Fake News and Media Literacy

UNESCO [CC BY-SA 3.0-igo (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0-igo)]

Let me ask you a question, what is your opinion about fake news and media literacy?

All media is created for a purpose; however, it’s not all for the same purpose.

Please allow me to elaborate…

Advertising changed over the years because consumers got tired of the hard sell approach.

And this made all the difference —

Today, effective advertising incorporates educational information that at times reads like news, to appeal to potential customers.

So it’s easy to see why content marketing is a good thing from a consumer perspective.

Don’t you feel better about a company who wants to offer you value instead of rushing you into a purchase?

The thing is —

That means a lot of what we read online seems like news.

However, it could be something else.

Maybe a how-to article, with the ultimate goal of leading you to a purchase.

Nevertheless —

ADVERTISING IS NOT NEWS — Therefore it can’t be fake news

Still, everyone creating content online, regardless, should be ethical about what they’re saying and also transparent about their intention.

After all, the ultimate goal is to gain trust from the audience.

But that’s just part of the story —

Trust should be earned

Ultimately, it’s up to individuals to decipher the noise and sift out the truth.

Truthfully, fake news and media literacy go hand in hand.

How, you ask?

Learn the 5 C’s of Critical Consuming
John Spencer

As readers, we bear some responsibility to advance our media literacy so we can tell the difference between content marketing, advertising, and people who are online with great blogs, spouting opinion.

5 C’s of Critical Consuming

  1. Context: Where did you find it — How old is it — Has it changed
  2. Credibility: Good reputation vs. bad reputation
  3. Construction: Is the information presented one-sided
  4. Corroboration: Can you find other sources that agree
  5. Compare: Examine opposing view points

Media literacy is also important for our safety because, the truth is that at least some of what’s out there, is malicious.

Media literacy should start young

Mis-information is designed to glean data at the very least.

And steal personal information in one worse case scenario.

Think about it —

You perpetuate whatever information you share.

Sharing keeps that story going and helps it to gain momentum.

So, if you share pictures that horrify you, or a story that seems wrong, you’re helping to push that agenda.

I’m not saying that you shouldn’t share posts to bring attention to important issues that we need to work through together.

One of the best things about social media is the opportunity to build connections with people who share similar interests and challenges.

But that’s just part of the story—

What I mean about helping to push an agenda is that when you read and share, it’s in your best interest to know where the information is coming from and why it ended up in your social feed.

If you read it, know where it came from, and believe that sharing it is important, then by all means, share.

Sharing is caring!

As a writer, I feel we should always be transparent no matter why we’re writing.

In this video from the Wheezy Waiter, he uses the term click bait to get you to watch by simply asking, what is click bait?

He’s demonstrating the idea behind click bait in a transparent, and I think funny, video.

Wheezy Waiter

What do you think?

I’d love to hear from you. Tell me how you feel about this whole fake news business.

What tools do you use to verify a story online? Does fake news and media literacy matter enough to you to take the time to make sure that something is true before you share it on social media?

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