by Cydnee Ford
The first amendment protects a citizens right to freedom of religion, speech, press, petition and assembly. The ones that stand out most is the right to freedom of speech and freedom of press. Without those two liberties, writing news would be pretty illegal.
Laws for libel and slandering are what keep fake news about celebrities and public figures out of media and news sources. The definition of Libel as written in the Merriam-Webster dictionary is: a published false statement that is damaging to a person’s reputation; a written defamation.
Slandering would be a spoken version of Libel. Both slander and libel are seen as civil wrongs and a person can be sued for doing either. If news is being published and someone disagrees with it, that’s one thing, but if someone publishes news that is completely false and defames someone, that’s another thing.
“Fake News” has become a popular thing in the 21st century. Social media has sprung where anyone can say anything and where news reporters report stories of all genres. From which celebrity is having a baby, to the top 10 best places to visit in America. However, the definition of fake news depends on what you really mean by it.
President Trump seems to call anything that he doesn’t agree with “fake news”. Furthermore, fake news is a form of propaganda — information that is completely false that is spread by the news or social media. So technically fake news is real, but isn’t illegal as long as one is following the rules of libel or slandering.
Tuesday, June 16, 2015, was the day Donald Trump announced his candidacy for U.S. presidency. From that day forward, Donald Trump would have his face on every news and social site on a daily basis. Donald Trump, who currently holds position as President of the United States, has felt heedful about the role news sources put forth on his life and journey as president.
With the indictment of Trumps campaign Chair Paul Manafort, Trump claims, whats being reported about his former campaign chair is “fake news” and that Manafort had money in hiding even before he started working on the presidents campaign team. On the other hand, he says, “…few people knew the young, low level volunteer named George, who has already proven to be a liar. Check the DEMS,” as he speaks of George Papadopoulos, the former member of his foreign policy advisory panel.
Leader of Fake News
President Donald Trump has been the leader and face of the Fake News community. Claiming that news sites are spreading fake news, when in all actuality its real news the President just doesn’t agree with the information being put out or just plainly doesn’t want the news out for everyone to know. If news sources put him in an awkward position and made him look bad by spreading lies, he’d have the chance to sue and have the news removed.
For years President Trump has been going after news sources like NBC, ABC, CBS, and CNN for doing what they do on a day-to-day basis, just plainly telling the news. He has always claimed that the news sources are enemies of the American people. However, fake news is only on his mind when the news is about him and it’s negative. Al of these news sources couldn’t possibly be writing Yellow Journalism stories all day — somethings got to be real.
Social Media’s Role
Social media plays a large part in what News picks up on the daily. Every year Facebook users kill off a new celebrity by using hashtags and creating “In Memory of…” pages after reading “fake news”. An unreal news source claimed Will Smith died during surgery after sustaining injuries on the set of Hancock 2. However, news sources are able to use posts, pictures, and videos included from Facebook, Twitter and any other social sites that may have a trending topic that causes a large stir and seems news worthy.
Many posts such as fights on school busses or more recently rumors spread about celebrity couple Gucci Mane and Keshia Ka’oir after their wedding was shown live on VH1. The couple had rumors spread about them on popular social media site Twitter in a matter of hours. The rumors stirred when fans started an uproar about children Ka’oir may have and if those children had been left in Jamaica when she became a U.S. citizen. This was found to not be true.
Stories of dead celebrities who are still alive and missing children who were never really missing is “fake news”, but social media has that ability and affect on people. One person writes something and a million people can add in their two cents before it becomes a big deal, it then reaches a news source to either confirm or contradict the claims made by everyday people. Be advised, if the news does not contain libel or slander, there is absolutely nothing wrong with it.
Presidents have forever been taking backlash from the media and even other celebrities such as when Donald Trump suggested that maybe former President Barack Obama hadn’t been born in the United States and even pushed to see his birth certificate. With the continued push for President Obamas birth certificate to be reviewed, many news sources published articles about the legality of the president in office.
Former President Obama has recently made light of the situation and other “fake news” that were previously put out by joking about his origin of birth.
At his foundations opening day summit in Chicago, the former President joked, “The reason I’m so excited to see you all here today in part is because this is where I started. This isn’t where I was born. I was born in Kenya. That’s a joke!”
In the end, President Trump knows what he signed up for when he announced his candidacy for presidency, and even before that. He’s been a public figure for years and placed himself in the position to be a topic of discussion at every chance a news source or other media site can. All these come with the territory.