Based on my last peer review, I’ve made some changes, and am in the works of making more. My reviewer expressed some issues with navigation so I decided to add a Contact page to the menu, I partly did this as I wanted it to be very clear where to find my contact information. I […]

Response to Grace’s review

Grace’s in her review gave me constructive advice on changing the colour tone and typeface on my page. I appreciate her attention to the of the colour tone in my header image and suggested me to use the colours in the image as the palette. As a result, I changed the main colour of the main text as reddish brown and the the colour for secondary text as green. I like the combination of these two colours.

Taking Grace’s advice, I have added the ‘Categories’ and ‘Archieves’to my other pages now. Grace’s suggested ‘classic’ as the theme of my blog. I think it is a good idea and I will definitely think through it. Changing the typeface and the font sizes are what issues that I would work on now.

Thank you for her constructive advice and please check out her amazing blog.:)


Traditional and Social Media

The speech given by David Beers pointed out the shift in the publishing industry. How the social media affect the operation of the print media.
Decades ago was the era of print media, the production of news is the job of the professional journalists who have to own the power to set the political agenda. Now, the power of voice is scattered to individuals.

I won’t disagree with the fact that “the internet blew up the newspaper” in a way that the audience is drawn to online content instead of buying a physical newspaper. Front the perspective of a staff in the traditional media, he would say it is a risk. But as a reader, I don’t see it is a risk but fostering the freedom of speech. Issues shown in the newspaper are often limited to content catering to the majority. The TV channels and newspaper produce discourses which are institutionalized and safe for sustaining the revenue. If the media can achieve the state that it doesn’t rely on corporate revenue, it would be able to be truly unbiased and free from self-censorship.

I think social media is where the counter-public can flourish. When the reportage on stories of abortion, LGBT, ethnic minorities, fashion, food is too niche for mainstream media, social media becomes an outlet where the minority can build their community and support each other. The large number of pages, apps and videos on fashion and cookery reflect the demand of these types of information, which are not common in the mainstream media.

I think the paramount problem faced by the traditional media was the high cost of production. Once you have to care about the revenue and profits, the principles and rules of generating profit have to be altered to adapt to the market economy. Whereas for social media, you gain your freedom of speech when you do not care about money. Social and traditional medias both have their opportunities and risks. It is readers’ choice on what to read.

Do What You’re Afraid Of

I live by this. You do not know what you are capable of until you start pushing your limits. What scares you? For me, it’s that feeling you get when you fall. It’s not necessarily a heights thing; it’s me imagining every single possible scene which results in my death. As a kid, I never thought twice about it. I never built up a tolerance to being up high, so naturally, when I decided to randomly try cliff jumping two summers ago, you can imagine what it was like.

It took me what felt like an eternity, but I jumped twice off of the smallest cliff at the lake that year. I did it twice because I needed to prove to myself that if I could do it once, I could do it again. Can’t say it felt any better the second time.

When I look back on my life, I like to remember the times I have pushed myself to do the things that scare me, in some way, shape, or form. It’s how I’ve chosen to think. I motivate myself with small goals so I can achieve bigger ones. I’ve always been a part of a sport since I was little; from gymnastics, to ice skating, to soccer. Not all of them were successes either. I quit cross country — I have the biggest respect for those that were able to run fast and for long periods of time. Running never made me happy — it made me puke. But maybe it’s just because I get more satisfaction being in a team sport.

When I moved to White Rock, I saw it as an opportunity to try a new sport: hockey! I already knew how to ice skate, so how hard could this be? Apparently very hard. I fell every five seconds the minute I stepped onto the ice. Hockey skates are VERY different from figure skates. By the end of tryouts, I was crying in the car telling my mom that I don’t want to play hockey anymore. She told me to try again. The next day of tryouts yielded the same results. I thought this was going to be another cross country incident. 

It was so much more than that. It was just a team playing for fun, and I have to admit that my first year of hockey was probably the most fun. My teammates and coach were patient with me and helped me whenever they could. I scored goals. I learned to skate faster. The most rewarding part about the whole season was that my coach, at his end-of-the-year speech, included naming me the Most Improved Player. He said he picked me first because I kept getting up every time I fell. You don’t have to take his word for it — try it yourself. If you keep persisting in the things you love, it turns to passion. Other people can see that passion and more importantly, the progress you make when you keep at it.

I remind myself of this as I decided to try some new stuff this year. I learned how to snowboard, and this summer I decided to try mountain biking and test my mid-air obstacle course skills at Wildplay. Snowboarding has become a new obsessive passion I’m sure I’ll rant about later. Mountain biking was extremely out of my zone. I managed to fall into the only mud puddle on the entire mountain, and left bruised and sore like never before. I got the hang of it a little bit near the end of the day, and I’d try it again, but I can’t say it’s a newfound passion I’ll be going out of my way to do.

Wildplay was a whole different story. It challenged me physically and mentally. It sucks when 10 year olds are swinging around 50 feet in the air, unafraid of the heights they are at and you’re a 21 year old university student who lifts heavy weights once in a while but can’t get across the easiest Wildplay levels without wanting to cry every minute. You best believe we decided to do the last extra extreme level too. Either way, I found that over time, I became so focused on trying to get across the obstacles, the height I was at became more of a background. I wouldn’t recommend this to the faint-hearted, but I would go again. Is this a metaphor to future life obstacles? I can’t even be sure. But I know one thing. Be ready to sweat, and most of all, be ready to be outside your comfort zone.

Fake News

I was the kind of person who was easily tricked by my classmates when I was in high school. There were time they said “ There is a test today,” and I said “Oh, really?” I felt cheated as I found out they lied to me. Since then, I have become more suspicious towards things and people. It is a bit pitiful to distrust people but it is a lesson to learn to be critical and not to trust everything out there.
While my friends tricked me for fun, fake news tricked us by confusing the readers and intends to shift the the public opinion in an influential way. In a Ted talk, veteran journalist Ali Velshi discerned fake news with sponsored content, satire and editorial mistake. To him, fake news is made with an intention to look like a “real” and factual news with credibility.
A piece of fake news could sparked controversy, damages the credibility of a person which are the ugly goals behind the producers. During the US election, there was a news claiming Hillary Clinton involved in sex trafficking basement of a pizza restaurant. The news went viral and before it was identified as fake news and the pizza restaurant didn’t even have a basement. Edgar Maddison Welch, a 28-year-old man, because of the conspiracy theory, fired the restaurant to seek the truth. In the end, he found no eviedence of human trafficking for the store. The impact of this fake news is tremendous in a sense that it stirred up people’s emotion and drove people insanely firing a restaurant. Irrespective of of the intention of the producer of fake news, the article triggered a crisis to Clinton, brought harassment towards the restaurants owner which are undesirable. Fake news brings people’s integrity into a question and provokes unnecessary dependence for one’s integrity.
It would be too ideal to say I can trust in everyone around me. Likewise, it is too ideal to believe in the articles what appears on Facebook, Buzzfeed and Reddict. We should bear in mind that these webpages are user-generated social media that allows individuals spreading fake news easily with a low cost. All you need is an eye-catching subject or an controversial issue to play with. The “retweet”, “share”, “follow” and “like” buttons allow audience to react to a certain news easily. This often generates a responsive  on different social media.This creates an echoes chamber for the audience to believe in the news since being shared and forwarded overwhelming.
The consequences brought by the emergence of fake news do more harm than good to the society. Audiences are misled by the “facts” and change their perceptions because so. We should pay attention to the impact of social media in generating discourses and shaping audiences’ opinion and understanding of the world. As a blogger writing this piece to you, I am reminded of the significance of channelling credible sources with you since fake content can damage the credibility of the me.
The spread of fake content also damages the credibility of the media. A hoax that George Michael has not died came out after the reportage of his death by CNN, the New York Times and other media. The fake news confused people by making the to question about the traditional media in doing so. That means readers have to take up more effort in checking whether the information is reliable.
The good thing about the emergence of fake news is it encouraged readers to be critical about what they are reading. Instead of passively receiving the information from print and digital media. readers are required to actively surfing for multiple resources find out the “truth”. In the meantime, they are exposed to different media platforms, newspapers and TV programmes which each of them stands in a certain political spectrum, investigating the incident from different perspectives. This could be a chance for readers to reflect on their way of consuming information and see their role in being a fact checker for themselves. With fake news, it is a time for confusion, but it is a time for the emergence of clear-minded readers who have an critical eyes on what they are reading.
Meanwhile, individuals are trying to reclaim facts and journalism by themselves. Philip DeFranco, whose youtube channel earns as much as many as 1.5 million views, providing his aggregation of reportage on issues and an open-atmosphere for everyone to engage in the heated issue. In his video, he announces that he is launching Defranco Elite, a fan-funding initiative through Patreon and vowed to make the next great news networks that is independent of corporate interest. “A network that is run under my vision of it is okay to have and share opinions but let’s get the facts right first,” he said.  He claimed that he is  not hiding any existing content behind a pay wall and his success proves that individual can counter fake news with an endeavour to seek for the truth.
As an blogger, I see the importance of building my site with credibility. The public is looking for reliable information on certain issue and opinion with fair judgement. The yearn for authenticity is growing amid the booming of fake news. As a reader and a writer, the responisbility to dive in the issue is undeniable.

Velshi, Ali. (2017).How Fake News Grows in a Post-Fact World How Fake News Grows in a Post-Fact World. URL:

How to fake George Michael’s death, and other tabloid lies. Boing Boing URL:
Hsu, Spencer S. (2017) ‘Pizzagate’ gunman says he was foolish, reckless, mistaken — and sorry. The Washington Post. URL:


DeFranco, Philip. It’s Time For you To Know…(2017) URL:

5 Tips for Grocery Shopping when you’re trying to save money

Ah, grocery shopping. The task we always leave until the last second, once we open the pantry and realize the only food we’ve got is a single apple and curry powder.

In this post, I’m going to give you 5 of my best tips and tricks for when you grocery shop, with the goal in mind of eating well and saving mucho dinero.

1. Buy your main source of protein in bulk and freeze ‘er

This tip applies to everyone irregardless of dietary preferences. Make sure that if you see a good deal on any source of protein that can be easily frozen, be it a box of chicken breasts (my weapon of choice), big slabs of tofu, or even veggie burgers, you stock up.

If you have a proper freezer (that can store anything below 0°C ), you can store bulk protein-rich foods for a remarkable amount of time: ground beef, for example, can be stored for up to 3-4 months, and chicken for up to 9(!). If you aren’t a meat eater, don’t worry: tofu can be stored for up to 5 months when frozen, even after being opened.

2. Make time, be a scavenger

This one may seem obvious, but it’s definitely still worth mentioning. If you’re able to get your main source of protein and one side (for example, frozen veggies or quinoa) in bulk, then you’re free to be more selective in your ‘one off’ meal buys at grocery stores.

For example, I usually take 20 minutes out of my week to troll the aisles of the Safeway near my house to look for deals. Safeway is definitely not the cheapest grocery store out there, but when you can afford to be picky knowing that you have fall-back meal at home if you don’t find anything, you’d be surprised at the good deals you’ll find!

3. Live by the flyer, die by the flyer

If you’re one of those people whose newspaper flyers follow a straight patch from mailbox to recycling bin, you’re missing out on a great way to find skookum deals every week. Big grocery stores usually put out a weekly flyer (if you don’t get it in-person, you’ll always be able to find it online) which has all of their best deals of the week. It’s basically all of the benefit of trolling the aises of these stores, without having to move fro your couch!

4. Don’t be afraid to look for food in unusual places

No, this doesn’t imply that you should be looking for scraps under your couch, it means that you can get surprisingly good prices on food at non-traditional food stores if you’re diligent enough. For example, Shoppers Drug Mart has a frozen food section which often features sales that blow other grocery stores’ out of the water. The reason for this is simply that they have to offer a wide selection to be seen as a legitimate place to buy groceries, but not that many people grocery shop there. As a result, things nearing expiry go on sale all the time for ridiculously cheap prices– last week I found $4.50 guacamole for $0.50 at my local Shoppers!

5. Avoid buying produce from big stores

Oftentimes, big box grocery stores like Safeway will sell very-well-presented produce for prices which look like highway robbery compared to smaller chains. The key is to know which smaller stores have particularly good deals on specific items. If you’re able to figure this out and have the time to shop around, there’s lots of savings to be had. I my case, I know a small market which has Gala apples on sale for $0.69/pound, which is a great deal. I’ll stock up on apples there, and when I happen to be in the vicinity of anther place like Triple A which has good prices on, say, oranges, I’ll stock up on those. It’s not entirely realistic to buy one type of fruit at a different establishment every time you need it, but by shopping around you’ll at least know where the real value is.

Progress post: Week 6

After reading Rachael’s peer review of my blog, I was pretty appreciative of what she had to say; her review was constructive, and I ended up changing an element of my blog which she mentioned: the unbalanced nature of my post thumbnails.

When I use thumbnail images for my posts, it un-balances the titles of each post, whereas without one, everything falls into place in a very orderly way. I would definitely like to have images on my site in thumbnails, but I feel like I’ll need to pan my posts out so that they balance the thumbnails, and makes everything orderly.

I also appreciated her touching on the size of my font on mobile devices, however I have no idea how this is done– I have fixed this issue on desktop, but I will have to ask for assistance in making changes to the format on mobile.

Intellectual Property and The Reputational Economy

Listening to David Beers’ during lecture today was very insightful because he brought up points that I was I unaware of. I never knew that writers could be rewarded through a cycle of different moves like the example of the professor who offered to write for free but in return he was getting an audience, which was going to increase his likelihood of being invited to policy meetings and then a higher pay at his university. Just because you’re doing a job for free doesn’t mean that you’re not going to make money.

It was nice to hear that David helped one of his writers land a book deal too. He didn’t want any money from the deal and he helped quite a lot too. He pointed out that The Tyee is not meant to be a permanent job and that you always have to have a plan for the future. Makes me think about the job of a writer, can you ever stay at the same paper and with the same job? I don’t think so because in my opinion, you always want to explore new possibilities and you want to have more and more control as you progress through your career.

It’s weird to think how much the newspaper has evolved, especially in he past decade. New media is great because it’s interactive and for me, that’s one of the benefits of online newspapers. They’re filled with hyperlinks, videos and interactive graphics. For me, this is more intriguing than simply reading a newspaper and it also saves all those trees. I didn’t think that the newspaper would evolve into what it is today because technology is so innovative and interactive now.

Process Post: 10-17

After reading through Annika’s review of my blog, I am looking into making some changes to my website.

I have, so far, made one change regarding the insight I have received from Annika. Her recommendation was to include a photo of myself to eliminate possible ambiguities over the identity of the author. As I want my blog to be very welcoming and open to people, I used this opportunity to add an image of myself in order to give more of a personal touch. I have also adjusted some of the spacing on my “about” page according to Annika’s recommendations.

As for the different headers that Annika recommended, I am currently exploring potential photos that I can use, as well as trying to learn more about how to code my website in a way that will change the header image for each page.

Date or Die

Last night my date tried to kill me
I wasn’t intimidated or anything, honestly it was kinda nice not to have to make the first move. They reached across the table and went for the throat with the serrated edge of a tin can (rookie move if you ask me) but they missed, and obviously there was my chance to attack but instead we made plans to see each other tomorrow night.

So where are we gonna go?
Each cult has staked out some great areas for first dates, it just depends how much toxic sludge you want to wade through, or how many sewer mercenaries and organ harvesters you want to meet along the way.

If you’re looking for something chill, the Nihilists always keep No-good park a great place to hang out, unaffiliated with cult violence and easily accessible for all.
Any day of the week there could be a popup party or open mike situation –
There’s a great Garbage jazz nite competition next Wednesday (I’m rooting for 6arms4brains1rhythm) and a Glow rave on Sunday (where we cover ourselves in bioluminescent ooze and that’s it – real good way to get close to someone)

If you want to get a little rougher, The Grafts are always a good bet.
I have a few friends who always go down to Graft territory on a first date, just to impress their new pal in the fighting pits. If you’re confident enough, you win a fight, you’ll get enough money to go back up above ground and head over to some adorable Crafter cafe to buy a meal.

If you have any date ideas within Sporyn City, let me know and I’ll review them!

Good luck living and good luck loving,

~ Fysh

ESSAY #1 How does false news affect your opinion?

False news is a detrimental online wildfire that has the potential to affect millions of people. Even if there are people who claim they can track and differentiate illegitimacy, the negative connotations of false news will either directly or indirectly affect their everyday lives. From friends and families, to co-workers, false news will reach out to someone whether you want it to or not. It has essentially developed into its own online norm on the web. This essay tackles the impacts of false news on public opinions and the reasoning behind why creators curate this type of content.

With technology advancing, and social media becoming the standard platform for content creation, any digital idea can be uploaded at a low cost. Content that is created cheaply will also attract cheap users. Since, “the fixed costs of entering the market and producing content are vanishingly small,” (Hunt Allcott, 2017) content creators thrive off social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, or Instagram. Coherently, users of these platforms will stumble upon these cheaply created pages and indulge into its’ purpose without knowing where it has come from. A digital news fact sheet from Pew research center emphasizes that 93% of adults get their news from open media sources. (Pew Research Center, 2017) Within this percentile, there is no peer review nor credibility to where these open media sources received their information. Without credibility nor reputation, these content creators can share any outrageous idea or conspiracy in hopes that some part of society may bandwagon. This allows ideas to formulate within public spheres and ultimately affect others’ opinions. For example, If one neighbor does not believe in “fake news,” their neighbors neighbor could perhaps believe in it. So even if it is just one person within a community who believes in a conspiracy idea, the falsified idea still lingers in that social space.


People who have the desire to create false news do so for a purpose. A journal article written by David O.Klein and Joshua R.Wuller claims that “fake news publications are intentionally or knowingly false.” (David O. Klein, 2017) This reinforces the idea that there is minimal to no truth on what users are reading from the web. “People who get news from Facebook (or other social media) are less likely to receive evidence about the true state of the world that would counter an ideologically aligned but false story.” (Hunt Allcott, 2017) Because there is less “evidence about the true state of the world,” creators of fake news can capitalize on the unknown illegitimacy before anyone else. It allows them to “intentionally” (David O. Klein, 2017) say what they want because it fuels the readers desire to know and understand what is the “true state of the world.” (Hunt Allcott, 2017)


The capitalization on fake news is a key reason to why certain people/groups disseminate fake news. “News articles that go viral on social media can draw significant advertising revenue when users click to the original site.” (Hunt Allcott, 2017) Allcott dictates how creators of fake news capitalizes or monetizes the curiosity of people. Using click bait methods, creators of fake news can traffic users to pages of high advertisement because falsified news satisfies curiosity that users may have. A strong example that highlights this idea is the relationship between Donald Trump’s 2016 election and the exploits of fake news on the social public. During the election, people would constantly be searching for updates or new facts related to either Donald trump or Hilary Clinton. Fake news creators capitalized on this oppurtunity by generating click-bait and false information to satisfy “controversial topics of public interest.” (David O. Klein, 2017) Knowing that their digital content can reach a large and specific audience, these creators effectively generated “tens of thousands of dollars… over pro trump stories” (Hunt Allcott, 2017)


Apart from monetization, some digital curators seek ways to influence the public’s perspective because they want reform or cultural change within a political or social system. These fake news artists use the “internet as a form of persuasive communication”  (Perrott, 2016) to reach their audience. Fortunately for these writers, technology “has come so far in that anyone can create a dynamic website with publishing platforms like WordPress,” (Carson, 2017) the limiters or boundaries that prevented the existence of fake news became obsolete. Information exchange becomes “impossible to regulate in full.” (Carson, 2017) This allowed false news writers to share and write as much as they wanted to without the legal consequences. Unfortunately for users of media platforms, the fine line between what is fake and what is real has been blurred significantly.


Recently, Facebook has taken a step to reduce or minimize the impact of false news. Although this may not eliminate the existence of its entirety, the company has taken a step towards minimizing the spread of it by “providing its users more information about news publishers.” (Tom Huddleston, 2017)  Since Facebook is one of the largest companies that bring commercial news to the public, the company is taking responsibility over their users sharing false news. The company said in an announcement that they are providing users with access to “contextual information [which] can help them evaluate if articles are from a publisher they trust, and if the story itself is credible.” (Tom Huddleston, 2017) This is a step towards mitigating the spread of fake news while circulating more credible information.


The overall impact of false news affects everyone. Whether it is for monetizing purposes or for persuasion of perspectives, false content that is created will stay on the web. So even if people are sharing this type of content, we are fortunate enough that the effects of false news are becoming more prevalent to society. Through learning and understanding what false news is, we can better protect ourselves from its effects tomorrow.




Carson, J. (2017, march 16). What is fake news? Its origins and how it grew in 2016. Retrieved from The Telegraph:

David O. Klein, J. R. (2017). Fake News: A Legal Perspective. Journal of Internet Law , 5-13.

Hunt Allcott, M. G. (2017). Social Media and Fake News in the 2016. Journal of Economic Perspectives—, 211–236.

Perrott, K. (2016, November 14). ‘Fake news’ on social media influenced US election voters, experts say. Retrieved from ABC News:

Pew Research Center. (2017, August 7). Pew Research Center Jounalism and Media . Retrieved from Pew Research Center.

Tom Huddleston, J. (2017, October 5). Facebook’s Latest Attempt at Fighting Fake News Is to Provide Publisher Info. Retrieved from Fortune:



Essay One

Just over two weeks ago on Sunday, October 1st, I had a day just like any other that I’ve lived since moving into my new place of residence in Burnaby. I got up, went to work, came back, went to meetings and fell asleep at around 12am, hoping to catch up on some much-needed sleep. What was unusual about this day in particular is that I had minimal interaction on my cellphone: I had just recently gotten a new Samsung smartphone, and of course had not had the foresight to buy a case for it in advance. Fearing everyone’s nightmare of dropping my brand-new, naked phone and cracking its screen, I chose to go without it for most of my afternoon.

This was a pretty strange phenomenon for me to experience, not having a phone by my side. I felt ever so slightly nervous for some reason, fearing that someone would be looking to contact me and that I was letting them down for not being connected. Not only that, but I had no real sense of what was going on outside of my personal bubble: my place of work has a radio which we keep on for music, but the TV we show is almost always sports-related, and therefore not the best for world events.

By the time I got home, I was able to get re-connected with my phone and felt exponentially more at-ease than before. I texted friends who tried to get a hold of me, scrolled mindlessly through my facebook and twitter feeds, and generally just killed time. Why, I wondered, do we consider it so damn important to be on social media all the time?

I got my answer the next morning.

When I woke up on Monday morning, I underwent my usual routine: I hit snooze 3 times before getting out of bed, showered, and ate my breakfast. On this morning in particular, though, I did something a bit out of the ordinary: I opened up facebook on my laptop (still fearing I’d drop my phone and crack it should I bring it out) and scrolled through my news feed. About 3 posts in, I saw a headline which made zero sense to me:

Trump on Las Vegas massacre: ‘An act of pure evil’

I clicked the article, which featured American President Donald Trump’s address on the then-still-breaking news of the Las Vegas shooting (Liptak, 2017). I immediately googled “Las Vegas shooting” and opened up the front page of reddit to try and figure out what exactly happened. Thanks to the latter, I was up-to-date with what transpired in a matter of minutes.

That morning was the first instance of myself getting important, historic world news entirely via social media, and it likely won’t be the last.

In the news landscape which exists today, it is becoming ever-more likely that even if you have cable and watch TV regularly, the next big breaking news story you’ll hear of will be broken to you over social media. This isn’t by virtue of choice for most: in fact, research from the American Press Institute states that not only do most Americans still get their news from Television, but it’s two times more popular than cellphones and laptops respectively as a ‘preferred’ medium of news consumption (American Press Institute, 2014). Yet, for the younger, millennial news-consumers which dominate social media, social media as a primary source of news is gaining popularity, and fast.

Yet, despite the good that social media channels like Facebook provide when it comes to informing the public about tragedies and major news developments, there are also major downsides to getting news from social media. The topic of “fake news” has been well-documented since the 2016 US presidential election, yet despite all of the rhetoric surrounding the issue, events like the Las Vegas shooting are still breeding grounds for untrue stories and harmful falsities to take hold of the public conversation in crisis situations (Levin, 2017).

How, then, does one avoid ‘fake news’, and assure that what they consume is objective truth? The answer, in many cases, is to avoid platforms as a primary and sole source of news. The inherent issue with social media platforms as news sources is, as Scott Bixby of The Guardian points out, that these sites and apps constantly flood viewers’ feeds not with important, bipartisan news, but stories which align with their own political and personal beliefs. This, in turn, creates an echo chamber of sorts, and assures that those viewing content on sites like Facebook after a tragedy or news event will not be presented with only objective facts (Bixby, 2016).

What is the point of viewing news on social media sites then? It may seem obvious, but as consumers of media we tend to look the other way when we see biased news coverage which is favorable to our own beliefs. We may feel uncomfortable if we log on to BBC or CBC’s websites and are faced with the cold, hard gravity and reality of a situation. We feel better, however, if we instead hear spins on what has happened that fit the framework of our ideology.

Not only that, but even when ‘proper’ news sources publish topical stories on facebook, one has to constantly keep in mind that even large news corporations like FOX, CNN and MSNBC will push their own agendas to the forefront whenever they appropriately can.

This is why, in my opinion, social media sites like facebook will never be able to serve as a truly trustworthy news source as long as their algorithms for important news remain similar to those that they use in everyday consumption for users.

Instead, consumers of news must be able to know who they can look to for unbiased news, and face some very uncomfortable, objective truths if needed. This isn’t to say that scrolling through facebook after tragedies is to be avoided; that’s almost impossible. What is possible, though, is to consume news critically, and know that where you’re consuming from is just as important as the content itself.

Having said all of this, it’s also important for content creators to know that everything that they put out has the potential to inform or misinform someone. In my specific case, I have to be aware that, even as a cooking website, any views I express, regardless of factual or political correctness, can be used to polarize a reader further to one side of an issue, should they choose. After all, if it’s in line with their beliefs, why wouldn’t they?

In conclusion, it’s definitely not my belief that social media can be trusted as a legitimate news source, at least not yet. Like any medium, it has to go through its kinks before coming into its own, it just so happens that it faces an exponential number more of those kinks than other traditional mediums based on its setup. I’m not giving up on social media as a news source– heck, without it I’d be that guy in my Monday morning class saying “wait, what happened last night?“. What I will say, though, is that when it comes to getting the facts of a story, I’ll stick to TV and a very short list of websites.


Works Cited

Liptak, K. (2017 October 2). Trump on Las Vegas massacre: ‘An act of pure evil’. Retrieved from

American Press Institute (2014 March 17). How Americans get their news. Retrieved from

Levin, S. (2017, October 2). Facebook and Google promote politicized fake news about Las Vegas shooter. Retrieved from

Bixby, S. (2016, October 1). ‘The end of Trump’: how Facebook deepens millennials’ confirmation bias. Retrieved from




Essay#1 – You Are What You Share: Digital News on Social Networks & Critical Consumption

(Still in process)You Are What You Share: Digital News on Social Networks & Critical Consumption


When ‘prosumers’, a term coined by Alvin Toffler referring to those who not only consume media information but also produce them, dominate the digital sphere and social networks, digital news dissemination can become very problematic concerning its credibility of the source and thus the authenticity of content. This essay attempts to analyse news consumption patterns in the contemporary society, identify some fake news issues that had become rampant on social media, and thus, highlight the paramount importance of critical consumption of news in the digital sphere as a responsible citizen and netizen.

News Consumption Patterns

Digital news dissemination has become mainstream and it took over traditional forms such as print and radio since the advent of the Internet . Tandoc (2014) found that this is facilitated by the prevalent use of mobile devices equipped with access of the Internet, smartphone in particular, and the emergence of social media, or social networking sites enabled by Web 2.0, which broke through spatial and temporal boundaries of information dissemination. All these perfectly satisfy people’s common desire of getting what they want INSTANTLY, especially for millennials who are being widely characterized as always seeking instant gratification. 

Fake News Issues on Social Media: 2016 US Election

One of the examples of fake news on the Internet during the 2016 US presidential election which was widely shared on social media. Source

During the US presidential election campaign in 2016, fake news regarding all kinds of secrets and scandals of the candidates, especially Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, emerged and were so widespread on social networks that they had become like mainstream news stories. Among all the fake news stories, some of those had attracted so many shares, comments, and reactions on social networks that they even outperformed the real US politics news. But what is the background of these websites? Who are the authors of the posts? What is their purpose and why do they keep doing that? According to the report from Buzzfeed news, at least 140 of those US politics websites have been traced to a small town in Eastern Europe called Veles in Macedonia where the local economy is stagnant. Owners of the websites are just some local teenagers trying to earn money by producing and sharing sensational political news to appeal to sentimental supporters on Facebook to try to generate traffic. The more people who click through from Facebook, the more money they earn from advertisements on their websites.

Critical Consumption as a Responsibility

Comparing to people in the past who passively receive information from media, we are seemingly empowered by the operation model of Web 2.0 which relies on the concept of ‘prosumer’ that users of social networks not only take part in the consumption, but also in the production and distribution of media content. Empowerment comes with more responsibilities. There’s doubt that producing fake news should always be denounced on ethical ground. But in a broader sense, owners of those fake news websites are not the only ones to be blamed. Although Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook, has promised to work harder to deal with fake news on its platform, users who had once believed in those fake news are not exactly victims. Rather, they should be responsible for their ignorance and carelessness that had contributed to and encouraged the rampant production and share of fake news, making it a profitable business.


Critical thinking is an essential skill when surfing the Internet and gaining information especially when nowadays fake news stories are being widely shared and considered as truth. It is also essential in constituting citizenship in contemporary society where our online behaviors can have significant influence to public discourse. All the likes, comments, reactions to the false information only reinforce people’s biases. Moreover, a lot of people love using Wikipedia without knowing that it is only a platform for sharing information collectively and the content there can actually be created and altered by ANY Internet user. Many people do not even question the authenticity and authorship of what they are reading. In addition to gaining information from reputable sources and authors, online media content are often biased in their ways of representation because of the political stance and even political affiliations of the media company and therefore should be critically examined. Other than critical and active examination in their ways of representation, it is always better to look at the same issue from multiple sources even it takes a much longer time.


Lecheler, S., & Kruikemeier, S. (2016). Re-evaluating journalistic routines in a digital age: A review of research on the use of online sources. New Media & Society, 18(1), 156-171.

Tandoc, E. (2014). The Roles of the Game. Journalism & Mass Communication Educator, 69(3), 256-270.

Toffler, A. (1980). The Third Wave. New York: Bantam Books.

White, J., & Fu, K. (2012). Who Do You Trust? Comparing People-Centered Communications in Disaster Situations in the United States and China. Journal of Comparative Policy Analysis: Research and Practice, 14(2), 126-142.

Life of International Fans: the Reliability of K-pop News Sites and Comments

It is not easy to be a K-pop fan, especially when you are living on the opposite side of the earth with your idol. There is the language problem, and then the time-zone problem. They maybe dropping a new video during your sleep, or maybe have a live broadcast while you are having class. They update their Instagram hours ago and there’s already thousands of comments, while you are still on google translate trying to figure out what the caption means. In these situations, international K-pop fans can’t help but resort to social media and English K-pop news sites.

When I first became a K-pop fan, I rely on Youtube and Wikipedia to know the groups I like. Facebook and Google probably picked up on my browsing history, and started giving me suggestions of K-pop news articles. That is when I began using Facebook as the main platform where I receive all news I need and want to know in K-pop. Three news sites appear most often, in which I decided to ‘like’ them so that they would continue feeding me articles on my newsfeed. They are Soompi, allkpop, and Koreaboo.

While all three sites often post the same news within a few hours of difference, each site offers a different width of coverage within the Korea entertainment industry.

Allkpop is the first K-pop news site I encounter, and it makes sense because this site is very focused on covering only news about K-pop and idols. It is definitely a K-pop fan oriented news site completed with a forum for interactions between fans and a shop for fans to submerge themselves into a complete K-pop experience. Allkpop has the most relaxed and chill atmosphere. Their articles are usually filled with photos, videos, and gifs with short paragraphs explaining. However, I could not bring myself to put full trust on this site for one reason—the lack of source citation. Their news articles often lack a source of where the authors receive the original information, being the official website of the group and company or the Korean news outlet that released it. Another feature in the website that refrains me from trusting it is the inclusion of a page dedicated for memes. It makes the whole news site seems less serious and reliable.

Soompi is another news site for not only K-pop lovers, but also K-drama lovers. They cover a wider spectrum of Korean celebrities in Korea Entertainment industry. They also partnered with some Korean Entertainment companies, which makes their news reliable but likely biased. Most of the articles I read on this news site are opinion based, which is written like blog posts by their individual authors.

Koreaboo is a popular site for K-pop news, but it also publishes news about the Korea society and random news from other Asia countries.  I find their articles more trust-able due to the fact that they are actually partnered with a leading Korea News company. Their articles are usually the most updated and has reference to actual Korean news articles published. Whether the Korea news portal is reliable is of course another topic that is not for this essay. Koreaboo’s articles are also more trust-able because of the more professional language used in the writings.

What’s most worth mentioning is that both allkpop and soompi not only has a public forum, but also allows people to ‘submit tip’ to them. This make their news site an open public space that is more vulnerable to the rise of fake information. Marshal McLuhan has said that the medium is the message, and that what the author wants to convey cannot be separated from the method one used to convey it. In the case of K-pop news published in a foreign country, it is important to find a reliable news site to read because there’s no other way for international fans to confirm the facts. Taking allkpop and soompi for example, the fact that it receives tips from the public for their article immediately gives audiences a feeling that their article might not be all reliable, causing them to have double takes or turn away to find another site. Having forums in the website also makes the news site more of a platform for opinion and discussion. Koreaboo on the other hand, does not have any commenting features on the site itself. The only way audiences can leave comment is on facebook, but it would not show within the actual article. While it might seem to be more dictating and single point of view, audiences would not be distracted by comments and opinions by public which may or may not be true.

Speaking of commenting on articles, it is not uncommon to see fans of different groups arguing and competing whose idols are better. We call it fan-wars. I never involve myself in commenting what I thought about the article, it was very interesting reading the hundreds and sometimes thousands of comments from fans defending their idols, or complaining why their idols are not on a Top-10 list. Facebook in a way is a public sphere where anyone can say anything. Habermas explained that a public sphere is a space where private individuals come together to discuss matters of public concern or common interest. For international K-pop fans, Facebook became a nice public sphere for them to talk about matters they care about but have different opinions on.

As Facebook is a public space online, it is inevitable that people would have an online public front. It is a form of Erving Goffman’s theory of dramaturgy, in which everyone has a front stage personality and backstage personality. People performs in specific ways in front of different people, often influenced by the cultural practice of the society, so that it would seem appropriate. Karen Sternheimer has rethought the theory to fit the internet age today. The online front stage of a person is often different from the traditional front stage, in which one would feel acceptable to post things that’s better left in the backstage.  I believe it is because of the lack of immediate emotional response that the internet fails to convey completely. It creates enough distance between people for them to react differently than on a face to face basis.

Going back to the commenting culture of K-pop fans, it is very clear how the internet gives them a sense of security that they can say things without considering the influences it has on other commenters and even the idol themselves. I have to emphasize that most of the K-pop fans are encouraging and supportive of all idols, even if they are not their favourite. Extreme enthusiastic and dedicated fans sometimes focus too much on their favourites and ignore the feeling of other fans, causing the increase of tension in the comments. Another type of fans are the anti-fans, who refuses to acknowledge the reported and confirmed truth, and spread false rumour and scandals in hope to taint the idols names. Since it is a public sphere, it is difficult to control the comments. There are cases where the scandals reached so far that it caused the physical and mental health of the idols, and sometimes also their career.

All in all, it is not only the publishers but also the audiences’ responsibility to confirm news and information they received online on public platforms like social media before spreading it.


Marshal MacLuhan, 1968. “The Medium is the Message”

Nicki Lisa Cole, 2017. “Goffman’s Front Stage and Back Stage Behavior”

Karen Sterheimer, 2012. “Rethinking Goffman’s Front Stage/Back Stage”

Nancy Fraser, 1990. “Rethinking the Public Sphere: A Contribution to the Critique of Actually Existing Democracy” in Social Text No 25/26. Available from JStor


You Know It’s An Issue When…

The rise of social media has brought with it an increase in connectivity; facilitating networking, socializing, and communication of information. I, for the most part, have only ever benefitted from this improvement in accessibility; thanks to social media such as Facebook and Snapchat, I have been able to maintain and develop relationships across the country […]

Essay 1# Social media platforms and false news

When you sit in the coffee shop and look at the people who walk on the street, you will find that most of them are walking with their head lowered, and the most common feature is playing the cell-phone while they are walking. With the development of the technology, more and more consumers have interest …

Essay #1 – Fake News

How Do We Know What’s Real?

As technology has changed, is has also changed the worlds ability to consume information. Most notably, this change is technology has brought with it social media. With social media, anybody can say anything at anytime, which means that anybody can see anything at anytime too. This has proven to be a dangerous trend, because it has introduced the world to the concept of fake news. Fake news doesn’t just come from an ill informed Facebook post from a family member though, fake news can be posted anywhere on social media under a guise of authority. Fake new has become an epidemic online, that it has left internet users wondering what the real news is.

Fake news has been allowed to gain traction as people have changed where they get their news. The Pew Research Centre released an article called “Chapter 7: Where People Get their News”, and upon reading this article, the audience is faced with a series of statistics. This article however, was published in 2007, which means that some of these statistics may be a little bit outdated, but the article is a good starting point to see where people are getting their news. The article starts by stating “The world continues to turn to television for news about international and national issues” (Pew Research Centre). Television poses an issue because not every television network is reliable for unbiased information or reporting. Television is one of the first places where biased and skewed information has be portrayed with false authority. This poses a problem because if masses of people flock to television for their information, and this information is skewed, the skewed information has the potential to travel and stay relevant, giving it the impending possibility to drown out the truth.

Television is a good example of where a lot of fake news originally came from, and it gives a good idea of how news has changed with media. television can also be seen as the starting point for some of the fake news that makes its way to social media, because if people are viewing news on TV, is it very likely they will post about it on social media  However, what is most troubling about The Pew Research Centre’s article, and what truly gives the reader an idea about how skewed the world’s perception of news is that the article states that in 2007 “a third or more of the population [turned] to the web (Pew Research Centre), the article is stating that in the United States 35% of people turned to the internet for their news (Pew Research Centre). It is very likely that this statistic has gone up dramatically in the last ten years. This is a worrisome fact, because it begins to paint a picture of how influential fake news is.

The fact that just over a third of the American public turned to the internet for news in 2007, makes it no surprise that fake news was able to find its way into the 2016 presidential election. Hunt Allcott and Matthew Gentzkow’s article “Social Media and Fake News in the 2016 Election”, outlines examples of how fake news has influenced American politics. The article states that “American democracy has been repeatedly buffeted by changes in media technology” (Allcott and Gentzkow 211). The article goes on to say that American politics has been influenced by all changes in technology, but that in 2016 “we confirm that fake news was both widely shared and heavily tilted in favour of Donald Trump” (Allcott and Gentskow 212), this article is stating that in the 2016 election fake news ran rampant and was able go as far as influencing the american public. This article also has information on just how many people were influenced by social media, and how many people influenced social media, regarding the election. “115 pro-Trump fake stories that were shared on Facebook a total of 30 million times, and 41 pro-Clinton fake stories shared a total of 7.6 million times.” (Allcott and Gentskow 212), this statistic demonstrates how fake news is purely subjective, those who want it will seek it out and share it as widely as they can. The 2016 election raised questions around whats true and what isn’t. Because fake news ran so rampant throughout the election, people were likely left wondering what was true about their candidates, and very likey voted based on what they thought was true, not the actual truth. However, the fake news of the election became so prevalent, people may never know the actual truth.

The 2016 election is an example of how much power fake news on social media has, it shows that fake news can influence something as national and prevalent as a presidential election. However, there is also evidence that fake news can also influence lesser known things, like archeological sites. Tom Condit’s article “POST-TRUTH SOCIETY AND ‘VERY FAKE NEWS’” states that, in reference to Brú na Bóinne in Ireland, “It is remarkable, however, how vulnerable our knowledge of such monuments can be.” (Condit 3). The article goes on to say that “With an apparently destructive sense of timing”, an article was published that “had the effect of undermining the reputation of one of Ireland’s most internationally renowned archaeological attractions.”(Condit 3). This article again shows the power of fake news, but in a different way, where the fake news of the 2016 American election influenced an entire nation on who their leader should be, this article shows that fake news can also influence the publics opinion on an archeological site. Both of these articles are excellent examples of how social media and fake news can influence the opinions of the public. Those who see this fake news are influenced, and left wondering what is true.

On a lesser scale, fake news leaves its victims wondering when it takes on the form of spam. Spam is fake news that targets a specific person. Private messages stating that an account has been compromised are common, and they usually ask for personal information. Another example of spam on social media is the various links that exist in comment sections. These are both examples of fake personal news, it is news that an account has been compromised, but it is also fake. Roderic Broadhurst and Mamoun Alazab’s article “30 Spam and Crime”, states that “spam takes on many forms and has many varieties” (Broadhurst and Alazab 517). The article also goes on to say that spam is normally “the initial contact for cyperiminals” (Broadhurst and Alazab 517), this initial contact is an opportunity for somebody to use fake news to steal information. However, many types of spam are beginning to look more and more real, which makes it confusing for an unsuspecting person to differentiate between a legitimate link in a comment section, and spam that will likely instal unwanted viruses. As social media becomes more prevalent, so does its spam. weather its spyware links in comments, or a hacker trying to steal access to an account, spam’s fake news is proving to have an effect.

Fake News comes in all sorts of forms. From spam on Instagram posts, to stories that influence presidential elections, fake news has proven to be confusing and often leaves people who consume it wondering what is real. Fake news has grown and gained strength with the growth of social media, this is a dangerous trend that needs to be monitored, because if fake news is allowed to continue to grow, the world may never know what is fake again.


Works Cited

Allcott, Hunt, and Matthew Gentzkow. “Social Media and Fake News in              the 2016 Election.” The Journal of Economic Perspectives, vol. 31, no. 2,            2017, pp. 211–235. JSTOR, JSTOR,

Broadhurst, Roderic, and Mamoun Alazab. “Spam and Crime.”Regulatory              Theory: Foundations and Applications, edited by PETER DRAHOS, ANU            Press, Acton ACT, Australia, 2017, pp. 517–532. JSTOR,                          

“Chapter 7. Where People Get Their News.” Pew Research Center’s Global                  Attitudes Project, 4 Oct. 2007,        7-where-people-get-their-news/.

Condit, Tom. “POST-TRUTH SOCIETY AND ‘VERY FAKE NEWS.’”                       Archaeology Ireland, vol. 31, no. 1, 2017, pp. 3–3.JSTOR, JSTOR,             



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Some Quick Changes

Dio reviewed my blog last week and after taking his words into consideration, I’ve attempted to make some changes to my blog. He spotted some very specific flaws and I appreciate his efforts. He noted that at the very top left, there is a tab which brings up a submenu that gives the option to direct the reader to the “about” page of the website. He found it a little redundant because there is already an about section on the dropdown menu and I completely agree. With high hopes of making my site better, I have to say that I struggled a bit when trying to remove the about page from the submenu. I only wanted to remove one or the other but I ended up removing the about page from both locations. Since I don’t think that is a very big concern, I will keep experimenting with WordPress and its function throughout the weeks. Another concern that Dio had was that my website lacked social media integration. To be honest, I’ve tried inputting my social media icons during the first few weeks but I just wasn’t satisfied with how they were awkwardly placed on my blog and unless I do some sick coding, I think that was all I had to work with. I do agree with Dio that since my blog is about traveling and lifestyle, pictures from other platforms would really compliment my blog. After reading about that, I quickly made the change even though the placements were still awkward but at least I still have some social media integration. The only place that I found that wasn’t too awkward was at the bottom. I know it’s not the best placement because it doesn’t stand out to readers but I guess it can be like a little bonus/surprise for those who are able to find the icon!

Essay #1 – The Influence of Fake Social Media Accounts

Fake social media accounts have been used to influence a specific audience to make them believe about a certain desired truth. The intents of the user can range malicious to inconsequential in nature. Facebook, Instagram, and even Twitter have been the most known culprits to feature fake accounts but they have attempted to crackdown on users who are not masquerading as someone or something other than their real, actual identity. Some users may want to use fake accounts for predatory means such as child luring and “cat-fishing” (pretending to be someone you are not) dating sites. Others may crave attention and just want to feel engaged with their peers through comments, likes, favourites, and retweets all while paying their way to social media fandom. I will look to address each fake social media account incident with a website article that is both relevant to each intent and that is relatively current.

An interesting article by MediaKix, an influencer marketing agency, wanted to see how easy it was to fake the amount of Instagram followers and engagement in order to secure brand sponsorship deals. With a budget of just $300 USD, they created two fake Instagram accounts, 1) a fashion/lifestyle Instagram model and 2) a travel/adventure photographer. The first step MediaKix did was to generate content for either account. For the first account, they used a local model and used content from a one-day photo shoot to amass the entire account’s content. For the second account, they generated content using exclusively free stock photos from the internet in relevance to popular scenic/tourist areas. The next step was to purchase followers from a website follower provider with prices ranging from $3 to $8 per 1000 followers. Ultimately, the more expensive service was more reliable in that they delivered the followers without delay. Within two months time, the fashion/lifestyle account had 50 thousand followers and the travel/adventure account had 30 thousand followers. The last step was to purchase engagement with prices ranging from 12 ¢ per comment and $4 to $9 per 1000 likes. The cheaper service providers would deliver the engagement within 24 hours time while the pricier ones delivered the engagement almost instantly. Lastly, as a result of their supposed influencer status with a substantial follower count, they managed to secure two brand sponsorship deals for each account. Both accounts were sponsored by the same national food and beverage company while the fashion/lifestyle account got a sponsorship with a swimsuit company and the travel/adventure account got a sponsorship with an alcohol brand. Each campaign were eligible to receive either monetary compensation or free product or even both. This social experiment gained traction as UK news outlet The Independent and popular streetwear/lifestyle website Hypebeast both picked up on the significance of fake accounts amassing fake followers and engagement in the hopes of acquiring brand sponsorship deals.

Something of more malicious intent, UK news outlet, The Mirror, posted an article about how pedophiles are using fake social media accounts to pose as chicken nuggets and ice-cream to lure school children. One sex offender even went so far as to pretend to be a “road” outside a girl’s secondary school so that they could accept his friend request and over 400 girls accepted it. Fortunately, he did not contact those students but collected photos, pictures, and selfies of them. As said by Dr. Maureen Griffin, a social media safety expert and forensic psychologist, “despite the success of the ‘stranger-danger’ initiatives, warped offenders have come up with new and novel ways of gaining access to children’s information”. Children’s access to the social media sites has no watchful, real-time moderators regularly monitoring the sites and the safety of its users. These sex offenders are preying on vulnerable, naive kids who are more willing to trust anonymous inanimate object pages rather than a physical human being when in fact they are threatened with the same amount of harm. The veil of an electronic screen provides a sense of anonymity to its users especially if you are posing as someone or something you are not. In contrast, police officers pose as young girls online in order to lure pedophiles and sex offenders out of the safety of an electronic barrier so that they can arrest them. It seems kind of hypocritical because The Telegraph reported on how faking social media accounts could lead to criminal charges. I guess it depends on the purpose and intent of their fake account usage. However, this article is talking about those who enact revenge on others while using a fake online account and would subsequently be charged for harassment.

Another incident of the usage of fake accounts is related to Golden State Warriors basketball star, Kevin Durant. He was suspected of using a fake account to defend himself on Twitter for leaving his former team, Oklahoma City Thunder for eventual champions, Golden State Warriors. As reported by sports news outlet, SB Nation and San-Fransisco news outlet, SF Gate, he accidentally addressed himself in third person while using his personal account to defend himself against criticism from critics. I feel it is more embarrassing for Kevin Durant because he could not deal with the insecurities of criticism head on like any professional would and sought to comfort himself by using a fake account to defend himself. Now there is a lack of trust for what Kevin Durant says because he is trying to sway opinion and stir up conversation to get attention for himself.

The three main social media giants Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are subject to fake account users but the intentions are ultimately used to trick people into believing something that is not true. The truth is seemingly up to the recipient and how they want to take that information. The first article talked about how easy it is to fake an Instagram following and engagement to attract brand sponsorship. The second article addressed the scary nature of fake accounts that are run by sex offenders and pedophiles to lure in school-aged children. The last article was about how even professional athletes can use fake accounts to defend themselves on social media from harsh critics. Internet users should be weary of accounts that they do not directly know as they may be run by unsuspecting people with ulterior motives.

Barrett, D. (2016, Mar. 3). Faking social media accounts could lead to criminal charges. The Telegraph. Retrieved from:

Dator, J. (2017, Sept. 19). Kevin Durant apologizes for fighting with critics on social media using fake accounts. SB Nation. Retrieved from:

hDeggan, G. (2017, Sept. 15). Fake social media accounts pretending to be chicken nuggets and ice-cream are being set up by sick paedos to lure school kids. The Mirror. Retrieved from:

Dike, J. (2017, Aug. 7). This is how easy it is to fake a social media following and get paid for it. Hypebeast. Retrieved from:

Dowd, K. (2017, Sept. 18). The internet thinks Kevin Durant has been defending himself via fake social media accounts. SF Gate. Retrieved from:

MediaKix. (2017). Are Fake Instagram Influencers Deceiving Brands?. Retrieved from:

Zatat, N. (2017, Aug 11). Social media experiment reveals how easy it is to create fake Instagram accounts and make money from them. The Independent. Retrieved from:

Prolong Negative Outcomes due to Falsified Findings – APA Citations

The retracted publication by Wakefield, Murch, Anthony, Linnell, Casson, Malik, Berelowitz, Dhillon, Thomson, Harvey, Valentine, Davies and Walker-Smith (1998) is an ideal example of how fabricated findings that claim to have scientific support have a large impact to the public. Kolodeziejski (2014) discussed how the practices for scientific publishing, specifically the tradition of hedging, help make publications more scientifically acceptable, but leaves gaps. These gaps allow for alternate interpretations to be passed to the public audience such as claims that have insufficient support (p. 166).

Scientific research usually attracts interested scientists and engineers. However, Wakefield et al.’s (1998) article continues to gain attention years later, even after being retracted from the publishing journal (Kolodeziejski, 2014, p. 166). Kolodeziejski (2014) stated that the article by Wakefield et al. (1998) received significant attention because of its link between measles, mumps, and the rubella (MMR) vaccine with the onset of autism spectrum disorders (ASD) (p. 166). Although the article’s explicit denial of proving a link between autism and the MMR vaccine (p. 166), many people still view the article as establishing scientific grounds resulting the Wakefield et al. article as a starting point in the autism vaccine controversy (AVC).

Poland and Jacobson (2011) stated that due to the claim by Wakefield et al. (1998) that the MMR vaccine played a causational role in autism, it led to decreased use of the MMR vaccine in Britain, Ireland, the United States, and other countries (p. 98). Ireland experienced multiple measles outbreaks where there were more than 300 cases, 100 hospitalizations, and 3 deaths (p. 98). By 2002, MMR immunization rates dropped in the U.K. below 85%, with some areas as low as 75% (Kolodeziejski, 2014, p. 166). Although MMR vaccinations rates remain high in the U.S., there is an increase of parents exercising their rights to opt out of vaccinations, with some exemption rates high enough that outbreaks of infectious diseases have occurred (p. 167). Greby, Wooten, Knighton, Avery and Stokley (2012) stated that in 2011, the CDC reported 17 outbreaks of measles and 222 measles cases that were mostly due to unvaccinated persons. It was stated that it was the highest number of measles cases in the United States since 1996 and highlighted the importance of vaccination (2012).

The general public have demonstrated that they believe in things that do not have scientific evidences such as occult beliefs. Alcock (1995) and Singer and Benassi (1981) discussed about how individuals have the tendency to believe in ideas that are not scientifically proven rather than in situations that are more likely to happen and logical. Singer and Benassi (1981) focused on social perspective and stated that media, social uncertainty, and absences of human reasoning seem to be the root of occult beliefs. Alcock (1995) concentrated on areas of how people learn, think, and choose, which agrees with Singer and Benassi’s (1981) statement of human reasoning. However, this may also result in individuals who are quick to believe in situations that claim to have scientific evidence. Wander (1976) noted that scientific research reports not only provide information, but act as a form of persuasion (p. 230). Rather, individuals should be more skeptical in materials they hear and see. However, a higher level of human reasoning and logical thinking may be difficult to achieve. Alcock (1995) stated that experience is often a poor guide to reality and skepticism is ideal to help individuals question their experiences and to avoid being led to believe what is not so.

Skepticism is defined as having an attitude of doubt (Skeptical, 2017). This is an ideal attitude when approaching situations that have bold claims. For example, toothpaste commercials like Sensodyne claim that nine out of ten dentists recommend Sensodyne toothpaste for sensitive teeth (Sensodyne, 2017). However, one should question how many dentists were actually in the study. Likewise, in the article by Wakefield et al. (1998) a sample size of 12 children is too small to display any significances in its findings. Furthermore, after the investigation by the British General Medical Council, it was proven that Wakefield wrote the article alone (Kolodeziejski, 2014, p. 166), which suggests that it is ideal to investigate its sources.

In addition, the publication of the article contributed to the public trust as it was approved and published by the prestigious British medical journal, The Lancet (Kolodeziejski, 2014), which allow individuals to believe the article’s creditability. Although the Wakefield et al. article has been discredited and holds no validity, it continues to circulate and have an impact on the general public (p. 179). For example, many scientists still refer to the Wakefield et al. article as an extension to their scientific contributions (P. 179). There are still individuals who are more concerned about the risk of side effects from MMR vaccines, especially those with low science knowledge (Funk, 2017).


Alcock, J. (1995). The belief engine. Skeptical Inquirer, 19(3), 255-263.

Funk, C. (2017). Parents of young children are more ‘vaccine hesitant’. PEW Research Center. Retrieved from

Greby, S. M., Wooten, k. G., Knighton, C. L., Avey, B., & Stokley, S. (2012). Vaccination coverage among children in kindergarten-United State, 2011-12 school year. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, 61, 647-652.

Kolodziejski, L. R. (2014). Harms of hedging in scientific discourse: Andrew Wakefield and the origins of the autism vaccine controversy. Technical Communication Quarterly, 23(3), 165-183. doi:10.1080/10572252.2013.816487

Poland, G. A., & Jacobson, R. M. (2011). Perspective: The age-old struggle against the antivaccinationists. New England Journal of Medicine, 364, 97-99. doi:10.1056/NEJMp1010594

Sensodyne. (2017). Retrieved from

Singer, B., & Benassi, V. A. (1981). Occult beliefs. American Scientist, 69(1), 49-55.

Skeptical. (2017). In Retrieved from

Wakefield, A. J., Murch, S. H., Anthony, A., Linnell, J., Casson, D. M., Malik, M., Berelowitz, M., Dhillon, A. P., Thomson, M. A., Harvey, P., Valentine, A., Davies, S. E., & Walker-Smith, J. A. (1998). RETRACTED: Ileal-lymphoid-nodular hyperplasia, non-specific colitis, and pervasive developmental disorder in children. The Lancel, 351, 637-641. doi;10.1016/S0140-6736(97)11096-0