(STREAM) Almost all of us have been a victim of accidentally spreading fake news at one time. A trusted friend emails you a link to an article that is red meat for the conservative base; it sounds legitimate, and the name of the site even sounds official. You forward the article and post it on Facebook and Twitter — and then the backlash is embarrassing. Multiple people point out you’re wrong, and you feel like an idiot. But how were you to know, especially in this information overload, social media era? It has become normal to quickly skim articles and headlines. And why would you suspect your most trusted, intelligent friends would be sending you false news?
It used to be The Onion was the only satire news site. And the site makes it very clear its news is satire. But within the last year, multiple sites (there is a list compiled here) have sprung up that do not make it clear they are satire, if at all. They brazenly post fake news that isn’t even funny, like The Onion, but sounds like legitimate news.