The one thing that most people can agree on in the weeks following the recent election is that there was a substantial increase in unnecessary fake news stories. Many people are angry and frustrated that it seemed as though they could not find unbiased and fair sources. Many of these fake, deceitful stories come from Macedonian teens who are trying to make a little extra money. These hoaxes normally have “click-bait” titles that grab your attention and make you want to read to find out more.
These stories go viral because of the catchy titles and controversial content. For example, the “Hillary Clinton Will Be Indicted in 2017 for Crimes Related to E-mail Scandal” article grabs the attention of Trump supporters who need another reason to hate Clinton, and it also grabs the attention of Clinton supports who may read the article because they are concerned. The creators were smart; they know that this election created bipolar division amongst America. They knew that they could grab our attention and evoke strong emotions from readers.
The role and prevalence of social media has changed drastically since the last Presidential election and we just simply were not prepared for this increase in both real and fake stories. We were far too trusting. However, I think going forward we can and will be more aware and cautious when reading articles.