Several ‘warm’ because northern have heating. And the winter

Several years ago, there was a very interesting and hot argument in Chinese internet forum: What difference do you think is between northern part and southern part of China?  This topic may sound funny today because we are living in the information era, which means our environment consists of abundant information. Everybody can receive different the newest information immediately, even the news is from another side of the earth, and we really believe that the internet can help us connect the whole world. But, to everybody’s surprise, this hot topic revealed that most of the people who even live in the same country, also have a huge misunderstanding for other provinces of the country, such as the winter lifestyle. For southern people, they thought the northern people always suffered severe coldness, and they had to wear over ten clothes at home to make sure they wouldn’t be cold to death. For northern people, they thought that the winter in the south was as warm as in spring, everybody wore only a clothe was enough. But the fact is, the winter in the north was pretty ‘warm’ because northern have heating. And the winter in the south is pretty cold because of no heating, which causes many northern people cannot stand the coldness in the south and they have to go back to the north to winter. And What the funniest is almost all the people who are from different provinces believe that the people living the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region use horses as their daily vehicle. In such case, it is very hard to believe we are living in an information era. But actually, it also shows how incomplete news or fake information can influence peoples. What people believe is all relying on what information they can collect. Does weather forecast or some news which was about how cold it was in north cheat us? No, they didn’t, they just offered some incomplete information which easily caused misunderstandings between people. We are living in a highly-developed information era, which is very easy to make us believe that what we can read or hear is absolutely true because we really believe that the development of technology has already broken the enclosure between areas. And many people also believe that the speed of news transmits very fast today so it is impossible for news to be made up. But the reality is that our over-highly confidence and superiority for modern technology makes us more easily be cheated by fake news, especially some online platforms like Facebook and Twitter make the fake news more easily be created.

In today’s information explosion, collecting and receiving information is what everybody inevitably has to do today. The main method for everybody to collect information is through social media. But with the development of the internet, the transmitting of information becomes faster and faster, especially some online platforms like Facebook and Twitter which have countless users are active. If a fake news is released on such platforms, there is no doubt that many people will be deceived and even may cause some terrible outcomes. Therefore, there is a very important problem that how we reduce or stop fake news. In my opinion, government or the social media themselves can be the very good solution to this problem, so the question is which one is the best way to stop fake news?

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Before we try to analyze which method is the best way to solve this problem, we have to know the reason why fake news exists. According to the description of research guide, there are several reasons for someone to create fake news: The first is someone needs those fake news to get his benefits; second, satirists who want to either make a point or entertain us, or both; third, some journalists have no enough experience to follow professional journalistic standards or ethics; forth, some people want to influence political faiths and policymaker. We can know that the most of fake news are for some specific goals,  especially for personal benefits. And the fake news can let them get attention to expand their influence or profits.

There is no doubt that many people are aware that how serious it is when news can all be twisted, so some social media such as Facebook promised to take some action to crack down on fake news. Facebook decided to find an organization as a fact-checker to filter the fake news, but there was another problem was created. According to the report from Katrina Trinko, it said that Facebook’s fact-checks had an obvious liberal bias which causes the news misleading. In Trinko’s description, a news posted on Facebook said that at Art Pulse night club in Orlando, there is a Democrat, Omar Mateen, murdered 49 people and injured many people. However, this Democrat was defined as undetermined because nobody could make sure his U.S. political affiliation when he killed those victims. According to the explanation of third-party organization’s Kim LaCapria, she said that being a member of any particular political party involves expressing an ongoing allegiance to that party and its principles: one could be pegged as a Democrat (or a Republican, or a member of any other party) if he ran for office as a member of that party, exclusively campaigned or raised money for that party and its candidates, or consistently voted for that party’s candidates. But there’s no evidence that Mateen materially supported any particular political party, nor do they know how he voted (or whether he ever voted at all). All they know is that ten years ago he registered as a Democrat, and voter registration is an imperfect indicator that governs nothing more than which party’s primary a citizen is eligible to vote in.

In this case, it is hard to understand that why a person cannot be defined as a Democrat when he actually registered as Democrat ten years ago. Mateen’s belief obviously can be determined by his behaviors and his desires, but this third-party organization simply used their own standard to judge Mateen’s identify, and then they denied Mateen’s belief and identify by their so-called clear statement. This is absolutely one of the methods which used to distort a news. The fact-checkers simply follow their own standard to write and modify a news to create a brand-new news which corresponds to their wills to cover partial fact. It is very horrible to image that one day all the news which we can read online or newspaper have already been modified by somebody and all of us have no idea but just happily live in this fake world. The core of news is truth. A news is not a story for people to kill time like novels, the responsibility of news is to help people to speak out their thoughts and reflect what kind problems exist in this world and society.

The government, as the most reliable ‘organization’ in a country, should be the first one to protect its people from being cheated by fake news. In China, there is a social media called Weibo. It is the most popular social media for Chinese people to share their daily life, there are many news media use Weibo as the online news publication platform for them. However, with Weibo’s users becomes increasing, there are some organizations or news media would like to distort the headline and make up some fake news to attract attention from users so that they can get benefits. Most of them would like to use some news which are very close to daily life to make people pay attention to them, such as spreading some fake news like what kind of food has been added up some chemical additives by profiteers to make people be scared. Because the food issue in China has been a big problem since many news about how merchants added chemical additives to food to make profits were exposure, the news about food is very easy to attract peoples’ attention and make them worried. And also, because it is very easy to write short news on Weibo, sometimes some news media will employ some editors or journalists, who have no too much experience, to manage their accounts and post news for them. In order to be the first one to post the news online to grab peoples’ attention, those editors or journalist won’t check the news strictly but just post online directly, which is very easy to create fake news and cause social panic. In order to crack down on fake news, Chinese government enacted lots of laws, such as spreading fake news may face up to 7 years in prison, and except that, the Chinese government set up Net alarms, or watchdogs to scour the Internet for calls to violence, fake news and pornography (AFP). For some people, the censorship for social media in China is pretty strict, but from the other hand, it is the most helpful way to prevent fake news. In 2015, the Middle respiratory syndrome was spread into China, a lot of fake news about how many people were dead and which area had been infected were transmitted by a lot of different social media, especially on Weibo. Many people were frightened at that time until the government refutes each rumor again and again. We have to admit that most social media are private companies which aims is to get attention from people to increase their users so that they can make profits, especially for some Liberty Media. Only the government has the right and mind to prevent social panic.

We are living in a great era. Everybody who is living on this earth can be connected by internet. However, our information is still limited because all the information we can collect is still never the first-hand, in other words, fake news can never be prevented. The difference between modern time and ancient time is the development of technology make us get news faster. In my opinion, the regulation of government is more helpful than social media themselves because the angle and standpoint for them to consider about the fake news are totally different. For social media, they will consider about whether the fake news will influence the user experience. However, what government will consider about is whether the fake news will influence the security of society.

 

 

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