News media has undergone a rapid evolution in the past few years. Social media allows anyone who has a laptop, tablet, or smart phone to disseminate the news. Although social media creates an opportunity to increase global awareness, it also makes it easy to spread misinformation, confirmation bias and satire posing as real news.
Confirmation bias is a term that describes a tendency to seek out information that confirms preconceived opinions. We are more likely to click on a headline and share it if we already agree with its premise, even if the source is inaccurate or unreliable. Sometime, the source is not even a real news source at all.
There are several websites that take advantage of confirmation bias. Their authors imitate the format of real news articles and create false headlines promising sensational stories. One story tells a far-fetched tale of a politicians blunders. Another headline promotes a story about a scandal involving a controversial celebrity. These stories are intended as satire fiction that exaggerates real issues for the purpose of social commentary.
Because these fake news stories are disguised as real news stories, however, people often read and share them as fact. A reader who disagrees with the politician in the first example might share the story as evidence of her opinion, if another reader dislikes the celerity in the second example, he is likely to accept the headline as true.
It is important to question the news reports we encounter in social media. Checking multiple news sources can confirm or refute the satirical stories. Also, researching multiple perspectives on current events can allow our opinions to grow and change. As smart phone become smarter we need to be just as smart about the news we share.
The author provides two examples of how people might share satirical news stories because of confirmation bias.What kind of evidence is the author using to support the argument?
Which of the following pieces of evidence challenges the author’s claims?
A recent poll shows that social media users are likely to share a headline without reading the article
An online quiz demonstrates that social media users are better informed about current events than people who don’t use social media
A research study discovers that most news outlets now have their own social media accounts.
An informal survey determines that readers are likely to believe information found on a satirical website
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