Misinformation in Media. The Negative Effects of Social Media Essay Example

  • Category: Media, Social Issues,
  • Words: 1917 Pages: 7
  • Published: 21 August 2020
  • Copied: 110

Misinformation in the media has created many problems in everyday life and has influenced people to follow things that seem true when in fact they aren’t. Fabricated stories and blatant lies have become more prevalent in today’s biased media. One way we can see the impact of misinformation is through research of the political crisis and inflation in Venezuela. One source used to observe misinformation and bias was “What caused hyperinflation in Venezuela: a rare blend of public ineptitude and private enterprise.” This source was about the presidential crisis that led to the hyperinflation in Venezuela, which is still hurting the economy today. 

People had to become crafty in ways to make and keep their money so their families can survive. Another source was “Venezuela: All You Need to Know about the Crisis in Nine Charts.” This source showed the impacts of the crisis on the people of Venezuela through graphs. The 9 different charts along with graphs show Venezuela's current economy compared to other nations such as China and America. Some of these comparisons include oil production, food, and, how much a Bolivar is worth compared to the United States Dollar. The last source was “Venezuela's Economic Crisis Keeps Getting Worse.” 

This article discusses how Venezuela has been struggling through its economic process throughout the years. It also explains how much Venezuela has been suffering to feed its people in recent years. In today’s society Credibility is necessary and most media outlets don't work to further the truth as they should. Media now is used to further the writer’s agenda more than it is to inform the people of the news they need to know and it has become such a problem that the reader has to come to conclusions that a source is reliable which should be the cases, it is up to the authors to stop spreading misinformation because all false information starts with the writer.

The Article A Analysis 

In the article A, it elaborates on how the lack of a proper president in Venezuela caused economic problems which the government felt they could fix by making more money. They printed more money, which led to hyperinflation in the country and overall turmoil in their country. Based on the quote “That might seem silly, but it can keep the economy moving while it gets over a hump caused by a short-term price shock.” It shows that the intended audience is the average person that happens to be concerned with the topic. 

They start their sentence off with this may seem silly which creates shows they know the person that is reading it knows what is to come and how that would hurt their economy as harsh as it did. Accordingly, this article’s credibility is formed by the facts and it provides an attempt at providing a solution to the problem. Visuals through the article make it clear how unacceptable the problem in Venezuela actually is. Although they provide facts and strong visuals, there is still bias in the article. When talking about the presidential crisis the author states “About 3 million Venezuelans – a tenth of the population – have fled the country. This is the largest human displacement in Latin American history, driven by shortages of everything, including food as well as the Maduro regime oppressive treatment of dissent.” 

This shows bias because saying the Maduro regime is oppressive is taking a side against Maduro and swaying the article in another direction. Nevertheless, this article makes up for its light bias by using rhetoric and emotional appeal to the audience to further the idea that Venezuelans need help. The article says “By August 2018 the Venezuelan currency was worth so little that it was more prudent to use cash for toilet paper rather than buy toilet paper.” 

This quote is used for emotional appeal because it is shocking and everyone reading realizes how scary and demeaning it must be for the people living in that country. Due to the nature of the article, this fact has a positive effect on society because the reader is shown how intense the actual situation is and they learn how much impact the government has on its people. Reading this article makes the reader think about the crisis and opens to their eyes to potential ways to help but still has a bias and leaves the responsibility of the author to form the decisions of the reader and leaves them responsible for the misinformation they output into the world through their article. 

The Article B Analysis 

Source B or “Venezuela: All You Need to Know about the Crisis in Nine Charts.” talks about nine graphs that they created to show the severity of the Venezuelan crisis. Once again, the intended audience is anyone who will take their time to read and want to further understand the topic but along with student due to the use of graphs. A quote used to come to this conclusion was “Of those questioned for the country's annual living conditions survey (Encovi 2017), eight out of 10 said they were eating less because they did not have enough food at home.” 

This appeals to people who can help or fix this issue, by focusing on the people that can't even afford food the article is intended for the people that can and the people who are able to help in any way they can. This source's credibility is shaky from the beginning when they make bold claims and even says “President Maduro blames "imperialists" - the likes of the US and Europe - for waging "economic war" against Venezuela and imposing sanctions on many members of his government.” 

This shows that this source isn’t credible because the author uses graphics that are misleading at times and graphics that seem to amplify the issue larger than it already is. Along with the credibility of the article lacking there is a heavy amount of bias. Furthermore, the article was talking about how oil played a role in hyperinflation when they said this “On 29 January, the US imposed sanctions on Venezuela's state-owned oil firm PDVSA, saying proceeds of the purchase of Venezuelan oil would now be withheld from Mr. Maduro's government.” This quote and the article as a whole makes a very US-centered view on the problems Venezuela and creates a very “me first” feeling on an issue that isn’t extremely prevalent in the US. 

The source is able to make a strong connection to the reader by bringing up that malaria has spiked in Venezuela following the crisis. Consequently, the article does an outstanding job of making the reader feel sorrow for the people of Venezuela, but simultaneously the reader is left unsure because the source came off as untrustworthy at the beginning. The rhetoric seems useless when the article seems untrustworthy and the call for your emotional attention falls short due to this. Overall, this article is an article that can be blamed for the distribution of misinformation because the author is using graphics that can easily be misinterpreted which are very dangerous in the perpetuation of misinformation. 

The Article C Analysis

Source C or “Venezuela's Economic Crisis Keeps Getting Worse.” used an economic expert in the area to talk further about the damage in the area caused by the presidential mishap. This article is more scholarly compared to the others and one way to see that is through this quote, “The hunger and desperation that afflicts people draw the attention away from regime change and toward survival.” In spite of the quote not providing much, it shows how the article has taken a step further to form its own opinions on the facts as an alternative to just stating them flat out. 

This article uses a speaker on the topic to further improve the knowledge of the reader when talking about the effects of hyperinflation the speaker said, “The calamity facing Venezuela is one of the unprecedented proportions with reverberations far beyond its borders. Hyperinflation has set in, with this year’s inflation rate projected to hit 13,000 percent. Malaria has resurfaced years after its eradication. The homicide rate is the world’s second highest, but even that does not fully measure how dangerous daily life has become, and people are hungry and without medicine.” 

This quote shows that the speaker knows what they are talking about and is able to provide actual facts through research that they had conducted. In turn, providing to the credibility of the author and is something that should reassure the reader when they question the legitimacy of the article. With a speaker on the topic, there is bound to be bias and opinion in the article and this shows through when the speaker says, “inflation is rapidly spiraling towards crisis levels and everyday economic activity continues to be severely encumbered by a nonsensical system of currency controls.” This quote shows how the speaker feels about the control of currency and is a slip in the overall trustworthiness of the article. 

This article repeatedly uses emotional appeal to make the audience understand the issues in Venezuela. Ordinarily, the author talks about how immigration is another major problem because it breaks up families and destroys people's lives, the one example of this is when the author said, “Officially, there are over 600,000 displaced Venezuelans in Colombia alone, with the actual number likely much higher, and the rate at which people are leaving the country is not slowing down. 

In Brazil, President Michel Temer declared a state of emergency last month as a response to the massive number of Venezuelans migrating into the country.” This makes the reader understand how inferior the situation is by using the displacement of families and the rising amount of immigrants. Consequently, it shows how even Venezuelans need to flee their country because of the crisis. This information would have a positive effect on society because it spreads the knowledge that Venezuela is not the only one being hurt by their economy, but its hurting neighboring countries by involving them in their crisis. This article achieves its goal of letting the audience know how unfavorable the conditions in Venezuela actually are, it does a wonderful job of using the emotions of the audience to create images of people suffering all because of the poor leadership in the country. 

The author is also able to achieve this from the ethos that comes with the expert, having an expert makes it extremely easy to follow and be comfortable with trusting the opinions or facts coming from this article. This article does its best to inform the audience and overall leaves the spread of misinformation on the author, if there was to be any false information in this article it would pass by and factual very easily because the author builds up so much trust from the reader. 

The Comparative Analysis of All Sources 

Different sources provide the same idea, the author is responsible for the spread of misinformation. Source A made the reader question more than anything and left the reader to do more research in order to achieve full knowledge of the situation in Venezuela because the author wasn’t able to create enough trust in the audience. Source B showed that graphic out of context or even with background, may be misleading and how it is easy to manipulate a graph to make something look better or worse than it actually is. 

This article shows how an author can use your emotions to make you believe something that may be false. Source C showed an outside view and showed how research and experiments play into the situation. It showed how those really affect the reader’s outlook on the situation because the authors view on a topic.

The perpetuation of misinformation is mainly caused by the authors that create it, in lieu of trying to further your agenda you should sit down and dedicate time to creating an article that contains research and facts that may help other better form opinions on a situation such as this one. The author, in the end, is responsible, but as a society, we can do our best to view news and media that is safe to consume without having to nitpick everything we read. We should also never let our filters down as consumers of information because it only takes one poor idea to create a new opinion that may not be beneficial to society but more beneficial to the person who formed that idea.

 

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