MSJ Students Speak: Fake News

Compiled by Journalism 1 Staff Writers

The Smoke Signal collected students’ voices regarding how social media affected the 2016 election to complement the in-print opinion article about fake news.

Should social media sites filter fake news? Why or why not?

“Social media sites should not filter fake news. Some may say it is okay, but dictating which news should be published is a direct violation of the First Amendment. It is the responsibility of the reader to understand which news is true and which is not, either by only getting their news from accurate sources or fact checking them with other sites. So, banning fake news is not the issue itself, but it opens up a chance for the government to control what the press says.” — Sanjay Rangavajjhala, 9

“I feel like if you do try to filter it on the news it will just get out even more, if social media tries to filter it people will get angry at them. You know how, like Americans are all about freedom of speech, right? So if they’re filtering it it’ll just be something that America does not represent.” — Maggie Yu, 10

“From a technological point of view, it’s really hard to remove the fake news without limiting a lot of other things. I think they should be more active in verifying sources and showing like a ‘Oh, this source is verified’ notification, so people know that when a source is verified and when it is not. Of course, ideally we should get rid of the fake news, but it’s hard to do that, so maybe a more middle solution would work.” Sanil Chawla, 11

“They should filter fake news because it’s basically fraud. They are feeding people with the wrong information and people my age who don’t know better would have seen the headlines and could have made the wrong decision when voting.” — Neha Malhotra, 12

Do you think fake news influenced the election? Why or why not?

I think [fake news] did [influence the election] because when people read the news — especially fake news — they tend to gain certain opinions about candidates, which could influence who they vote for. I think [social media sites] should [filter fake news] because the election is definitely super important to a lot of people, especially if you’re someone who is considering voting in it, and it influences the country’s economy. People’s reactions can also be very important; there have been lots of protests and things like that, all over the country, against Trump or Clinton, so it’s super important that they filter out fake news to prevent people from becoming angry and causing problems.” — Kriti Iyer, 9

Not really, I think that most people had seen all the propaganda on TV, so I think it was the debates really, and like all the slander about each of the candidates. I don’t think that most people actually believed in the fake news.” — Sonya Verma, 10

I think it did, because I saw on Facebook and social media [that] a lot of the articles said lies about Trump’s actual policies. Another thing was that there was a lot of policies that Obama said that were incredibly similar to Trump, but people and a lot of news articles, etc. phrased what Trump said to make it to be more about his character and personality than the actual issue and that caught negative attention.” — Sonia Tasser, 11

“Definitely. In fact, I was actually reading an article a couple weeks ago, breaking down how fake news blew up as the election got closer and closer. I think misinformed voters and people who click on anything probably saw this fake news and were influenced. I do think [fake news] was one of those things for people to get ‘clicks,’ and they create these news articles that they know people will click on as clickbait. I definitely think it influenced the election, but I don’t think that’s why the election results were what they were. [However], [it] might have minorly affected it it. — Shiv Salwan, 12

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