Research paper proposal –
For my research paper, I would like to propose the topic of writing about issues of accuracy in the media. Within this paper I will explore fake news and why it is that so many people fall for fake news and share false content. While there’s not a straightforward answer to this question, there are factors such as the bandwagon effect and confirmation bias.
The bandwagon effect is a growing phenomenon where people tend to believe things because many other people believe the same thing. I see this everyday on social media where one parent will share something that happened whether it be true or not, and all other parents will begin to comment and share it. As more parents share the same “fake” story the bandwagon effect emerges, and it starts a filthy cycle.
People use their own judgement and beliefs to weigh out whether information is credible or not. This is known as confirmation bias and while it may be unintentional, it becomes problematic because we begin to ignore information that challenges our thoughts. In the media we are overwhelmed with news and information, but it is important that we always take both sides into consideration rather than basing it off our own biases.
The line between what’s real and what’s not has been blurred in the media from fake news. With all these factors in mind how do we avoid falling for fake news?
Sources to use in research paper –
This website talks about why people are drawn to spreading fake news and this is something that I want to research specifically in my paper. Researches have shared hypothesis in which they found that fake news is more appealing to share, and therefore that fake stories reach a larger audience and spread much faster on Twitter than real stories by verified people.
I found this website interesting because it brings up many points about fake news being shared on social media. Whether it be posts from real people or a bot, people are more likely to share information that is closer to their beliefs. People feel inclined to read and focus on what they are used to, and in doing so they ignore any new possibilities (this is known as confirmation bias).
“Why retweet that post before you know whether it’s actually true?”
“It took the truth about six times as long as falsehood to reach 1,500 people.”
Additional possible sources –
– Rachel Stasolla