Social media has led to the rampant spread of disinformation, must commonly referred to as “fake news”. According to the reading The Attention Economy, this is due to the fact that “never before has information been so easily accessible.” Prior to social media people had to get information from printed sources, such as newspapers, magazines or library books or from their neighbors, friends or relatives. Printed information was harder to come by. Newspapers were only printed once a day and magazines were printed weekly or monthly. Some people could only get printed material by physically going to a library or a store. To get information from neighbors, friends or relatives, people had to call them on the phone or speak to them in person. With those methods, disinformation was harder to spread as networks were smaller. Today, social media can be accessed every minute and almost everywhere. There are thousands of networks of people online across a multitude of platforms.

These days people can post whatever and wherever they want with little to no filter which can cause disinformation. For example, a problem that is occurring in today’s society is that it is hard to believe what is real when you have websites like Wikipedia, it can be edited by anyone at anytime. Another problem with today’s society is that we do not keep up to date with the local news, so people do not know what is going on in their community., which can lead for example to people no knowing the CDC COVID guidelines that impact their area. When someone only gets their information from an online community and not credible news sources it may help to increase the spread of disinformation. An example of this is when people posted online that COVID-19 was a hoax or government consipiaracy at the beginning of the pandemic, which lead to a large number of people that were against mask wearing and anti-vaccine.

Another way that “fake news” spreads so quickly is because most of the younger generation only get their new off social media platforms which are mostly full of people’s opinions on what is happening from just telling one side of the full story.

Due to the fact that disinformation is so rampant, you should always be skeptical on whether or not your sources are credible. You should also trying to find the whole story and not just someone’s opinion of one side.

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