Your Newsfeed is NOT News! 

By: MB Tan
August 08, 2017
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“A lie can travel halfway around the world, while the truth is putting on its shoes,” quote usually attributed to Mark Twain. Although, many are doubtful if the famous writer really uttered the quote, it’s one reason why this paradox proves its point. 

More often than not, people tend to listen or believe the information that came first before they grasp about what truly existed. So it’s not surprising that most people heard “fake news” before they learn about verified news. 

The speed of which information spreads now has drastically improved through social media and declined through print. Nowadays, we rarely read the newspaper and switched through digital sources instead. 

“In the time of lies, Truthtelling is a revolutionary act,” said by George Owen. Fake news is a major issue not just for journalists but also for anyone who cannot tell the difference between satire, bias, trolls, and facts. 

Truth-telling comes to another form of a challenge with any journalist’s work ethic, especially when the public is fixated with fast but entertaining media. In effect, whether in good faith or not, journalists cite incorrect information, and users become misinformed. 
When the public is misinformed, they become manipulated from the truth and corrupted from their right to be aware of current events. However, the blame is not solely theirs to shoulder, after all, it is our responsibility to determine which are valid or not. 

Most people get information from echo chambers, or those people we are connected with on social media, through our mobile devices. Relying on their opinions as news or their patronage on fake news is worse. Our thirst for quick answers may overpower the desire to be certain [to validity]. 

This bias can be shared by billions of people rapidly around the globe, which causes unwanted facts harder to debunk. Which is why we should not rely on the content of quick information. The first step to knowing real information is to have them verified. 

It is a chore to read the news and dissect information online. This is why I highly encourage you to unsubscribe with the modern thought that everything online is citable, and patronize newspapers instead. 

As much as possible, do not read the caption from a “shared news,” first to avoid forming opinions. Better yet, avoid reading news from Twitter, Facebook, Instagram. Falling back to our grandparents’ traditional hobby will not only distance us from social media distractions but also educate us with reality by involving us. 

Although I’m not completely saying that you must abstain from digital news platforms, hence anticipate announcements from them. Newspaper printing goes through series of the process before coming to finality, hence avoiding misleading information to pervade over. 
Your newsfeed might give the latest viral sensation, but it does not mean 

(First published at The LANCE's July issue)

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