Through the continuous advancement of technology, we can now easily access the current news and events that are happening on our planet. With just a few click, we can now be informed and aware of the current events, hottest issues and trending topics across the globe. Gone are the days when we had to wait for the morning newspaper to arrive at our doorsteps for us to know what’s going on in our society. Most of us are now relying on social media to get news information as easy and quickly as it can.
According to surveys, social media has become the main source of news online with over 2.4 bullion users on the Internet which is almost 64.5 percent getting breaking news from different platforms such as YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram instead of traditional news sources. In addition, the survey also showed that 50 % of internet users said that they usually get the latest news through social media before getting it from traditional news network such as News Break Phoenix. Furthermore, the survey also found out that there was a 57 percent increase in traffic to news site referred from these social media platforms.
Despite the increasing number of Internet users who rely on social media in getting the latest news, the survey also showed that there has been a decrease in the number of article that internet users read. Most of the users will just scroll and scan the article and just look at some of the basic and common parts of a news article such as headlines, or even short video clip of the content. The survey also stated that an average user will only read a composition for about 15 seconds or less. Some experts believe that it could be one of the reasons why fake news is very rampant nowadays because people are now totally and genuinely informed.
As what the experts say, we are now living in an era where fake news is very rampant. This could lead to misinformation of people who totally rely on social media platforms only when getting the latest news about the world. It can be very dangerous especially now that the spread of information is as fast as lightning due to the presence of technology and different tools that allow the fast transfer of data from one point to another. Fake news is something that we should fight against and we should think of ways on how we can protect ourselves from it.
But the good news is that social media has features that allow users to control news and information to see. Basically, our friends in social media have become the ‘managing editors’ of the news and content we see on our feed. Technically speaking, an article or content needs to be shared first several time before it appears on our news feed. Therefore, what we see on our feed are the things that our social media friends have shared.
This concept has both positive and negative impacts. Of course, when it comes to genuine information, when clicked and shared multiple times, it will promote truthfulness and reliability of the content that we see on social media. However, when our social media friends are not vigilant and keen on what they share online, the spread of fake news will be rampant that could lead for most people to be led astray. Hence, as social media users, it is our responsibility to be careful and wise on what we share online. It is important to always think before we click.