What is Fake News Syndrome?
Fake News Syndrome (FNS) is when a person believes in fake news and shares fake news articles on social media. National security and other political specialists attempted to contain FNS, but they failed and FSN continues to spread throughout the country.
Who Can Get Fake News Syndrome?
FSN can affect everyone. Mostly, the general public contracts FSN. These are the people who care little and have only a breadth of knowledge on national security and foreign policy. Their lack of understanding of the nuances in national security leads them to be very susceptible to FSN. If political specialists are not careful and do not double-check their biases and sources, they too can be prone to FSN.
If you have one or more of these symptoms, please contact your nearest national security or foreign policy expert for help,
· Sharing fake news articles on Twitter and Facebook: If you posted articles from addresses that end in “lo” like .newlo or ones that seem legitimate but end in .comco, these websites are fake.
· Googling and reading fake news article: Google searches also turn up fake news with the above type of endings.
· Believing in fake news/Using them in Argument on Social Media: You have believed in fake Google searches and social media articles, such as PEOS won the popular vote, the 9/11 attacks were “controlled demolition” or Congress Voted for World War Three, were true.
Long-term Effects of Fake News Syndrome
Luckily, FSN has minimal affect on foreign policy and America’s national security. Since the general public cares little about politics and does not make the actual policies, their beliefs have little impact on the national security of the United States. However, when political elites, who form public opinion and policy, break from the norm and begin to criticize such national security polices in the past like the Vietnam War or today’s immigrant and Syrian Civil War policies, the general public may agree and support these elites. For example, some believe that social media had a slight impact on Donald Trump winning the presidency due to fake news articles claiming the Pope endorsed Trump and an FBI agent investigating Hillary’s emails was found. Lastly, the pizza shop shooting where a man shot a round into the ground because he believed a fake news story claiming the Democrats were sponsoring an underground child sex ring, proves the security of American citizens can be put in danger due to news articles.
How to Prevent Fake News Syndrome
· Double-Check Your Sources: Make sure your sources are from a legitimate news agency and not a fake source before sharing. One professor has created a Google dox about fake news sources. Go check it out here.
· Your Facebook News Feed is Not A Legitimate Source of News: Understand that Facebook’s algorithm is set up to show you articles you want to see. A Democrat’s Facebook page looks vastly different than a Republican’s. If you want to see just how different, click here.
· Embrace purpling: Make sure the sources are correct and even understand that this is only one side of the story. Branch out and look at the opposite point of view and garner facts from that side before you make your decision on a topic.
· Support Fact-Checkers: Utilize online fact checkers like factcheck.org and encourage social media giants and Google to create their own fact checkers to weed out fake news on their sites.
· Understand Your Own Confirmation Bias: Acknowledge that everyone has his or her own biases, including yourself, and remind yourself that just because you want something to be true does not always make it true, especially when it comes to news.