I chose to look at the fake news story titled “FBI agent suspected in Hillary email leaks found dead in apartment murder-suicide”. This story garnered many engagements on Facebook–560,000 of them. The story was published under the name The Denver Guardian and called themselves the oldest news source of Denver. In reality, The Denver Guardian doesn’t exist, and the oldest new source in Denver is The Denver Post.
The Denver Post wrote an article stating that this news publication didn’t exist, and that their contact address was a vacant parking lot. Fake news such as this discredits journalisms because it makes the public believe that journalists write made up news, when in reality, these people are not journalists. They are just spreaders of intentionally made up information with eye-catching headlines that they want to spread to misinformed people who go on to share these stories on social media because they know they will not investigate if it is true or not. This made up news organization also took away from Denver’s truest oldest news source by lying and claiming to be, when they were imaginary and didn’t exist.
Fake news can lead to dangerous situations, as did due to the spread of “Pizzagate”, which said that there was pizza-themed code in leaked democratic candidates emails that claimed there was a child sex ring in a D.C. pizzeria. A man from North Carolina came to investigate these made up claims with a gun.
According to Harvard Summer School, there are some ways to make sure what you reading is credible. One question to ask yourself is if the site would meet academic citation standards. You should also pay attention to the author and see if they have published anything else. If they use a gmail as their contact information, you should be wary. If there is a lot of dramatic punctuation, such as excessive exclamation points, and spelling errors, that is a red flag. No professional would do that. You can also turn to fact checking websites such as http://www.factcheck.org , or http://www.politifact.com which will confirm if an article is correct or made up.