxury, now it is seen as everyday life and people rely on technology to get through the day. Social media, more specifically, has become a lifestyle for certain people. The lifestyle of a social media influencer has become a normal thing and people make a lot of money influencing others about certain content.

However, content can sometimes be altered or changed to suit ones needs. The news that is active on social media is often a big problem when it comes to stories being falsified and the outcome of certain stories has been altered to make it more interesting for the reader or watcher. The news’ primary job is “to inform citizens of what is happening in their surroundings, to educate the public as to the significance and meaning of those ‘facts’, to provide a platform for open political discussions in the public sphere to facilitate the formation of public opinion, to provide publicity to the governmental and political institutions as a watchdog role of journalism, and as a channel for the advocacy of political viewpoint” (Simons).

News stations and social media story providers such as MTV and CNN have been known to spread fake news about certain topics and it has become a growing concern for the population. If a station or website that is trusted to tell people about the current events lies, how can one know the real news? An example of this is during a political competition, like an election. News stations could be biased towards one particular candidate and that could indeed sway someone to spread fake news about the honesty of the candidate they support or the dirty track record of the other candidate (Simons). Social media is a platform that fake news is spread on the most. People who work for news stations need to integrate social media and its influence into their broadcasts to avoid problems like fake stories, false information, and the potential destruction of a news networks reputation (Patil).

Social media has an influence that extends all around the world and brings to light issues that other people might not have thought about. An example of an issue that was not recognized until it was put on social media was the Treyvon Martin case in 2012 (Ciment). Due to the social media sharing of it, it was shown as an alleged racially motivated crime but the man who committed the crime was never found to have been racially motivated during this crime (Ciment). Another example of social media’s long range influence is the Arab Spring protests in 2010–2012, “social media sites such as Facebook allowed those that were dissatisfied with authoritarian regimes to circumvent conventional state-controlled media to acquire information” (Ciment). This allowed things to be organized way more effectively for the protests.

Privacy on social media is almost non-existent. People give all their private information to social media platforms that then store that information forever. A misconception people have about data and social media is that once something is deleted, it is gone forever but that is 100% not true. “Some fear that as social media companies become public and answerable to stockholders, they will be forced to seek higher profit margins by sharing such data, even if users do not want them to or are unaware they are doing so” (Ciment). Employers ask for hires social media accounts in order to determine character and the government is now using social media to track down people who have done wrong things and this is a violation of privacy (Ciment). Social media may be public but private information given to the site should not be shared with employers or the government and the authorities. Those who post day to day risk their privacy being compromised by those who are hackers, sexual predators, or identity thieves (Ciment). Nothing is private on the internet, even if your social media is private, someone could easily get access to it and steal or share your personal information.

Cyberbullying has become the biggest issue since social media platforms came into existence. Children and teenagers have experienced bullying all throughout school and even adults experience bullying at their workplaces sometimes. The worst kind of bullying takes place online, behind a screen, where no one may be physically hurt but they can be emotionally hurt to the brink of death. The definition of cyberbullying is when “persons gang up to humiliate or berate someone on their own or on their victim’s social media page” (Ciment). Cyberbullying happens to all ages of people, mostly teens, due to their extreme nature of handling situations. Social media is said to cause rude and isolationist behavior from people and that is a reason that cyberbullying exists (Ciment). Cyberbullying can lead to problems like child sexual abuse, depression, and in extreme conditions, suicide (Ciment).

Social media is not all bad; it actually has some positives about it. The platforms we use that are considered social media are forms of communication to people that we don’t get to see very often and for people we want to meet. The benefit of social media for an antisocial person is that they can communicate with someone without fear of making a mistake like they would when having a face-to-face conversation (Barnes and Laird). A benefit for creative people is that they can showcase their art, talent, music, etc. and potentially catch the eye of someone who could give you a career with something you are passionate about. Social media has benefits for education as well. The internet has a lot of research and articles that people have done and it can be used to help students. Group projects and assignments can be better achieved with the technology of social media as well (Barnes and Laird).

Social networking also shows adolescents how to be more empathic and become more accepting of those who may come from a different background (Barnes and Laird). Medical support can also be received by students, even if it is about something they don’t want to talk about, it can be anonymous support that teens receive (Barnes and Laird).. Staying connected is very important to everyone, especially teens and social media is a great tool to use when wanting to keep connections or receive some sort of support. The technology the current generation has been provided with is a blessing and a curse in 2018. The development of social media platforms and its influencers has changed society, not always in a good way. Social media has its perks of granting more opportunities to communicate, give support, and share ideas. Social media has more negative characteristics than it does positive.

Lack of real-life communication can make adolescents antisocial and less able to communicate freely. The believability of influencers and news that isn’t real is very easy to mistake, even for those who think they know the system. Fake news or false accusations makes information spread fast and complications begin to arise with the arrival of the material. Social media allows for the free spreading of information, even if that information is private. People abuse how they think social media is so great and they end up hurting themselves due to their reliability on the privacy of their information. Cyberbullying and catfishing occurs on social media networks and it hurts adolescents to the point where they no longer want to live. Social media is a tool that can be used the wrong way sometimes. Knowing how it can affect children, teens, and adults is a good way to fix the crisis that surrounds social media and its accuracy. Social media needs to either be improved or shut down due to the multiple problems that surface with it.

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Social Media Story Providers Spread Fake News. (2023, Jan 21). Retrieved from http://studymoose.com/social-media-story-providers-spread-fake-news-essay

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