No More ‘Fake News’: Why Information Shared Online Should Be Fact-Checked

Sacha+Baron+Cohen%27s+speech+at+an+Anti-Defamation+League+summit+warned+against+the+dangers+of+unregulated+social+media+platforms.

Knile Kerrin

Sacha Baron Cohen’s speech at an Anti-Defamation League summit warned against the dangers of unregulated social media platforms.

As Borat said, “freedom of speech is not freedom of reach.” Given personal beliefs and morals,
it is important to put forth your stance and outtake, but the most important part is making it real
and honest.
Sometimes people’s opinions can be taken out of context, making it difficult to understand their
point of view. Although everyone has their freedom to speak out, no one should be abusing it by
falsely putting forth information or misinterpreting a concept which leads to additional false
claims.
By no means should anyone be permitted to put forth false and unnecessarily “ignorant”
information on social media and news sites. If we’re giving people the space to express
themselves, which everyone has the right to, it is important that we research and educate
ourselves so all are capable of putting forth valid information.
Sometimes not even all websites and newspapers are 100% correct, so it is important to fact
check them with the means of making sure the message they’re putting forth to the public is
correct as well.
For instance — Trump’s social media previously was suspended after putting forth false hopes
and info to the public. The information he put out was regarding the presidential election in
which he stated that there was a “ballot scandal” and he will surpass Biden with votes in the
election later presenting that he’ll become the president again.

Many may argue that not allowing people to freely put forth any information possible is
forbidding them from their first amendment rights—this stance can become debatable just
because when you’re speaking freely doesn’t mean your words are truthful.
Speaking and writing openly false statements about another person or business causes harm
toward a prior reputation one is attempting to put forth. This is also known as a crime called
defamation, which you can get sentenced to imprisonment, or sued.
Media outlets have the ability to reach such a wide audience, people all over the world, and that
is an incredible power; however, with power comes responsibility. Since social media outlets
allow users to share information with the world, it is the media company’s responsibility to fact
check the information that is being shared.
Now, with social media being so easily accessible to everyone, right at their fingertips, it is
important that the information being shared on the internet is factually accurate. So the question
presents itself: what are the dangers of misinformation?
One way misinformation in the media is dangerous is when it comes to someone’s reputation.
False information on the internet about an individual can tarnish their reputation, whether it’s a
politician, a celebrity, or just any average person. The turmoil the individual will face to try to
bring the truth into the spotlight, and redefine their reputation can be taxing and can, in some
cases result in legal action. If information on the internet were to be fact-checked before it is
shared with the public, the individual would avoid all of these repercussions.
Informed opinions are the best opinions, but what happens when people base their opinions on
lies and misinformation provided by the media? Publishing inaccurate information about any
given topic or individual can have catastrophic results.

By giving users a platform to share information, it is the responsibility of the media to
fact-check that information. In the interest of the user, the media ensuring the information seen
online is factual and accurate is the only way that information should be spread. With media
having such a wide reach, where information can travel all over the world in a matter of seconds,
it is important to ensure that the information in question is accurate and factual, and is in no way
misleading or deceptive.