What is Real and What is Fake?

You may have heard of a website called “buzzfeed” lately. I know that my Facebook newsfeed has been plastered with links to this website for the past semester. But can these articles actually be trusted? Are they even original? Who writes this stuff? I noticed a post by one of my classmates about this idea, and I have to agree that people share information without even realizing where it actually comes from.

According to a New York Times article by Ravi Somaiya and Leslie Kaufman, many stories on the web these days are actually either straight up fake or quite embellished. Apparently Twitter has made these stories start to go viral, and then it comes out later that they aren’t actually real. While buzzfeed doesn’t necessarily post stories—it favors eye-catching lists—it does stretch the truth and publish content that it does not own. I think that the concept of stretching stories and publishing misinformed articles does belong in the same category though.

The current state of the Internet has made it easy for people to encourage the spreading of fake information, but it is frustrating to know that you can’t trust much information that you find online. I mean we’ve all heard that, “you can’t trust everything you read on the Internet” cliché, but shouldn’t there be some way to separate fact from fiction on the Internet?

Why isn’t anyone doing anything about this issue? Or are people trying to do something and getting nowhere, especially with websites like Buzzfeed taking over? What can my generation do to stop this crap from spreading and changing the way that people obtain information?

These are questions that I think should be considered now, and in the coming years, before we lose everything credible and meaningful on the Internet.

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