Jargon and Misinformation in the NewsEvery year people submit papers to academic journals that are not really saying anything. They do it to prove a point (example). Things aren’t often peer-reviewed and people will often think that something is insightful or profound just because it sounds intelligent or complicated. People like things that sound smart even if they don’t know what it means. There is a certain amount of prestige involved with being published and having others see your work in print. These submissions are made to call attention to the fact that no one is really paying very close attention and that people are not thinking critically about what they are reading. If someone sounds smart they are often thought of as experts regardless of the content of their message. You may have encountered people like this when watching television or listening to politicians.It goes the other way too, often people will believe some of the silliest things imaginable. The whole point of this is to let you know that you just can’t assume something to be true. The rate at which misinformation spreads via social networks is astounding and the truth about those topics rarely is shared with as much enthusiasm. It is actually an effect that people research. People tend to share things that align with their own worldview. This is not always beneficial. Take this example for instance. Were you aware of the dangers of Dihydrogen Monoxide? There are plenty of people online who share this information on social media and are scared by it before they realize that it’s just water.Assignment:It’s time for you to develop some habits and resources for debunking misinformation that you will encounter on a regular basis. Provide your plan for how you will determine if information you see is accurate or not. What websites or resources are available for you to fact-check viral messages you encounter online?Your plan should include:What kinds of strategies you might use to identify any red flags that might indicate something is false. (Do not tell me that you should look for .org or .gov sites. We live in the Age of Misinformation. Those old methods no longer work because there are lies all around us.) Keep in mind that major news corporations don’t necessarily provide truth, but there’s a reason why no one there cares. $$ When it fits the narrative the viewers already believe about the world, then they continue to watch and those eyeballs on the screen translate to advertising money.Resources to look up things spreading around online.Potential strategies for stopping the flow of misinformation.An example of something currently making its way around social media that is not true and why you think it might continue to spread. (Include a link or a screenshot to it).
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