22 Feb Psychological Impact and Indications of Fake News
TELLTALE INDICATIONS TO SPOT FAKE NEWS
Many individuals feel that the utilization of deception as an instrument of influence and weapon of impact has arrived at new statutes as a greater percentage of our lives move online. From standard news organizations to online media to radio and digital recordings, we currently have more prominent access to the news than at any other time. Also, it’s currently less difficult than any time in recent memory to get in touch with us on any of our various Internet-associated gadgets, at any time of day or night (think cell phone, tablet, PC, smartwatch, Alexa, and then some).
The use of online forums to moderate public debate is becoming more common. Their algorithms assist citizens in joining social groups, sorting through the cacophony of public conversation, and keeping up with current events. These algorithms, on the other hand, can create filter bubbles that distort reality, stifle opposing viewpoints, and split the public realm.
The spread of fake news has been exacerbated by the advent of the Internet and social media. The conventional news paradigm, which involves a small number of outlets with experienced journalists interviewing reputable sources and then fact-checking the material before publishing, has been upended by the contemporary media landscape. Conspiracy theories and rumors are pretty simple to propagate today, thanks to several channels, constant messaging, and an atmosphere that frequently ignores contradicting facts. Many times, we are confronted with contradictory signals, and it might be easier to adhere to a simpler fantasy than to decipher a more complicated reality.
Because of the impact of the media on our emotional well-being, Dr. Vasilis K. Pozios, a clinical therapist and fellow supporter of Broadcast Thought, a psychological well-being and media consulting firm, is an expert. During a meeting, he detailed the connection to Psycom. Since “counterfeit news,” or bogus or misdirected news, is designed to elicit an enthusiastic response from a reader or viewer, it’s not surprising that it’s incendiary in nature and can evoke sensations of outrage, doubt, tension, and even sorrow by mutilating our reasoning. It’s not unexpected that it’s fiery in nature and can evoke sensations of outrage, doubt, nervousness, and even misery.
It gets even more complicated: according to Dr. Pozios, “recognizing or seeing false news as fake can also provoke feelings of rage and frustration, especially if the reader/viewer feels powerless in the face of attempts to sway public opinion through fake news.” Dr. Pozios advises us to evaluate any information we are given, even if it comes from “reliable” sources. “This requires practice (more practice for some than others!), and specific triggers may differ from person to person,” says Dr. Pozios. However, by employing this technique, we may help shield ourselves against mood swings and other unwanted emotional reactions to bogus news.
In addition to the aforementioned reasons, there are a number of telltale indications of a fake news article to be aware of:
- Don’t Believe Everything You Read: “Doubt is the beginning of knowledge; by doubting, we get at the question, and by questioning, we may arrive at the truth.” Pierre Abelard, a medieval French philosopher, teacher, and theologian, wrote wise words in 1120 that still ring true today. Assume the role of fact-checker.
- The author is anonymous (or extremely well-known): Fraudulent publishers may use a generic author name or omit the byline entirely in order to avoid scrutiny. Alternatively, they may use a very famous person’s name as the byline. The latter warrants investigation. In such instances, exercise a healthy amount of skepticism.
- The article misrepresents or misquotes its sources: Citing reputable sources is an effective way of making your argument seem more credible. However, if the article doesn’t accurately reflect the sources it uses, it should be treated with suspicion.
- The article contains spelling and grammatical errors: Real news sources employ editors to provide high-quality content. Purveyors of fake news often don’t. As a result, fake news articles may contain excessive writing errors.
- Keep Your Sense of Humor: One of the most powerful and positive defense strategies we have is humor. Late-night comedy and political satire won’t change the news but can help reduce the stress and anxiety brought on by it. Laughter is free medicine, so laugh a lot.
- Channel Strong Feelings: Turning your feelings of stress into action can help. March in a protest, start a petition and send it to your state and Federal legislators, volunteer for a cause you believe in. Or, run for office.
We can plainly see that social media serves as a conduit for fake news, and that fake news will influence public opinion. Is social media causing you anxiety? Unplug. Is the news too frequent and perplexing? It should be turned off. To prevent bad consequences in the future, social media platforms should be better supervised and people should be educated to stand on their own two feet and not be readily influenced by others.
A guide to misinformation: How to spot and combat fake news. Verizon. (n.d.). Retrieved September 30, 2021, from https://www.verizon.com/info/technology/fake-news-on-social-media/.
Article by: Karina Margit Erdelyi. (2020, August 12). The psychological impact of information warfare & fake news. Psycom.net – Mental Health Treatment Resource Since 1996. Retrieved September 30, 2021, from https://www.psycom.net/iwar.1.html.
The relationship between fake news, social media and politics and why? Center for Mobile Communication Studies The Relationship between Fake News Social Media and Politics and Why Comments. (1967, January 1). Retrieved September 30, 2021, from https://sites.bu.edu/cmcs/2018/12/03/the-relationship-between-fake-news-social-media-and-politics-and-why/.
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