Fake news stories can have real-life consequences. On Sunday, police said a man with a rifle who claimed to be “self-investigating” a baseless online conspiracy theory entered a Washington, D.C., pizzeria and fired the weapon inside the restaurant.
So yes, fake news is a big problem.
These stories have gotten a lot of attention, with headlines claiming Pope Francis endorsed Donald Trump in November’s election and sites like American News sharing misleading stories or taking quotes out of context. And when sites like DC Gazette share stories about people, who allegedly investigated the Clinton family, being found dead, the stories go viral and some people believe them. Again, these stories are not true in any way.
Stopping the proliferation of fake news isn’t just the responsibility of the platforms used to spread it. Those who consume news also need to find ways of determining if what they’re reading is true.
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