Instructions for Your Blog

Task. Produce a blog in which you take a position that connects locally with a debate about free speech. Your blog should be appropriate for publication on a reputable news source’s blog such as The New York Times, or NPR Ed. Use ethos, logos, and/or pathos appeals in a way that you think will be effective with the local, targeted audience you’re addressing and that will persuade your readers to accept new information or insights, change their beliefs or attitudes about this issue, or prompt them to take some kind of action. To help you construct an effective ethos, you’ll need to find and use at least three relevant, credible outside sources. Conduct your own library research to do so. You’ll also want to format your text to look like your intended publication.We will be deciding on some of this as a class.

Audience and purpose.You will be writing this blog for your fellow students at UT. Remember, too, that there’s a difference between readers or viewers who happen upon your text and the particular audience for whom you target your message. You may get some visits from students at other universities, faculty, or the general public. As noted above, your purpose is to persuade your audience—to change their minds or attitudes, to take some action, or to accept new information or insights (RC 24).

Tips. Keep the following tips in mind as you compose your public argument.

  • Consult Rhetorical Choices chapters 7-11 on composing arguments and chapters 12 and 13 on writing for public audiences. Part of your grade will be based on your effective use of rhetorical strategies to accomplish your persuasive purpose.
  • Be sure to establish some common ground with your targeted readers. This is a more informal assignment than our previous papers, so you can use images, videos, hyperlinks, and humor as you see fit to accomplish your purpose.
  • Keep your rhetorical situation in mind. Who is your intended public audience? Why did you choose them? Is this audience capable of changing the situation that you’re concerned about? What does your audience value/consider important?
  • Keep your rhetorical purpose in mind. What do you want your readers to feel, know, believe, or do as a result of reading [or viewing] your public argument?
  • Keep your own ethos in mind. How credible/knowledgeable do you seem when talking about your sources?
    • Have you selected supporting passages and evidence from your sources that will be persuasive to your intended readers?
    • Have you integrated your sources effectively into your argument (including appropriate use of paraphrasing and quotation)?
    • Are you accurate in your use of MLA format for parenthetical citations and your Works Cited page?

A note about citing sources. You are expected to use parenthetical citations and provide a Works Cited page, even though doing so may not be common in the publication type you are using as a model. Include a copy of the outside sources you found through your own research and used in your paper, place these in a folder with your reflective essay.

Requirements. As you compose your public argument, be sure to meet the following requirements:

  • Rough Draft Due: 11/28/16
  • Final Draft Due: 12/8/16
  • Length: 800-1000 words
  • Formatting: Follow the convention of our blog for font type and size, column set-up, line spacing (basically, don’t change the default).
  • For the reflective essay: Identify your intended audience and rhetorical purpose (e.g., “My goal is to persuade [specific audience] to [choose one: feel/know/believe/or do] X.”) at the end of your argument or on a separate sheet.

Reflective Essay Guidelines. In a 2-page addressed memo to me, please respond to the following questions. (Will be graded with check/check plus, etc., like homework grading.)

  • Who is your target audience, and why did you choose them? What do members of this discourse community value?
  • What was your rhetorical purpose?
  • Describe and evaluate your rationale for how you used the rhetorical strategies you chose: how do you think your ethos, logos, and pathos appeals will affect your selected public audience and help you accomplish your persuasive purpose?
  • Through this project, what did you learn about writing [or composing]? How does this new knowledge about writing [or composing] connect to what you previously knew about writing [or composing]? How did this project add to your understanding of genre and audience?
  • What did you struggle with most in this project?
  • What do you want to remember to apply to future assignments and situations?




Let’s Stop: How Users Can Stop the Spread of Fake News



Presently, the internet has become increasingly cluttered with inaccurate news. During the heat of the 2016 election, fake news, a catch-all term popularized by President Donald Trump that describes false information, took the internet by storm. Fake news fascinated users, and served as online entertainment for them to share with their followers. The captivation of fake news has left everyone deluded. People are becoming so wrapped up in fake news that they forget the existence of real news. Trying to get a user to post real news is like trying to get a stubborn child to eat broccoli or brussels sprouts. Both don’t like to receive things that are good for them. It is time that someone ends this era of fake news.

Fake news caters to users who like drama. Because fake news is filled with biased information and asinine headlines, it reinforces people’s desire for conflict. It does not matter whether the news is accurate or not. They find happiness, where they feel free to express their dire need for drama. This guilty pleasure results in the over sharing of evidently false content. Likewise, fake news contaminates a community for those easily led astray by misinformation. According to Mark Buchanan in his article, “Why fake news spreads like wildfire on Facebook,” fake news stories tend to spread further when aimed towards those who are poorly informed and had a hard time telling if a claim was true or false. Buchanan states, “thanks to the wealth of information available on social media and the advent of targeted advertising, they can go straight for the most susceptible and valuable victims — those most likely to spread the infection.” Moreover, users need to recognize the disruption of fake news, as it is disadvantageous to those looking to find real news on the internet.

Users need to learn how to be able to decipher whether something is credible enough to share to others. Too often, users get their hopes up by thinking that a post is about to provide them with an interesting, truthful story when it is really filled with fallacies. Users of social media need to incorporate verifying credibility into their usage of social media. Wynne Davis from National Public Radio, NPR, suggests that users should adopt “fact checkers” as a duty to fulfill right before sharing any content. Davis describes fact checking as paying attention to the domain and URL, reading the “about us” section, looking at quotes in the story, checking the comments, and reverse image searching (Davis). By abiding by these tactics, users can assist in eliminating the circulation of fake news.

Being conscious on social media sites should have an action behind it. Nicholas Glavin, expert journalist at the New York Times, stated:

This all means that the responsibility falls as much, if not more, on social media users, who must be conscious of or learn to circumvent malign content. The dissemination of fake news and the social media echo chambers reflect the magnetic pull that viral content has on our society. Without the appropriate tools to evaluate information, people risk perpetuating and building isolated beliefs. Just as peer-to-peer social networks online (and in real life) play an integral role in the radicalization process of jihadists, they have a similar impact on how we all formulate our opinions and perceptions of truth.

Glavin theorizes that if users take accountability for their actions and actively combat fake news, users can stop someone from developing opinions that might favor ideas that are detrimental to society. By doing this users could have a positive effect on the function of society.

Image result for fake news no

Credit Raggie Jessy in the article, “Manage portal content responsibly, say no to fake news” from The Third Force.

Fake news is a problem because users do not care what they share. Users share content that they think is interesting, thus not consulting anyone on his/her decision. Spreading fake news is an inadvertently selfish act committed by users on the internet everyday. These users are not usually trying to impress, gain attention, or inform others, but are merely posting things that appeal to their interests or support their opinions. While this is fine and dandy because they are in charge of their accounts, users who post or re-post content for themselves never acknowledge the fact that another person may see the things they may irresponsibly share. Even if there is no ill intent in the posting, users should still invoke caution when sharing content. The circulation of inaccurate news has detrimental effects and can invalidate real news.

Users who are well aware of the consequences of sharing fake news should educate others who are ignorant on the issue. In “The Hidden Danger of Social Media: Fake News,” Elizabeth Osborne asks a very important question. She questions, “students are warned of sexual predators online and the consequences of posting scandalous photos or inappropriate comments. But what have we taught them about being able to discern what’s true and what’s false?”. We do not equip users with skills to combat fake news because there are only a few of us who actually know what tactics to use against it. Although fake news has been around for many decades, the concept is still very new, especially due to the explosion of the internet in recent years. Many are still trying to wrap their heads around the amount of influence it can have on society. Raising awareness and education for the end of fake news should assist in promotion of valid news and valid sources.

Fake news has developed into a concerning problem for Americans. They find the constant sharing of fake news a perpetual problem in society. Because of this, users need to recognize that they have a role in its circulation and must take some type of accountability for the ramifications. Due to users’ relentless propagation of fake news, a major problem has been created. The only solution is to change ourselves to save the internet from the total domination of fake news.


The Real Cause of Fake Coaching News


The Real Cause of Fake Coaching News on Social Media

When it comes to the head coaching job here at the University of Tennessee anyone with social media will know that there are so many fake news stories and rumors just flooding Twitter and Facebook feeds. For UT students interested in keeping up to speed with all of the news it could almost be impossible. It is hard to distinguish the real news from the fake news. This poses the question of who or what is responsible and can it be stopped? The mystery of this situation can be solved quickly, it is the people’s fault, it is just human nature.


Scooby Doo clan going to solve a mystery

When students see that a big name coach is “rumored” to be coming to Tennessee in a matter of seconds thousands of people are sharing it. In an article written by Roy Greenslade, he says “the real problem with new media is the speed with which falsehoods are spread the difficulty of providing countervailing information”. This means that the more students retweet and share news that may believe is true, the more students who see it and then share it themselves. The number of people sharing the news just keeps multiplying and multiplying. Maybe if people started making sure the news was somewhat real before sharing the speed of how fast the news was being spread would go down significantly. Greenslade also claims that people fail to correct fake news and give social media users the real news they want and need. UT students have experienced this first hand, they will find out a head coaching rumor to not be true but NO ONE is able to give them any other forrect information. In result students are left to try to find any more news that could be correct and give them some answers. It is simple, the students sharing the fake news rapidly and the people who are not providing students with real answers are a main component of the head coach fake news problem.


Students trying to find real news


Not only is the rapid spread of fake news the problem the other problem is students ignoring the real news because the “fake news” is more interesting or they like the news better. For example, a UT student will more than likely share a tweet or post the rumours a well-known head coach is coming to Tennessee as opposed to a real post about a potential coach who is not as well-known or desired. Erin Brodwin explains this in her article “There’s a fascinating new explanation for why fake news goes viral.” Brodwin states “…the study suggests that most people only focus on real news for a short amount of time, so adding fake news to the mix leads to more competition for our attention.” This proves that students are probably going to share the news if it is more desired or more interesting which makes these news companies produce fake news for it to be shared. Again, the people behind these news companies are at fault for posting false information knowing that students will find it interesting and believe it and in turn share it. It is just human nature.

Speaking of human nature this is one of the biggest causes of fake news spread. People will lie on social media about coaching and human nature is just to believe it. In an article written by Janna Anderson and Lee Rainie they mention that fake news is the cause of human nature. Since human nature can never be changed the problem with fake news will still be the same. No matter how much information students are aware of they will always gravitate to the news that is not real. Human nature is responsible for people wanting the news they share to be interesting and desirable and news sites know that. The people on the news sites will give the students what they want, a rumor of a famous coach coming to Tennessee. Even though the news companies know the news is not real they will still continue to publish it and of course the students will believe it.

In conclusion, fake news is spread because of humans and human nature. Whether people share the fake news knowingly or not it is still being shared for thousands to see and share for themselves. It is human nature as well that is the fault of fake coaching news being spread on social media. Humans naturally like to share news that they like and desire, whether it be real or not is a different story. As UT students try not to just look at news that is interesting or desirable, instead look for well trusted, well written news as the best hope for finding information that is needed. No matter what there will always be people trying to share news that is not real just for entertainment or because they believe it. Students just need to be more aware of they are reading and believing and just hope for a great coach eventually.

Works Cited

Anderson, Janna & Rainie, Lee. “Theme 1: The Information Environment Will Not Improve. The Problem is Human Nature” Pew Research Center, Oct. 19,2017,http://www.pewinter


Bodwin, Erin. “There’s a Fascinating New Explanation for why Fake News Goes Viral” Business Insider, Jun. 26, 2016, study-2017-6

Greenslade, Roy. “Here’s the truth:’fake news’ is not social media’s fault,” The Guardian , Nov. 26, 2016, truth-fake-news-is-not-social-medias-fault


Fake News or Great Business

News is a great thing. People all over the world read, watch, and listen to it every day. Making the news industry a very profitable business. News outlets always try to be the first to have the “Breaking News.” Breaking news could launch a person’s career or cease another. With that in mind, breaking news is very important. If your company is the first to “break it” you could have a great pay day.
Networks like CNN and Fox News have different slogans that get the point across that they are more accurate and evened. CNN’s slogan is “Most Trusted Name in News,” and Fox News’ slogan is “Fair and Balanced.” These two networks are in constant battle to find and report the most interesting story the fastest. “Fastest” being a key to success, to get that “Breaking News” headline can cause them to stretch the truth or give their expert opinion without making it clear it is their opinion.
Clay Travis writes “Donald Trump says the media is reporting “fake news,” it isn’t so much that as it’s this – the media is reporting the news that will make them the most money” (Travis). Proving my point that news networks will break news fast to make the most money as often as possible. This is a problem. Most University of Tennessee students get their news for social media and then do their own investigating for there. Example being the Greg Schiano debacle. Stories wear leaked to people which were then Twitted about, and students as well as fans responded with discontent. These networks lust for money so bad that they do not care who they must step on to get to the top. “The goal of CBS, NBC, ABC, and the USA Today wasn’t to segment the audience, it was to entertain everyone” (Travis).
With the goal to entertain everyone or to get the biggest audience possible, which in turns makes you the most money means news will get changed to please everyone. Facebook has had a problem recently with this called “clickbait” (Snider). Clickbait is a term used when post “leave out or exaggerate details to get you to click on them” (Snider). This clickbait is a great feature for people in the news industry to appeal to all different types of people to gain the largest audience possible.
This plays into the hand of the fake news writers that make money by these obscene stories. Why would anyone choose to make money in a dishonest way? “If they are successful in stopping fake-news sites from profiting, the effect would be devastating for his revenue” (Ohlheiser). I guess the sad thing is that anyone with a computer with access to the internet can begin to do this at any time. Getting to the root of the problem: How do you stop these viral stories from making money?
That is the million-dollar question. The more traffic or visits that a fake news sites get the more money is made. They normally make a few cents of each person that visit the site. Knowing this means all users of any social media should be on the look at constantly to be part of the solution instead of part of the problem. Which goes back to Clay Travis point of appealing to the widest range possible of audience. The more people that you can influence, and cause traffic to your site means more money in your pocket.
People respond in different ways to different stories. Some users are new to the internet and think everything on there here is as true as the sky is blue. It is the public responsibility to find their favorite trusted news sources. If you do not like one there is another out there that will satisfy your need for news. With the split views everyone has in this day in age these news sources begin to take stances as left or right wing. Which means your most precious news is biased. How can news be biased you ask? Certain news networks will make certain people in the headlines out as monsters to benefit their stance. “If you’re aware that your audience is left wing, you’re going to serve up left wing news” (Travis). This is same for right wing news. People love to listen to people that believe the same way they do. That is why you see this trend moving towards news fabricated for certain people. This is important in the world of fake news since headlines can be fashioned to draw in different type people with different beliefs. Where then focused advertisements can be seen related to the user.
Bottom line is that fake news is a booming business right now. They thrive on the fact social media networks are relatively lacking in well built algorithms to stop their spread. Until these algorithms are built fake news writers will continue to write and make money on fake stories.

Works Cited
Ohlheiser, Abby. “This is how Facebook’s fake-news writers make money.” The Washington Post, Nov. 18, 2016,
Snider, Mike. “Facebook takes new crack at stomping out clickbait.” USA Today, May 18, 2017,
Travis, Clay. “All That and a Bag of Mail: First Amendment Under Siege.” Outkick the Coverage, Nov. 3, 2017,

Fake News and Its Corruption of Politics

DonaldIn this modern generation a growing amount of news received by Americans comes from the internet. The convenience, large audience, and unlimited freedom provided by the internet is ideal for spreading political ideas to millions of users in a matter of seconds. Currently, the biggest issue involving internet use and political ideas is that a vast majority of reported news is manipulated or all together untruthful. Both during and following the election of president Donald Trump in 2016, fake news seemed to spike to an all time high. It has gotten to the point where outraged Americans protested as they no longer knew if they could trust their own government to report the current political agendas and policies in all truthfulness. Going forward, Americans should take an analytical approach to all documents they read. This includes fact checking and using diverse sources in order to make an educated opinion backed by evidence on a political leader.Fake News

50% of Americans receive news through television in 2017, however this is down from 57% in early 2016. 43% of news is received by the internet, which is in increase from 38% in early 2016(Gottfried). Basically, the TV and internet are primary sources of news for all Americans. The internet, however, is rapidly growing and is predicted to soon overcome TV as the top source in news. This rapid growth does not come without its growing pains. The internet is a vast frontier of technology that has yet to be strictly regulated by the government. Many criminals have found ways to hack online systems to recover valuable personal information, scam online shoppers, and develop fake news stories. All internet users are at risk of these fraudulent acts, and perhaps the fastest growing of the three is fake new. The reason for the quick growth of fake new is limited barriers and censoring for published content on the internet. Although many Americans may laugh at ridiculous stories about celebrities, or the newest memes of Donald Trump, many fail to realize the damaging impacts of these falsely reported stories. Each year, a larger and larger portion of internet users are coming across more fake news, however, American voters using the internet are perhaps being the most mislead of all internet users. This doesn’t just include people voting for the president, but also people voting for local candidates within their states, cities, and districts. Misleading these voters is motivated by multiple reasons from politicians such as increased notoriety, increased funding, and the passing of bills and laws that may beneficial to small portion of the wealthy population or interest groups that may not be in the best interest of the entire population. The growth of the internet is making manipulation easier and easier for those who take advantage of it, but is becoming more and more detrimental to those unaware of it.

Money CartoonMisleading voters, whether on the local or national level, can be harmful to citizens and their environments physically, psychologically, and financially. For example, I previously mentioned how politicians may mislead voters in hopes of increased funding. This can be vague and confusing to some readers, but is a simple process to understand. In order to orchestrate large campaigns, politicians must finance their operation somehow. “Increasingly, candidates are aligned with super PACs and other outside groups that assist the campaigns but can’t coordinate directly with candidates” (Ballhaus). A PAC is a Political Action Campaign that typically donates millions of dollars to candidates. Since large corporations or wealthy individuals can’t directly contribute more than $2,700 per election, they funnel their money through a pack so that they can legally donate large amounts of money to candidates. Although it is typically done under the table, these wealthy groups influence candidates and their election goals. For instance, a wealthy real estate developer may really support a bill that requires less pollution or safety regulation, which is cheaper for an upcoming project they may have in mind. In order to achieve this, they will heavily fund a candidate to push this bill. In order to receive a large influx money for their campaign, this candidate may push this bill even if they support improvements in the local environment. By publishing fake articles online discussing their plan of action for environmental sustainability, but misinforming voters of the bill to be passed, candidates receive their funding while still growing campaign followers. This also ties into the increased notoriety and benefits to the wealthy population that is mentioned in the previous paragraph. While this puts money in the pockets of funders and politicians, it is damaging the general population.

Politicians will do anything to earn a vote because a larger audience of supporters means a higher chance of winning elections, which yields more funding. However, being mislead and fed information that we want to hear is both physically and psychologically damaging. In order to be psychologically healthy, we must continue “exposing our assumptions and challenging them, not filtering, enabling and embellishing them”(Maltman). Basically, being “exposed to ideas and opinions that we like, really isn’t good”(Maltman). It limits our learning capabilities by eliminating the use of critical thinking, meaning that internet users will only believe what they want to because they are not forced to think about or learn other opinions. Even more threatening than this is the possibility of extremists taking action on false publications. During the 2016 presidential election, a man armed with an AR-15 assault rifle fired multiple rounds in a pizzeria and bar called Comet Ping Pong. He soon after surrendered to police. The incident, which was popularly called “pizzagate,” was motivated by a false conspiracy theory claiming presidential nominee Hillary Clinton allegedly operated a child trafficking ring out of the local pizzeria. Situations such as this are very dangerous to society, as fake news not only causes psychological damage, but also physically endangers citizens.

As the internet grows rapidly as a source of news for Americans, fake news is becoming a serious and widespread issue. Many politicians and organizations are now manipulating users for their personal gain, making our own government hard to trust. Now, internet users and society as a whole are feeling the effects of fake news. Shootings such as pizzagate put American lives at risk, and internet surfers are physiologically damaged as their critical thinking skills deteriorate and their ideas become more limited or radical. Throughout this growing confusion, Americans must learn and move forward. Spreading awareness of fake news is a step in the right direction, however it is down to the user themselves to develop and protect their opinions. By constantly using critical thinking, analyzing all articles and their publishers, and using multiple sources, internet users can form opinions of political leaders and their agendas backed by evidence and facts.

Work Cited
Gottfried, Jeffrey. “Americans online news use is closing in on TV news use.” Pew Research Center, September 7, 2017,
Ballhaus, Rebecca. “The Money Behind The Candidates.” Wall Street Journal, October 28, 2015,
Akpan, Nsikan. “The very real consequences of fake news and why your brain can’t ignore them.” PBS, December 5, 2016
Maltman, Andrea. “How Fake News Affects You.” Huffington Post, December 7, 2016

The Wide World of Fake News

By: Tony Wall

Many people have realized over the last few years that fake news can appear and be involved in a variety of news sources. The fake news that may not get a lot of attention is in the sports media world. There are stories reported every day by every sports network that lack in the truth. Whether it is a breaking report of a football player being traded, a basketball team signing a top player, or a college football star committing a crime who didn’t, these are all examples of fake news in the sports world.

Fake news in sports has a different impact to the sports world than fake news in any other place. Sports fans are far more passionate about their team than most people are about other situations in life. There is an outrageous amount of fake news evolving around sports, and that news really has an effect on whoever reads it. Although fake news has a different impact, the way they present the fake news is the same. They still are written to deceive, extend a story, or  just because they want to believe that what they think is correct (Curtis).

Fake News In Football

Football has one of the worst fake news problems because of their use of media to spread news. Football more than any other sport has an extended time period of fake news. Since the professional football season is only 4 out of 12 months a year, there are 8 months for people to make speculations about offseason free agent signings, trades, coaching hires, and more . The part of the offseason that draws the most fake news is the NFL draft. Fake news appears heavily here because people on social media can make assumptions about teams because they do not choose anyone until the night of the draft (Duffy). From the end of the college football season, through the draft combine, and up until draft night people evaluate team needs and try to predict what teams will do on draft night. Not only draft day news but all of the fake news about professional football impacts the NFL fan base because it brings passionate people to false conclusions. Luckily for the NFL, ESPN and other major sports networks will validate news that is real so fans that are not on social media won’t be as impacted by this fake news, but it is a huge problem for casual fans because many get their news online or on twitter.

Fake News In Basketball


Basketball nowadays is a fake news ocean. The worst part for basketball is that fake news is extremely high during the second half of the basketball season. During the season, social media users talk about trade talks, team chemistry, and relationships between coaches and players. When the trade deadline is approaching, everyone covering basketball has different opinions on where players may land. Although medias like sports center can be reliable about different moves that teams make, they also like to make conclusions based on something small. A camera can catch a shot of a player making a face of disbelief or disappointment towards another player and they will ask them in a press conference or talk about it on tv. This hurts us as a fan of basketball because we want to know the truth about how new teams treat each other and act towards each other. As a whole the fake news in basketball impacts the overall reputation of the sport, but it does in fact give the community something to discuss about it whether real or not.

Fake News in College Sports


College sports is the topic behind a large amount of fake news throughout the year. The main fake news is about different coaching options for teams, where top ranked recruits may go, and legal activity with college athletes. The biggest topic that brought plenty of fake news around our campus was our recent coaching search. The fake news first started before our prior coach, Butch Jones was fired. From about week two when many think he should have been let go people were posting fake news about firing him and about different things that he was doing within the football program. When he was finally fired later in the year, news about Tennessee’s new coach were coming from every direction. There were many saying the front runners for the job were Jon Gruden, Tee Martin, and Lane Kiffin. After Tennessee students rejected coach Greg Schiano, a new athletic director had to be hired. Former coach Phillip Fulmer was hired and many praised the new AD. After many thoughts and speculations he hired coach Jeremy Pruitt. Other cases of impactful fake news comes when players are accused of sexual assault or rape. By me saying this I am not giving players a pass to do these things, but many times a headlining story will come out about someone sexually assaulting or raping a woman when that is not the case. Too many times the player is found not guilty and their draft stock for the NFL or just their reputation will take a major hit. Fake news like this isn’t good for the athlete but it also makes the sports world have a negative thought about these players. The fake news as a whole is a major problem in college sports because it shows up so often. On twitter there are too many posts about different situations and us fans don’t know who all we can trust online.

Overall, there is just too much fake news in the world of sports. No matter the time of year, there is some type of news about sports on your twitter timeline. The problem is that too many people don’t know how to separate fake and real news. There are so many people with different predictions and opinions that many can’t tell if what they read is something they can believe. On the contrary, all this fake news makes for good discussion between sports fans and for sports shows on tv. Even though fake news is everywhere in the realm of sports, it is the only thing that can keep talk of each sport throughout the year.  

Works Cited

Carlson, Chris. “NCAA Has Acknowledged It Punishes Innocent Athletes, so Why Does It Continue to Do so?”, 24 Feb. 2015,

Curtis, Bryan. “Sports Has a Fake News Problem.” The Ringer, The Ringer, 2 Oct. 2017,

Duffy, Ty. “Ranking the Major Sports According to the ‘Fake News’ They Produce.” Awful Announcing, 15 Aug. 2017,


Is Fake News Even the Issue?

Most people have heard about fake news somewhere in today’s culture. However, is it as bad as the world is making it seem? Is society going to just blame today’s issues on the spread of false information articles? That is exactly what happened with the 2016 election. Yes misinformation was spread, but that is not the first time it has happened. Elections are always filled with lies about each other, so why is it such an issue now? I will argue that it is not as big of a deal as the world is making it out to be because people should know how to discern false information from reality using common sense and alternative sources. It is an acceptable part of life that people need to understand has been here for as long as news has and will continue to be.

Fake news isn’t really the issue here, it is merely a normal thing that is expected from human culture because we crave excitement and drama. So fake news gives us exactly what we desire in human nature. According to Will Oremus, a senior writer for Slate, “people tend to read, like, and share stories that appeal to their emotions and play to their existing beliefs.” This is true and this is the reason that fake news articles get any reading at all because people that see them are more likely to read that over a real news article. It has more interesting stories and details because it is not real. People will always enjoy an interesting story. That is not a problem with society that is a simple fact of life.

Fake news final

Most people believe that a large number of people are seeing and believing fake news causing a grand disconnect between these people. When a direct comparison of fake news sites and credible news sites was constructed by the Columbia Journalism review, it was found that the “fake news audience is tiny compared to the real news audience–about 10 times smaller on average” (Nelson). A far less amount of people are using the fake news websites than real ones and that doesn’t show the number of people who use fake news sites as entertainment sources. In this same study it was discovered that “the fake news audience does not exist in a filter bubble. Visitors to fake news sites visited real news sites just as often as visitors to real news sites visited other real news sites” (Nelson). This would mean they see the real news sources and could either be using fake news as a source of entertainment or they could be trying to find the real news and determine what to believe. People need to understand that fake news isn’t as big of an issue as everyone makes it out to be.

Fake news can sound and look real. This is why so many people believe that it is truly an issue. As Sheila Eldred tells us in Science News for Students, “a 7-year-old recently found a picture of President Donald Trump on the internet.” When she saw the picture she described Trump as stupid because he was writing a speech with his pen upside down. Yes fake news can cause issues like this case here, but for a child it can be harder to discern the truth from the false information. As long as people are able to use their common sense and understand basic facts while using the internet there should be no real harm from fake news. The issue that many people see with fake news is that it causes misunderstanding between reality and the false stories that are shown online. This shouldn’t be the case if people using the internet have a moderate understanding that not everything is true and they shouldn’t believe everything on the internet to be 100% fact.

The only reason people have looked at fake news more recently as compared to the past 20 years is because of the lack of credibility in normal media. Binkowski says, “the public has lost faith in the media broadly — therefore no media outlet is considered credible any longer”(Vazquez). Society as a whole is having a hard time finding reliable news sources. The availability of fake news on social media makes finding the real news sources harder. However, there are still many different avenues in which it is easy to find genuine news. Almost all major news outlets have their own websites or applications to be downloaded free of charge on your smartphone. With all of this information so readily available it should not be difficult for us to search out news if we so choose.

People have become frustrated with the amount of fake news and its effects on the 2016 election. There was a lot of false information being spread about both candidates and it is true that more was shared that was pro-Trump, anti-Clinton. However, this use of misinformation has been for centuries. For example in 1475 Trent Italy, a false story of Jews murdering and drinking the blood of a two and a half year old boy was published (Soll). Another story  involves presidential elections back with John Adams and Thomas Jefferson as their supporters spread libel about each other in order to gain popularity or lower the popularity of their opponent. Fake news may be a more common term today and may even be more prevalent due to the ease of publishing material online, but it is not a new term. Societies and civilizations have had it for as long as time and society is still here. It is hard to fathom that our society has become so simple minded to believe everything we see or read. I have faith that we as a society can determine what is fake news and what is not.

Fake news isn’t the huge problem everyone makes it out to be. People have always had it around in their daily lives and have survived with it. Studies have been done to show how many people use fake news websites and how they also see credible news sources as well. History shows that fake news has always been around and that people still do what they please despite it. News is easily accessible if we simply look in the right places. We must try to not be so focused on what we want to hear and keep an open mind so that we aren’t blinded by the ease of accepting false information. I’m not saying fake news is good, but I am trying to explain that it is not some new-found demon of a problem that today’s society makes it out to be. It is a normal issue that will not be going away anytime soon and it is okay because it shouldn’t cause any massive damage as long as we can be a smart, informed society.

fake news final baby



Works Cited

Eldred, Sheila. “Fake news: How not to fall for it.” Science News for Students, 21 Sep.


Nelson, Jacob. “Is ‘Fake News’ a Fake Problem?” Columbia Journalism Review, 31 Jan.     



Oremus, Will. “The Real Problem Behind the Fake News.” Slate, 15 Nov. 2016,



Soll, Jacob. “The Long and Brutal History of Fake News.” Politico Magazine, 18 Dec. 2016,



Vazquez, Laurie. “Fake News Isn’t the Problem. The Media’s Credibility Is.” Big Think,



We Only Have a Couple More Days to Save the Internet



Current FCC chairman, Ajit Pai

You! Yes you, reading this on your personal computer or cellular device. Quick question, how are you able to read this right now? Through the internet, right? Did you know that our freedom to use and post what we want on the internet is in danger? That’s right, the current Federal Communications Commission chairman, Ajit Pai is planning to repeal Net Neutrality. Net Neutrality basically preserves our right to communicate freely online with whatever sites we want (Save the Internet). If the FCC vote to repeal this, the internet as we know it will cease to exist. Without Net Neutrality the internet will never be the same again, but there is something we can all do to stop this from happening.

Before we do anything, it is important to know why Net Neutrality is a necessity. Net Neutrality lets us use the internet how we want to use it without our cable or phone companies restricting us. describes it by saying “[Net Neutrality] means that ISPs should provide us with open networks and should not block or discriminate against any applications or content that ride over those networks,” (Save the Internet). For example, we can have Verizon as our phone company, but we are not forced to use Yahoo as our search engine. If Net Neutrality is repealed Verizon can force you to use their search engine as well as slow down the loading speeds of other websites that they do not like. And since they’re restricting your access to websites, it will limit more sources of information. In terms of fake news, they can force you to only read news sources they think are trustworthy. “Companies like AT&T, Comcast and Verizon would be able to decide who is heard and who isn’t. They’d be able to block websites or content they don’t like or applications that compete with their own offerings,” (Save the Internet). In harsh terms, these companies will basically make us their virtual slaves.

Another thing is we can hop from search engines, to social media, to gaming networks whenever we feel like it. A photo by Representative Ro Khanna has went viral on the internet showing what Portugal’s internet looks like without Net Neutrality. This is operated by the Portuguese telecommunications company, MEO (Hitlzik).

If the FCC get their way they can charge us for these apps in “packages.” This means we would have to pay a timely subscription just to use websites or services we have been using every day. “The potential for abuse is obvious: The system gives ISPs the ability to set terms for any service’s inclusion in one of these special tiers,” (Hitlzik). You can see that if we lose Net Neutrality, we are forced to live and pay for the restrictions our cable and phone companies decide to put on us to one-up their competitors.

Now, how can we stop it? By flooding Congress with our telephone calls, emails, and letters. We must tell them that we support Title II Net Neutrality and that we urge them to stop Pai’s plan. Congress are the only people powerful enough to stop this now and if we continue to cry out and make our voices heard they will not be able to ignore us. Some of our favorite websites and companies (Netflix, Twitter, Reddit, Discord, etc.) have joined the fight to save Net Neutrality as well (Battle for the Net). You can join in the fight, too. Please visit this link:

On this site you can get an even more in-depth look at Net Neutrality and how important it is to protect. You can send Congress letters and tweet at members who either support Net Neutrality, are against it, or are undecided. Not only that, but you can call Congress themselves and tell them you support Net Neutrality. This website will even provide you with a script of what to say in case you are not great with words.

Nothing good will come out of Net Neutrality getting repealed. The only people this will benefit are the FCC and the money hungry companies that support them. It will limit our freedom of speech and prevent small businesses from being successful. It will even be harder for minorities to have their voices heard in our society (Save the Internet). The FCC votes on Thursday, December 14th. By the time this blog is posted, we will only have a couple more days to save the internet. We will be pushed around by our cable and phone companies and become less connected with the world if the FCC vote “yes.” Please help save the internet. This is important to everyone living in our generation. If Net Neutrality is repealed, it will spread to other countries. America will just be the start of something catastrophic. Please visit and do what you can to help stop this. If we lose Net Neutrality, the internet will become a corrupted place, and the glorious worldwide web we know now will never return.


Works Cited
“Join the Battle for Net Neutrality.”,
“Net Neutrality: What You Need to Know Now.” Free Press,
Hiltzik, Michael. “Portugal’s Internet Shows Us a World Without Net Neutrality, and It’s Ugly.” Los Angeles Times, 27 Nov. 2017.