As you might expect, people send me a LOT of articles to consider when I am contemplated topics to tackle on my show. And a bunch of those articles are fake.
I know this because I cross-check each article with other news sources. Sometimes, the info is taken out-of-context or can't be found on any other source. Often, these articles come from websites that are unknown to me. That's because many of these websites are written by one person who made up a serious sounding name.
A recent survey by the Pew Research Center revealed that Americans are more concerned about fake news than terrorism. I know why. Chances are, we've been fooled (including me!). We also see trusted news sources retract whole stories. We've seen folks share news on Facebook, realize it was fake, than tell us, "yeah, but the fact that you believed it happened says something!"
People are concerned because they want to be informed voters and informed citizens. Therefore, they need ACCURATE information.
Only drug addiction, the affordability of health care, the U.S. political system, and the income gap ranked as higher concerns among Americans. Below fake news came terrorism, immigration, climate change and racism.
By the numbers, here’s how fake news is viewed by those responding:
- 68-percent believe made-up news and information has a big impact on their trust in government, according to the survey.
- More than half (54-percent) of Americans say it impacts their confidence in other Americans.
- More than half, again, say it impacts the ability of political leaders to get work done.
- Political groups and activist groups take the blame ahead of the media.
- The media is most responsible for fixing the problem, according to most.
- The majority says the fake news problem is only going to get worse.