Posted by: samanthastrain19 | October 9, 2017

False Information on News Engagement Day

NBC’s Facebook feed featured an article about the tech industry rushing to remove fake news in the days following the Las Vegas shooting — Google, Facebook, and Twitter all faced such challenges. The four people I chose to share with were a coworker, my mother-in-law, my son, and a friend.

The platform for both my coworker and my son was face-to-face, for my mother-in-law it was over the phone, and for my friend it was by texting. These were the most convenient ways of communicating with each individual and our typical platform for sharing information.

For both my coworker and my friend I told the story in a summary of facts type of way; there were no changes needed from the way that NBC presented the story. To make it relevant for my mother-in-law I changed the story to be told from a more sympathetic viewpoint, mostly stating things in relation to how sad it is that people will purposefully share false information following public tragedies for personal gain. To make it relevant to my son I framed the story as a bad guy versus good guy scenario and changed words like fake news and trolls to concepts he understood, like lies and people setting traps.

I think the best platform for all four people would be face-to-face. This would likely lead to an interesting group discussion, although my son may be the only exception. I believe that taking the same perspective as I did with my mother-in-law would be the mot effective way to get all four people to engage.

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