Daniel Halliday
Jul 22 ยท Last update 3 mo. ago.
What can be done about fake news and online hysteria?
In the age of the internet the advent of fake news and online hysteria are often becoming real world problems. What can be done about this?
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Education, people are more susceptible to fake news due to a lack of critical thinking skills
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We need an unbiased independent web-based news media to supersede the obsolete mainstream news media
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Censorship is the only answer, in order to prevent threats to democracy
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Education, people are more susceptible to fake news due to a lack of critical thinking skills

The fact that fake news and online hysteria have become such big issues demonstrates the wide scale failings of education systems in many countries around the world. The lack of critical thinking skills in the general population is such that many people believe what they read regardless of the source. In a 1993 experiment, psychologist Daniel Gilbert found that upon understanding what we read we have the tendency to automatically believe it, until critical thinking helps analyse it afterwards.

As media has evolved in the age of the internet, so too will the education system to accommodate this new medium of learning and communication. With this change legislators need to place critical thinking skills high in the objectives of modern education. Not only to deal with fake news but to facilitate the innovation needed to deal with the many complex problems addressing this modern era. Critical thinking skills and fact corroboration techniques need to be instilled in the general population of every country, it is the only way to beat fake news.

businessinsider.com/why-you-believe-everything-you-read-2011-1

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Daniel Halliday
Aug 28
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DH edited this paragraph
As media has evolved in the age of the internet, so too will the education system to accommodate this new medium of learning and communication. With this change legislators need to place critical thinking skills high in the objectives of modern education. Not only to deal with fake news but to facilitate the innovation needed to deal with the many complex problems addressing this modern era. Critical thinking skills and fact corroboration techniques need to be instilled in the general population of every country, it is the only way to beat fake news.
We need an unbiased independent web-based news media to supersede the obsolete mainstream news media

As we see fake news and online hysteria cause more and more violence in countries such as Nigeria and India, we need to reflect on the reasons for this. Although the causes are multifaceted, the gradual and widespread distrust of the mainstream news media has fuelled interest in fake news, conspiracies and fed into hysteria online. This distrust has become so common place that many people are more inclined to believe this alternative narrative over the traditional journalism.

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Censorship is the only answer, in order to prevent threats to democracy

Fake news and social media bots may have been so effective, we have arguably seen them change the face of democracy. If we look at the involvement of Russian facebook bots around the time of the last US presidency elections and the Brexit campaign, we can see the potential for fake news to generate hysteria and undermine democracy. It will be increasingly important moving forwards for governments to deal with this somehow, and censorship is the only way to tackle this issue.

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