So, finally, after Facebook and Google, Apple CEO Tim Cook joins the battle. He straightaway said, “Fake news is killing people’s minds.” According to the technology boss, the technical firms need to create the tools that will stop the spread of any false news.
The company plans to do it without hampering freedom of speech. Tim Cook also asked the government to take down a false story and start information campaigns. Cook said, “We are going through this period right here where unfortunately some of the people that are winning are the people that spend their time trying to get the most clicks, not tell the most truth.”
The US elections paved the way for fake news
The boom of false/fake news emerged out recently during the US elections. During the election campaigns, the supporters of each side were accused of spreading the fake news for political gain. Donald Trump’s campaign saw a major number of false reports. The US president’s team was caught sending aides to insist the huge crowd that attended his inauguration. There is evidence that only a modest crowd was present during the opening.
Fake anti-Trump stories include that he groped the drag queen and TV reporter RuPaul. Hilary Clinton was also scrutinized for regarding the claims that there was “no evidence” of her emails getting hacked. The reason she was scrutinized because FBI director James Coney concluded that they were hacked.
Stanford University and New York University published a report where fake anti-Clinton stories were shared 30 million times on Facebook. The report said, [quotes quotes_style=”bquotes” quotes_pos=”center”]The average American saw and remembered 0.92 pro-Trump fake news stories and 0.23 pro-Clinton fake news stories, with just over half of those who recalled seeing fake news stories believing them.[/quotes] Speaking of the power of fake news, the report also mentioned, [quotes quotes_style=”bquotes” quotes_pos=”center”]For fake news to have changed the outcome of the election, a single false article would need to have had the same persuasive effect as 36 television campaign ads.[/quotes] Tim Cook asked for the action to decrease the reach of fake news.
Why fake news spread so rapidly than real ones?
Facebook was accused last year of allowing spreading of fake news. James Clapper, the former director of National Intelligence, blamed false stories influenced 2016 presidential election. Fake news boom started during and after the US elections, but it is not a new problem.
Craig Silverman has studied media inaccuracy for an extended period. He explained fake news as what we love to hear because it confirms what we think about it. Thus, it makes us feel good. On the other hand, when information contradicts what we believe, then the reaction is not to sit back and consider its possibility. The reaction is to spread more vigorously on what we believe. And this is the reason; fake news spread so much rapidly than real news.
Social media platforms amplify these stories. Apple CEO Tim Cook also says, [quotes quotes_style=”bquotes” quotes_pos=”center”]All of us technology companies need to create some tools that help diminish the volume of fake news. We must try to squeeze this without stepping on freedom of speech and the press, but we must also help the reader.[/quotes]