The History of Fake News

Last Updated: 31 May 2023
Pages: 4 Views: 69

Fake news has more history than thought it would. I didn't really think about how much when I started my research. Fake news is something the world has been battling since authority figures have been in place. Knowledge is power, those people in power are the ones that control what is said to the public. There was an era called, the pre-printing press era. This era consisted of emperors, pharaohs, Incas, religious and military leaders, all who held power, and had the means to withhold information from the public. Even in the time of emperors there were smear campaigns. A historian named Procopius of Caesarea used fake news after the death of his emperor Justinian, he released a treatise called "Secret History", it stated that the emperor and his wife were to blame for things that had happened during his reign. The new emperor didn't like his predecessor, so he chose to believe and spread the rumors. Since Justinian was dead there was no way to solidify the claims, or to question the emperor concerning them.

Once the printing press was invented, it became much easier to spread fake news. The printing press was new and shiny. Everyone wanted to buy a copy of the paper because it was the thing to do at the time. So, if someone wanted to print fake news in the paper, it became very easy for the news to spread. One good thing that came with the time of the printing press, was that literacy rates began to rise post printing press. Mass media was the next era to come along, and with it was radio broadcasting. Radio was step forward again for society, but it also had pitfalls. In 1926, BBC radio was broadcasting a show by Father Ronald Arbuthnott Knox. This show was a fake news broadcast, that state London was being attacked by communists. This of course was not true, but people that were tuning in late to the show did not know this. So, it caused a massive panic, that is until the story was eventually explained as being fake news.

Fake news is not fun and games, people get hurt by it. You see fake news stories in the media all the time these days. Fake news is harmful to others as well as to yourself. It is the spreading of rumors, whether they are true or not, most of the time they are false. A story from the New York Times stated that "fake news is inadvertently fueling the spread online of made-up stories about controversial topics." (newyorktimes.com) Susan Credle stated that "fake news is not a cute or silly subject", "when you start to tear down media and question what's real and what's not real, or democracy is threatened."

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Marketers have been known to twist the truth to serve their interests, this crosses a line and it happened with the 20th century fox movie "A Cure for Wellness". They issued an apology after the fact. (newyorktimes.com) Credle also stated that "I think this is a hot enough subject that most marketers would understand that taking advantage of a vulnerable public is dangerous." The digital campaign was deemed to be inappropriate on every level. 20th century fox has been around for a while, they know when they have screwed up. Companies like this have slowly built up a repertoire with consumers, they know what to expect from them as a whole.

Believe it or not, fake news also requires fake research. USA Today states, in an article how to root out the fake research and fake news articles from the real ones. Though the article is short, they cover many topics within it. All of which start with a simple "is it", is it generalized, is it unbiased, is it transparent, and is it ethical. These topics are key to knowing whether you are reading real news or fake news. Since the internet era has come along, it has become increasingly easy to post fake news. Anyone can put up a fake website and post whatever they want on it. Using the tools that are talked about in this article will help you separate fact from fake.

Fake news is something that is so easily shared, you could have friends that just see a headline on Facebook, so they share it without reading the article. I can say that I have personally done this before. "News outlets, advertisers, political parties, and many others have created web pages that can be directed to the accounts and networks of social media users using programmed algorithms called bots. The bots can be programmed to search for information on the internet that is similar to what a social media user has already clicked on, liked, or shared. They can then inject that new information into what the user sees.12 So, for example, rather than seeing stories from hundreds of news outlets, a bot will find news outlets that are similar to those already being viewed. Bots provide users with easy access to information about things they already like".

Cite this Page

The History of Fake News. (2023, May 31). Retrieved from https://phdessay.com/the-history-of-fake-news/

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