An 8th grade class from the International School of Brooklyn visited the GMG offices today. We divided the class into three groups and gave them two hours to report and write a story, using our staff as sources. Here’s what they wrote (with some light edits).
“Fake news is presented as an article, but it is a lie, and it intentionally deceives the readers.” said Ashley Feinberg. Today we interviewed several people from departments at the Gizmodo office; Special Projects, Kotaku and Deadspin. We had conversations with these departments about what is fake news, some examples of fake news and how to stop it. In this article we will discuss different points of view on fake news, and how people think differently about how to stop it.
Around the Gizmodo office, people at different departments, had different opinions on what fake news is. The Gizmodo department said that fake news is “Either an article which is based on lies, or an article which talks about the lies said in another article”. Kelly Stout said that some people might consider fake news as “something that they don’t agree with”. Some articles might have mistakes in them, “but the journalists try to fix it later”. In some cases the journalist makes mistakes on purpose.
So how can we make sure that we are not using fake news? Well for one, when you look at an article, ask yourself; Is this a source I know? Have I used it in the past? Have I trusted it before? Did the journalist use several reliable sources? You can also check the articles sources. If the article uses good, well known sources (PBS, the NY Times), the website is probably reliable. But if the sources are ones notorious for being false the website is probably not that reliable. You can also pay close attention to the language used in the article, whether it seems very negative, very biased, or very false. This goes for all websites and sources, whether it’s CNN, Info Wars, or even The White House. Don’t just assume that because someone said it or referenced it that it’s reliable, always check and be sure.
So in the end, fake news is everywhere, and if we are not careful, we can mistake it as fact. But if we are careful, we fact check, and we use reliable sources to get information, we will be less prone to falling for things that are not true. So next time you see an article online, check to see if it’s reliable. It may take some time, but the more time you spend now, the less time you will spend being scared of something that is not real.