Hi there! In this blog post I am sharing with you the text of a speech I recently gave in regards to fake news.
This is a topic that I find VERY interesting and very important to talk about.
Here it is:
Speech Title “How I Bought My First House With Only $1,000 Investment”
As the title of my speech suggests, today I will tell you the story of how I bought my first house with just $1,000 out of my pocket.
The story is actually pretty short – it never really happened. I haven’t bought a house with just $1,000 investment. And the title of my speech is totally made up.
Good evening everyone, my name is Dora and I work as a Digital Marketing Specialist. Which means that I spend A LOT of time online – in different forums, blogs, news websites, and social media like Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.
Today, instead of talking BS about how I bought a house with minimum investments, I would like to talk about fake news, misleading information, and how to protect ourselves from them.
Internet is the biggest explosion of data in human history. This information ecosystem is something like a rainforest – wild, dense and highly competitive. And just like in any rainforest – it’s full with predators and poisonous plants.
A recent study says that over 10 billion articles get published each and every day online. And 70% of these articles contain untrue or misleading information, facts and data.
That’s quite shocking, isn’t it?
There could be many reasons for creating deliberately fake and misleading news, social media posts or websites. For example – to influence politics, to discredit a business competitor, to improve the image of a famous person. Of course, one of the most common reasons is generating profits from advertisement.
Raise your hand if you believe you have ever stumbled upon false information online.
And how many of you think it’s possible that they have unknowingly contributed to spreading fake news?
Yes… unfortunately fake information is all around us. And often, without realising it, we help spread it even more.
And this could be dangerous, because sometimes the stakes are pretty high.
Fake news can make people not want to vaccinate their kids. Or to stop them from going to school (taking away from them the opportunity for a better life and any chance in the future) because they are afraid that gay couples from Norway will come and steal their kids. Misleading information in health-related websites can lead to worsening one’s medical condition… and even death. And made up stories about a gender or ethnic group, can lead to even more discrimination.
I am not telling you all these things to make you feel bad, if you ever unknowingly helped spread fake news.
Instead I want to raise your attention to this phenomenon, and give you a couple of advices on how to distinguish fake from real news and information. Here are my advices:
- Find out who is the original source of the information. Even if you are reading an article in New York Times, check who is the author of the article, what reports, analysis, people or businesses have been quoted. Do you find the original source of the information and a second source that can confirm it’s true?
- Read the full thing. Often titles are just click baits. Their only aim is to generate as much likes, shares, impressions and clicks as possible. But eventually, if you take the time to read the full article, you find out that it doesn’t have much in common with the title. An example is the title of my speech today and the actual topic I am talking about.
- Check the date. Make sure to check when was the article published. Because sometimes sharing old information is not relevant to current events.
- Ask yourself – is the article a joke? There are plenty of sites that post satiric and humorous news and articles.
- Keep in mind that if a post in social media has a lot of likes, shares and comments … it doesn’t mean it contains real news or information.
My final advice for you is: The next time you read or spread information with scandalous headlines, scandalous topics, and questionable sources, be careful, be vigilant and approach it with suspicion.
Why is this important? As I told you in the beginning – over 10 billion articles are published daily around the world and 70% of them are “fake”.
Does anyone remember which is the agency that did the survey? Didn’t I tell you? I didn’t tell you because these are completely made up figures. So that is another fake news that many of you may have believed. So I will leave you to think about what else you believed in today…
Thank you for your attention!
P.S. This speech was given in Bulgarian language, which is why the translation may sound a bit funny.