By Kelly McCool, Trending Writer
In recent times, there have been an influx of cases where individuals are accessing news articles from inaccurate sources. This not only has a large effect on American society, but also causes international issues involving individuals from all around the world. Due to these inaccurate websites, which are usually found through social media like Facebook and Twitter, one thing that has become prominent is articles providing misinformation about the recent presidential election—especially in the case of President Donald Trump. A lot of those sources are not even coming from American citizens, but rather individuals living in other countries. When these articles are released to the public, they are accessible from anywhere in the world so all demographics have the ability to read the fake information. With this on the rise, foreigners are developing opinions based on fictional information and are in turn wrongfully judging whatever subject the article is about.
To bring in more specific international cases, Germany is currently having an epidemic of false articles revolving around Angela Merkel, the Chancellor of Germany. According to some articles, it has been “proven” that Merkel is a direct descendent of Hitler. Since most people receive their news from the internet, this information was quickly spread around the country and a large portion of German citizens believed this information. This caused people to change their opinion of Merkel and begin to disregard her as a politician in fear that Germany would return to the way it was pre-World War II. It was later announced by the German government that Merkel has absolutely no relation to Hitler and that the fear was unnecessary.
In France, social media helped to spread false accusations about the French presidential candidate Alain Juppe who holds the political views of a center-right candidate. These articles state that Juppe is linked to the Muslim Brotherhood—an organization which aims to restore strict Islamic rules and regulations in society—and that his name was actually “Ali Juppe”. These allegations started in 2014, but they have rapidly increased and have been brought further into the light recently through social media, especially through Facebook. Many French citizens were quick to believe this information and created a negative opinion about Juppe. The articles that spread these rumors were proven false after it was revealed that Juppe’s rival candidates made up the information to run a “disgusting campaign” against him.
All in all, it is important to make sure that one is gaining knowledge from reputable sources. While some articles found through social media sites can be made to look realistic, almost none of them are from a true source for information. It is best to not form opinions on something before checking that it is accurate.
A version of this article appeared in the Tuesday, February 21st print edition.
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