Nicholas Machado, Justin Griffin, James Smith, Mitchell Fielding

How often do you find yourself learning about daily news on social media? People tend to rely on the social media for their current events. Social media is used more for news than it was in the past. Today it has become the main source of news in today’s society, but why do people create and spread fake news on social media? People spread fake news on social media because of online fame and money.

The spreading of fake news can be done for multiple reasons, one could be the need for online fame. Spreading fake news can give online fame because of the uneducated and misguided people sharing the most outrageous articles online. The person behind the screen creating this is trying to gather as many followers, shares, and likes as much as they can. Social media can tend to boost others self esteem through being “popular” online, this is called “reputation self” (Freitas). Creating  fake news will allow the author of the false informed articles to feel like they are being listened too.

Fake news is also used as a form of gaining wealth. People in other countries and also the United States create fake news to make a living for their families. They make their wealth from the amount of shares and Google’s advertisements. Google then will pay them based on the amount of clicks that website will get. This is also called “Clickbait”. In today’s times because of how many people do it on YouTube to get views and revenue on their videos. Facebook has found a way to stop fake news from spreading by offering a small overview on that website before you click on it. Also Mark Zuckerberg has mentioned that him and and other people on the Facebook team are stopping fake news from getting spread on Facebook (Owen) after the Donald Trump Tweet in Texas. The man who created it got over 40 million shares overnight and yet, the story was fake.

Since this article spread like wildfire, it brought many computer cookies alongside it spreading more fake news about the elections. Computer cookies are “small files which are stored on a user’s computer. They are designed to hold a modest amount of data specific to a particular client and website, and can be accessed either by the web server or the client computer”(Cookies). These cookies make it so once you find an article or website that you have clicked on, your Google search will have that website closer to the top of your search. It is a way of keeping you to going back to the same source and giving them more click and ad revenue.

In conclusion, people spread fake news to gain online fame and money. People like attention, and they can gain that from having more followers on social media. When they create or spread fake news stories, they can gain more followers. Also, fake news creators can get more views on their ads, which earns them more revenue. Therefore, at the cost of false information, people can gain the fame and money they strive for and because of these actions fake news and false information is spread across social media to the public’s eyes.

Works Cited

Cookies, WhatAreCookies.com What are. “What Are Cookies?Computer Cookies Explained.”Computer Cookies Explained, www.whatarecookies.com/.

Owen, Laura H. “Even Smart People Are Shockingly Bad at Analyzing Sources Online. This Might Be an Actual Solution.” Nieman Lab, 0 Oct. 2017, www.niemanlab.org/2017/10/even-smart-people-are-shockingly-bad-at-analyzing-sources-online-this-might-be-an-actual-solution/?utm334e3&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm.

Freitas, Donna. “The Chronicle of Higher Education.” Plymouth State University – Connect ‹ Log In, 7 May 2017, www-chronicle-com.libproxy.plymouth.edu/article/Instagrim-Why-Social-Media/239983.

Gottfried, Jeffrey, and Elisa Shearer. “News Use Across Social Media Platforms 2016.” Pew Research Center’s Journalism Project, 26 May 2016, www.journalism.org/2016/05/26/news-use-across-social-media-platforms-2016/.


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Fake News and What to do About It Copyright © by Nicholas Machado, Justin Griffin, James Smith, Mitchell Fielding is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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