Summary of "Fake News Fooling Millions!" and Proof of it's Reliability

by Mattevan on January 31, 2017 - 10:26am

Article: “Fake News Fooling Millions!” by Carl Stoffers, The New York Times: Upfront, January 9th 2017, http://upfront.scholastic.com/issues/01_09_17/fake-news-fools-millions/

The article “Fake News Fooling Millions!” talks about the copious amount of people believing in the non-legitimate news stories that are going viral on the internet. The author of the article states that the sites that are posting false news “are eroding the public’s ability to distinguish between fact and fiction.”. According to a Stanford University study, 80 percent of middle school students believed in a fake advertisement disguised as news. Another shocking truth about people’s gullibility is the documentation of 28,000 people sharing a fake news article on Facebook that they read on the website FreeThoughtProject.com about U.S. Marines heading to Europe to battle Russia. Carl Stoffers, the author of “Fake News Fooling Millions!”, mentions that the aspect of anonymity on the internet is a large contributing factor to the copious amounts of fake news being spread on the internet. He gives an example of a 17-year-old, in Macedonia, who invented stories about the U.S. election, on the website called DailyNewsPolitics.com. The teenager disclosed that he “… started the site for an easy way to make money” while speaking to a BuzzFeed.com interviewer.

This article is credible because it was written by an associate editor, Carl Stoffers, at The New York Times journal. He has worked at numerous journalist occupations including: The Marshall Project, Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, Newsweek, Vice & Garden State Journal. The author also graduated from the Graduate School of Journalism at Columbia University.

Comments

I would like to begin with saying that the title of the article is what drew me in to your post. However, when I began to read it, I noticed that your main points are centered around quotes from the article. A tip for creating more of a flow to your sentences would be connecting each point you made to following points to be talked about. This technique allows for easier writing and allows the reader to process your ideas smoothly. I would suggest, when writing a summary of an article to actually summarize the topics with less quotations from the author. In addition, rephrase your sentences, explain/ summarize the article in a form that a reader may understand, review the proper way to make a quotation and to explain why the quotations function to the main idea of the article. Furthermore, when you are going to mention that the editor/author Carl Stoffers is a reliable source, maybe do a background check on his past to further explain why he might be seen as a reliable source. Not all journalists writing for The New York Times are seen as reliable sources, with this being said, doing more research on the author would help back-up your point of view as seeing him as a reliable source.

For some reason, I liked how you included numbers in your article to put more emphasis on the big issue that is the propaganda of fake news, it gives more impact to what you say. I also liked how you provided the background of the journalist who wrote the original article. I recently wrote a summary of a different article concerning fake news, it is about how Facebook is implementing a new feature to reduce the number of fake news that you can check out if you want: http://newsactivist.com/en/news-summary/contemporary-issuesnewsactivist-...

As you probably know, the main drawback of your article is that it lacks information, for instance, when you introduce the subject of the article claiming about ''U.S. Marines heading to Europe to fight Russia'', I feel like I want to know more about the subject. Here is a link to a similar article from the Washington Post which is filled with information that can be useful. I believe that it is also more reliable than the original article.

I would like to start by saying that the fact that you introduced some statistics into your article adds strength to it. Indeed, the fact that you are able to support what the author is saying by showing some reliable numbers is good! I also think that it really shows the importance of the issue you are mentioning.

A thing that I would change is the title of your news summary. I think that you could of invented a title of your own,and it probably would have been more personal if you did. Yes, I would of been more intrigued before reading your piece if you did so.

Another thing, is that you used a lot of quotations considering the length of your text. And, you seem to have based your summary on those. I think you would of made it more personal, again, if you added your own opinion and based the article more on that. Or, if you feel the need to use them, maybe you should talk more about the context and the reason why these quotes are important and representative of the issue for you.

Lastly, here is a link to another article on the same subject, it is called 'With the power of online transparency, together we can beat fake news', by Jimmy Whales, and it was published in the journal The Guardian. I think it would be interesting to look at it because it explains how, as an individual, you can make a difference and act against the diffusion of 'Fake News'. It would add something interesting to what you are saying, because it would present a way to stop what you are denunciating.

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/feb/03/online-transparenc...

About the author

Matthew Lindy. 6'3" 21 year old Jewish male currently studying Commerce at Centennial College.