Many critics believe that Facebook users have been influenced by “fake news” on Facebook in their election decisions. Whether you agree with them or with Mark Zuckerberg who adamantly contends this isn’t happening and that fake news is not very prevalent on Facebook, you have likely been a recipient of the trending news list fed by an algorithm. The Scholarly Kitchen brought this interesting and relevant topic to our attention in their article, “What We Can Learn from Fake News.”

Fake news became such an internet issue that Google added a fact-checker function in the Google News results, even if that doesn’t always work.

Fake news is indistinguishable from real news for many people. Real news is competing with fake news and they are not winning. Trust in journalism has taken a major hit.

This helps to explain why scholarly publishers did not choose to give digital content away when journals started going online. Payment for content supports the idea that “that which has value, costs money” and offers an alternative to the “you get what you pay for” attitude that comes with free content.

Melody K. Smith

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