By Brian Murray

Fake news is a realm of misinformation and lies that have been around for a very long time. People have discovered the chance to deceit and profit on others unknowing and gullibleness. As we all know President Trump has made the concept of fake news rather famous calling out reporters and news providers for committing such faults. It has become clear that fake news has real-world consequences as it is so easily believed and spread by ordinary people just trying to help contribute to their communities. Unfortunately, this is reality.

Currently, the world has been experiencing an epidemic that is a breeding ground for this so-called fake news. COVID-19 or more commonly known as the Coronavirus has rapidly plagued the world spreading to an extreme level. This extreme level has brought about devastation and panic which directly produces uncertainty as people don’t know what to do. Misinformation has quickly engulfed the internet and is spreading through the voices of the mislead just as fast. Social media has become one of the largest platforms of communication and as we all practice social distancing, social media is being utilized more than ever. This is dangerous as people constantly will be scrolling across thousands of false comments and posts regarding the coronavirus. People tend to quickly read these articles as they scroll through their social media and unknowingly disregard the idea that what they just read might be wrong. Then they go on to share that article with friends and family in hopes to spread some helpful and potentially important knowledge. Turns out what they just did was spread fake news and its as easy as that.

It is important to discern false information especially when it comes to something as serious as the coronavirus. Social media is a great platform, but it is the wrong platform to get information regarding any health issues. It is important to utilize established news sources as they are the safest platforms to get correct information. Currently, news sites such as the New York Times are offering free access to coronavirus related news. To further discern fake versus real information you should check for telltale signs. Fake news tends to be emotionally charged and geared to promoting fear and anxiety. News such as this should be double-checked with any established source.

Fake news takes advantage of people especially when these negative emotions are produced as people search for answers to cure any uncertainty. A common cure for uncertainty is blame as it gives a reason, but this again creates fake news. Today we see this in the form of conspiracy theories as they give people reason for how this all started. It is important to not fall into this trap and stay properly informed. The coronavirus is an important issue as it is drastically affecting the lives of millions across the globe. This is an issue that needs to be taken seriously and correctly spoken about. The spread of fake news can be devastating and can lead to further spread of this dangerous virus. If the proper initiative is taken, we can put a halt to the spread of fake news and fight this virus together.