Reflection Topic 2 – ‘Fake News’: Who is responsible?

My initial stance regarding the problem of fake news was slanted towards placing all responsibility on the individual for assessing whether information online is false or not. However reading Luke’s comment allowed me to reflect on just how impractical it is for the average reader to critically assess each article or story they read to judge its validity, due to the amount of time it would take. Luke also linked a recent study from the BBC which pointed out how fake news spreads faster and to a much wider network then genuine news, (Kleinman 2018).  Additionally reading Luke’s blog also made me aware of just how important data literacy skills are in addition to traditional media and digital literacy skills. Reading Luke’s blog prompted me to do some more research into data literacy. In my comment replying to Luke I referenced a study which showed just how easy It is to manipulate data, particularly for private companies who want to make their profit margins appear to be more reliable and consistent over time (Kwapien,2015).

Reading Jermey’s blog also prompted me to re-assess my position of placing all the responsibility on the individual. In his blog post Jeremy linked to a Washington post article about Twitter executives refusing to take action to stem the flow of fake news being spread on their platform (Borchers, 2018). This led me to doing some further research into how social media platforms address the issue of fake news. In my comment replying to Jeremey I referenced how Zuckerberg, changed his stance on fake news, from ignoring the problem to later focusing on developing a solution.

Conclusion

Reflecting on false information online has allowed me to see just how widespread the problem is, and how impractical it is to expect individual readers to take all the responsibility for assessing it. Below I created a diagram to expand upon how different actors are responsible for fake news online.

Leading a healthy lifestyle infographic (2)

Word Count: 325

References:

Borchers, C. (2018). Analysis | Twitter executive on fake news: ‘We are not the arbiters of truth’. [online] Washington Post. Available at: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2018/02/08/twitter-executive-on-fake-news-we-are-not-the-arbiters-of-truth/?utm_term=.0c22b7d61446[Accessed 19 Mar. 2018].

Kleinman, Z. (2018). Fake news ‘travels faster’, study finds. [online] BBC News. Available at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-43344256?intlink_from_url=http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/topics/cjxv13v27dyt/fake-news&link_location=live-reporting-story[Accessed 19 Mar. 2018].

Kwapien, A. (2015). Misleading Data Visualization Examples. [online] BI Blog | Data Visualization & Analytics Blog | datapine. Available at: https://www.datapine.com/blog/misleading-data-visualization-examples/ [Accessed 19 Mar. 2018].

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