Friday, March 3, 2017

FAKE NEWS

I don't frequently browse through my facebook feed (maybe once in two days? I log in just to check my class group for announcements and stuff) and there has been multiple times when people shared news article with- you guessed it- click bait titles.

You know, those titles with an outrageous statement that make you think "wait, this can't be true" and then you think "well, one way to find out" and then you click on the link and you read the article and you realize that you've wasted like five minutes of your life reading an article and then you might get distracted by other articles below that have similar titles and content. (Hold up, hold up. I've got a recent example. Not too long ago- this week in fact- iiSuperwomanii posted this video. Completely clickbait title).

At first, I didn't really care about these articles cause most of them were harmless, until news came in about the President of the United States calling a lot of news outlets 'fake news'. I thought he was being pretty paranoid, calling the news 'fake' until I sat down and really thought about it.

In case you haven't heard about it, there's been a pretty awful fiasco on the internet and Youtube about Wall Street Journal taking a bunch of things from Pewdiepie's video's and calling him a 'nazi'. Yeah, that's right. Wall Street Journal, faking news. Creating mountains out of mole holes by taking things out of context and click baiting to get their content more views.

Fake news is disgusting.

I should probably water-mark or add something in the pictures to prove I own them lol

I think what stemmed my outrage was late in 2016. It centered a lot around a fairly shocking incident- when yet another plan crashed in the mountains north of Islamabad, only this time, the plane had a famous passenger- Junaid Jamshed. Obviously, a lot of people started sharing news reports and articles all over the place and my facebook feed was flooded. Absolutely flooded.

A lot of these articles had click bait titles and yes, I clicked on a lot of articles to see what they were talking about. Most were relating the incident itself in a variety of different ways, which is cool, alright, no problem there, until some introduced new things. Like the narration that a few of the passengers had jumped off the plane before it crashed.

Guess who said it. Express Tribune. Man, I thought these were quality news reporting sites. Scroll down to the comments to find a bunch of people debunking the article and calling the details introduced as 'false' with lots of aeronautical logic. Ouch. Isn't that embarrassing? You think that's enough? Nope. I can't believe Express Tribune lets people write rumors and present it as news. Unsubscribed. Will not read any Express Tribune article again.

I feel like there should be standards put on to websites before hand. Are you a news website? Do you do your research properly? Do you retract false news articles and post apologies? Do you do your best to report things in context? I mean, honestly. Looking at some news outlets, it's pretty astounding that stuff like this allowed to happen. I would never approach any of these sites for news now because I know they write a lot of stupid things that shouldn't have been published in the first place.

While we're on the topic of standards (and since I was reading up on the Deep Web. Yes, I was reading on the Deep Web. One person described it as a place where you could do anything you wanted, say whatever you wanted, all of that stuff and me, being a special little snowflake went like "but I already do and say whatever I want?") I thought I'd let you guys know about the kind of standard I want to impose on my own blog. I feel like it's important to announce these kinds of things so people know what to expect from your blog and you can also come back to it later to remember your roots and how you wanted to run your blog in the first place.

Content on the Lunar Descent:

  • I'm not a news blog. I don't post about the news. Please don't come to my blog and expect facts and politically correct statements. That's not my kind of thing. I post mostly my own opinions and views about things that I feel strongly enough to talk about on my blog, or general things really. I'm not really comfortable talking about the news because I'm not very up to date with the news in question- I don't watch tv or read the papers, I only find out about news once it's blown up quite a bit already.
  • I'm not here to talk about social issues that plague everyone like feminism and racism because that's not my thing either. I don't think I can comment on these kinds of issues because (1) they've never blatantly happened to me so I can't single out any particular events I could share my experience and opinions on and (2) a current affairs incident involving these issues that I could comment on comes under "news". 
  • Most of the work here is my own. I use my blog as a portfolio or a collection of all the things I've been thinking and doing. It's my chronicle of my years in med school. Yes, it's got it's ups and downs but overall, more than professional thing, it's a personal blog at the end of the day. There's a reason that I've listed out ways to contact me (my email, my twitter, my instagram) because I realize that my content isn't particularly suited towards an audience, it's just me rambling and talking to myself. 
  • If you want me to clarify something or talk about something in particular or whatever, feel free to comment down below or send a quick email. You guys leave questions and you don't know it, but I save screenshots so I can make an entire post out of answering your questions because I feel like you deserve more than just a comment reply. Honestly, just talk to me. Especially if you disagree with something I say. Make a post about it. I love reading your opinions and engaging in healthy discussions.
  • If I know I can't research a topic properly, I'm not going to post or write about it. End of story. I refuse to talk about something I have no idea about and looking ignorant in the process. I'd rather post things five months late rather than five days later and then realize I'd written so many wrong things.
Now that I've discussed what I think my standards are, here are some bare minimum expectations I have from you. Generally speaking, absolutely in the most general sense, please talk about things you are genuinely interested in. Whether you're a blogger or a facebook friend or someone I follow on twitter- if you're talking about something purely for the views or the click bait or the ad revenue or because you want brands to work with you, just know that I will unfollow. I'm not interested in seeing mainstream advertising corrupting my feed through the people I follow.

If you are a blogger:
  • Please mention in your blog right away what kind of blog you are. I know a lot of people would disagree with this sentiment (about trying to force a blog into a niche) but just mention what kind of content I the reader can expect from you. Whether it's news or articles or tutorials or reviews or personal things or art or crafts, just mention it. That way, I can gauge how serious your content is and whether I have to read your blog critically or if it's a place I can relax and read stuff for fun.
  • If you do write news and articles and stuff, I expect you to be doing your full research and be treating your blog post like it's a project. No messily glued ends, no pieces of tape sticking out, no cardboard falling apart. If you're offering the reader insight into an event or an issue, please highlight the entire thing properly. Present a coherent argument. The moment I feel like I'm reading an amateur middle school newsletter about current affairs, chances are I'll unfollow.
  • It's okay to advertise things. I realize that a lot of bloggers earn stuff through their blogs, but don't let your content revolve purely on brands. If I wanted to stay up to date on all the trending advertisements, I'd turn on the tv and try to watch a show since the ads pop up every ten minutes anyway. I signed up to see you write content, not convert television advertisements into blog posts.
  • Please be mature about things. Just because some people have a different opinion than you doesn't mean they're wrong. Don't get petty in discussions and start branding labels left and right. I obviously can't police you (I mean, you do you, fam, stay fabulous) but I can police what shows up in my feed and I'm not afraid to kick people out.
So that's all I've got to say about that! What do you think about fake news? Do you feel obligated to regulate your own content strongly now that we've found out prestigious news websites post ridiculous things? Have a nice day :)

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11 comments:

  1. It's a coincidence that my GP (General Paper, aka current events + english subject at A Levels) class is currently covering the topic of fake news and your post comes up. I wholeheartedly relate to your frustrations on clickbait titles- if these titles really reflected the content, the title won't be appealing enough to get us to visit their site.

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    1. Oh yes! General Paper. I sat in those classes too but then I realized that I can't exactly juggle that subject along with my science subjects and psychology lol.
      I feel like there should be courses available in schools and colleges (or even the internet) on how to figure out if an article is for real. Or how to search up sources and figure out whether stats listed are true or not. That kind of thing! Cause it seems like fake news is just going to keep on happening with everyone being able to write whatever they want on the internet..
      Thanks for stopping by :)

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  2. Replies
    1. Thanks! I'm glad you like what I wrote :)

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  3. I really like this post - I've seen a lot of people talk about fake news but I rarely see it myself and I really enjoy your style of writing x

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    1. It's good that you haven't come across it- it's really annoying having to cross-check everything.
      Thank you! I try my best to write as I talk in my head :)

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  4. I've been hearing so much about fake news recently! I think it was very good of you, as a blogger, to speak out about it and give your take on the subject!

    Excellent post.
    Well done!!

    Love
    Charlene McElhinney
    @blogabtnothing1
    www.charlenemcelhinney.co.uk

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's important to talk about things like this so people know that it exists. Bloggers especially should make sure that they write with integrity because it honestly matters a lot!
      Thank you for dropping by :)

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  5. I agree! I'd hate to read something like that. I agree that everyone has their own style and does their own thing. If your going to write about a product do it from your point a view and as you say not copying a TV advert. At the end of the day that's why I'm reading your post to get the honest truth about it not a bunch of lies.

    Tasha x

    http://itsatashathing.blogspot.com/

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    Replies
    1. More people need to realize this! It's important to be true to yourself. I guess people forget that sometimes in the race to get views and clicks. Sure, they'll get views, but in exchange for what, losing their individuality? That's a pretty hefty price and it's not going to pay off in the long run!
      Thanks for visiting :)

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  6. The fake news is getting quite ridiculous. I mean, it's easy to make anyone seem terrible when you take things out of content. I also get annoyed with what's on Facebook because people don't do their research and look into things.

    Single Vegas Girl
    http://singlevegasgirl.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete

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