As social media has grown it has influenced multiple things. Not only are social media sites used to share personal photos and information, it is now a source of news. Sites such as Facebook and Twitter have become major news outlets.
This infografic shows the millions of dollars politicians spend on their campaign. While it is still a newer phenomenon for politicians to focus so much on social media, in the past election, President Trump placed a huge emphasis on social media, specifically tweets. While SNL mocked Donald Trump and his twitter, there is some truth to the sketch. He placed a major emphasis on his twitter sharing his thoughts and opinions for the world. It a an extremely powerful tool in which many socialites are exploring.
Growing up with social media in my life, I receive most of my news and information through sites such as Facebook, twitter, and snapchat. Both by following news outlets such CNN or viewing articles that have been shared by friends, I am exposed to new information, which has many positives and negatives. The use of major social media sites allows for direct contact, advertising, viral campagines, tailored messages, major publix opinions, and multiple other things, but it can also come with a price. In the past year, there was a plethora of fake news spread. It is so common, Buzzfeed even made a quiz about it, which sadly I could not pass.
In the article examined in class, the abstract perfectly explains how widespread fake news has become.
“We present new evidence on the role of false stories circulated on social media prior to the 2016 US presidential election. Drawing on audience data, archives of fact-checking websites, and results from a new online survey, we find: (i) social media was an important but not dominant source of news in the run-up to the election, with 14 percent of Americans calling social media their “most important” source of election news; (ii) of the known false news stories that appeared in the three months before the election, those favoring Trump were shared a total of 30 million times on Facebook, while those favoring Clinton were shared eight million times; (iii) the average American saw and remembered 0.92 pro-Trump fake news stories and 0.23 pro-Clinton fake news stories, with just over half of those who recalled seeing fake news stories believing them; (iv) for fake news to have changed the outcome of the election, a single fake article would need to have had the same persuasive effect as 36 television campaign ads.”
Its has become such a ramped problem that Marc Zuckerberg has responded to it. A huge part of Facebook is now the spreading of articles and opinions and if it becomes corrupted with false information, it can cause major issues. This is especially true for my generation where our main news outlet is through these sites so we have a very narrow range of information. Algorithms on Facebook can make it so people can only see opinions that line up with their own, but if Facebook is their main source of information this can cause a huge problem by not giving people the full picture.
Overall, wether we like it or not social media is only continuing to grow and we need to find ways to be filter false information while being exposed to as much as possible. It will be interesting to see what is in store for the new big election.