Fact-Check #1

The meme above is sourced from MAGAdoodle, which is a support page for President Trump. The creator of this page, Dan Morris, is a Republican and religiously believes in the ideologies of President Trump. Majority of the memes or posts on the website pertain to showing President Trump in a valiant light. With that said, the posts on this site are very biased. This specific meme shows the apparent division between the left wing and the right wing, which only grew stronger after Trump’s victory on the 2016 election. With the use of imagery, former president Obama is shown with a pompous-like facial expression, whereas President Trump is shown as a leader fit to make the U.S. prosper. Former President Obama was not given a “Thank you,” but President was given one in this meme. The meme glorifies the Republicans and more specifically President Trump. 

National Emergency refers to the National Emergencies Act (NEA), which states that the president has the right to declare an emergency in any state where they believe it is needed. Presidents can expand their powers and work to fix the situation or take action to ensure safety both domestically and internationally. 

 Many people started to compare Trump’s ideologies to that of former president Obama’s. People that leaned more towards the liberal side of politics believed that Obama had done a phenomenal job aiding the citizens of the United States through actions like the passage of The Affordable Care Act. The Republican supporters, however, started to claim that Obama was more involved with foreign matters rather than domestic matters. Obama did declare National Emergency for Libya, Somalia, Yemen, Ukraine, South Sudan, Central Africa, Venezuela, and Burundi. Within each of those countries, there had been cases of very harsh conditions. Some of which included sanctions of the economy, government, military, and environment. Obama was involved in many foreign affairs, and did declare a state of emergency for many foreign nations. For example, Libya and Central Africa faced similar situations in which their governments were abusing the rights of their citizens. Obama declared a national emergency because of the brutality the Libyan and the Central African people were facing by their governments. Just like every other former president, when declaring a national emergency there is financial assistance involved. So, Obama did provide Libya and Central Africa with millions of dollars to help with restoring the nation back to a safe ground for its citizens. He also sent troops—which also tied into their financial assistance— to help protect the citizens from the wrath of their government. Typically when a president does declare a national emergency internationally or domestically money is a big factor.  Obama did, however, also declare a state of emergency for the United States as well. During the swine flu epidemic, Obama declared a state of domestic emergency because of how widespread the epidemic had become throughout the nation. This image’s depiction of Obama not declaring national emergency for the United States is false. 

Trump did declare a great amount of national emergencies in the United States. He declared national emergencies to protect many interests of the citizens as well as promote safety within America. A prime example of one of his domestic national emergencies declared was the building of the wall around the border of Mexico and America. He believed that without the wall, many threats are exposed to the country like increased criminals. The meme implies that President Trump did not declare any national emergencies for foreign countries, however, he did declare a national emergency for Nicaragua. In Nicaragua there were corruption of the government and a violation of human rights  imposed onto the citizens. 

The meme ultimately depicts President Trump as a more fit leader for the nation because it acts as propaganda for the Republicans. It makes it seem as though Republicans or people that resonate with the right wing of government is going to help improve the conditions of the United States and that their main objective is to help the nation prosper. It implies that the left wing or, in this case, the democrats are more for fixing other nations rather than the United States. 

Final Project

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As social media use grows, ‘fake news’ grows along with it. According to a recent report by Data and Society, fake news is a very abstract term; it can mean hoaxes, misleading political headlines, propaganda, imposter sites, or disinformation. Despite its broadness, fake news’ generally consists of the spreading of misinformation or disinformation. Disinformation typically causes public harm and/or is executed in hopes of profit gain. In order to address this issue, numerous methods have been introduced and executed both domestically within the US and internationally in countries such as Mexico, India, and Brazil. The report mentioned four specific strategies that can potentially lessen the amount of fake news being spread on the web: trust and verification, disrupting economic incentives, de-prioritizing content and banning accounts, and regulatory approaches. Within the strategy trust and verification, as mentioned by the text “Dead Reckoning,” the authors touched upon the specific approach of ‘debunking’ or fact-checking. This strategy of intervention is said to help determine the accuracy of the information that we come across on the web. The use of this method, the authors claim, will make it more clear for readers to deem information as accurate or not. The spread of checking whether or not information is accurate ultimately led to the development of coalitions throughout the nation and globally.  

Because fact-checking and debunking is a global phenomenon, people of various backgrounds are involved, whether that be of differences in culture or differences in their expertise. For example, according to “A Global Approach to ‘Fake News’,” the Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF) — an international coalition—consists of teams in Asian or European nations that not only have different specialties in news editing, policy making, and media technology but also familiarity with the cultures and norms of their specific countries. Like many other international coalitions, ASEF claims that with such diverse teams tackling the issue of ‘fake news,’ different perspectives will be incorporated into this process which will make it more of an accurate depiction of what information is accurate. Although we might assume that having people of different backgrounds and expertise are an effective method of debunking and fact-checking in a global context, I want to suggest that the idea of truth is fundamentally subjective and that having diverse teams involved in this process will lead to different interpretations. International coalitions have people of different cultures involved in this process which means that their idea of what is accurate can be influenced by their experiences and ideologies.

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Fact-checking and debunking information is said to help users of the web obtain information that is accurate or most closest to the truth. With fact-checking and debunking, information is processed through people with an expertise that pertains to some form of editing and is analyzed by them. Once they deem it as accurate information, the information is certified and continues to spread throughout the web.  In a report published by The Odyssey, it was said that fact-checking works as a method to confirm the verification of politicized information. The report also mentions that although some articles or pieces of writing may seem mostly accurate, fact-checking filters out sources of inaccurate or false statements within the work. A report from Medium expressed that inaccurate information can take many forms, including being incorporated into memes. Some people may come across these subliminal fallacies while browsing on their social media accounts. It insisted that with fact-checking and debunking, people will be able to decipher false information from accurate information. All-in-all, fact-checking and debunking information seem to move us towards a more ‘honest’ world and reduces the amount of deceit in the political scope. However, the report “Dead Reckoning”  proposes that, “Research has shown amplifying false content with the intention to debunk it can actually make the false content more familiar to audiences” (18). Fact-checking and debunking information can actually increase the amount of false information being put out on the web. Thus, fact-checking can expose people to more inaccurate information which will eventually cause them to become more familiar with it. 

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Similarly, in “Reality Bites,” Cloud argues that fact-checking is not as honest as many think since “all truth claims are mediated, or in other words, filtered through the perception, interpretation, and explanation of people with varying power and perspectives” (56). Cloud is claiming that truth is merely subjective; it is determined by one’s perception and interpretation of things. The process of fact-checking and debunking works to find the truth among information on the web, but is executed by different people. So, when fact-checking, information that is deemed accurate or the ‘truth’ is determined by someone else’s perception of what truth is. 

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A prime factor that influences the way we think is our culture. In an article by Association for Psychological Science, there was a case study that was conducted by Shinobu Kitayama, in which he analyzed the Japanese culture and the American culture. He found that the Japanese have a more of a collectivist and/or interdependent culture whereas Americans typically have more of an independent and individualistic culture. Once showed a salient image and asked to describe what they have seen, the Japanese spoke about the focal object and disregarded the overall image, whereas Americans perceived the image in the opposite view. With this sample set, this case study reinforces the ideology that our culture influences our perception of things. People of similar cultures tend to have similar influences on what they deem as believable. With that said, international coalitions incorporate people of different cultural backgrounds which makes the interpretation of truth while fact-checking broadened. What one may deem as the truth, may not be the same case for someone of a different background. Some people may also deny the information that is fact-checked because it does not resonate with their perception of the truth. In an article from Psychology Today, there is a mentioning that “Humans process information in a highly selective way…The information we select tends to be the pieces that reinforce our prior views and positive perceptions of ourselves; the rest we tend to overlook.” Even with fact-checking, the audiences only accept what they believe in rather than information that is said to be verified. On an international scale, fact-checking may not be as effective because people have their own version of the truth. When fact-checkers interpret information, they are doing so with their own perceptions of the truth which does not assure the accuracy of the information. 

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Truth within international coalitions are dependent on one’s culture as stated in the article “Boundaries Not Drawn.” The report highlights that within each nation the goal of fact-checking differs. In Ukraine, the objective of fact-checking pertains to eliminating propaganda that is Pro-Russia, whereas in other nations like the UK fact-checking has more to do with investigating political claims. Fact-checking coalitions for different nations have differing perspectives on what political accuracy is based on their cultures and what they believe is most important in their country. In Ukraine, maintaining the sense of nationalism seemed of top priority and seemed most accurate to them. Going back to Cloud’s ideology, one’s perception does indeed determine their ‘truth,’ as shown in the different goals of the international coalitions. Although fact-checking may be a universal method to reduce inaccurate information on the web, through international coalitions what one culture may deem as the truth differs from that of other cultures. 

Proposal

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  1. Within the strategy trust and verification, as mentioned by the text “Dead Reckoning,” the authors touched upon the specific approach of ‘debunking’ or fact-checking. This strategy of intervention is said to help determine the accuracy of the information that we come across on the web. With the expansion of the use of technology as a method of communicating and mass spreading information, most people are either skeptical of the information they come across or they blindly believe it. With the use of this method, Data and Society —authors of “Dead Reckoning”— claim that it will be more clear for readers to deem information as accurate or not. The spread of this dynamic ultimately led to the development of coalitions throughout the nation. With this growing idea of verifying political information through coalitions, international coalitions emerged as well, making fact-checking a worldwide dynamic.
  2.  Case Studies/Potential examples:
  • According to Wikipedia, Poynter is a certified fact-checking website and they have a wide scale of fact-checkers that work to determine the accuracy of certain news media. In “Politicians are launching their own fact-checking projects. Here’s why that’s problematic,” Poynter speaks about the growing number of politicians that are using fact-checking when publishing works in order to obtain more voters. Politicians from around the world, like Mexico and India, use fact-checking to publicly verify that their information is accurate. With this public display of verification, the voters get a sense of legitimacy from the politicians and are more likely to agree with their ideals. 
  • According to Wikipedia, the Nikkei Asian Review is an English-based business journal that touches upon works that relate to international business and politics. The article, “Indian fact-checkers step up fight against ‘fake news’,” delves into a case study of India that pertains to the growing use of fact-checking or debunking. Many Indian politicians are incorporating fact-checking into political reports in order to lessen the spread of fake news. They believe that it will help with the accuracy of information being presented to voters in national elections. Facebook is also in support of this growth of fake news awareness in India, and is paying a Mumbai-based fact-checking service to monitor the Karnataka election in India. The notions of fact-checking is being promoted worldwide.

3. Wikipedia: Wikipedia says that fact-checking is a method used to determine the veracity of information that are claimed as factual. The purpose of this method is to highlight incorrect information resided within a text or statements and ultimately reject or disregard those pieces of information. There are numerous organizations that solely focus on fact-checking information on the web and there are also websites that are dedicated to that purpose as well— Snopes, Politifact, FactCheck, etc. Fact-checking also works to correct misconceptions of certain texts or information, whether that be hoaxes or exaggerate content. The use of fact-checking grew throughout the nation because more and more people were realizing the inaccuracy of some information they were coming across like political news. 

Deciding What’s True: Author Lucas Graves speaks about fact-checking having a long history — about a decade— in our political world. Journalists’ jobs are now not only to report news, but to also verify that whatever they are claiming is factually correct. With the spread of fact-checking organizations, this dynamic has grown significantly, especially during election times. 

FactCheckEU: This fact-checking coalition website is a unit of the fact-checking website Poytner. Poytner is an American-based fact-checking coalition that acts to lessen the amount of misinformation spreading throughout the web. However,  FactCheckEU is specific to European nations. Within this website, there are numerous outlets that pertain to specific European nations and is written in their languages. Each outlet designed to fact-check the information within that specific nation. 

GDI: This international fact-checking coalition is composed of 12 experts from Berlin, Germany to San Francisco, California. Their team is made up of experts with backgrounds in media, journalism, cybersecurity, and ad-tech. The mission of this website is to expose misinformation as well as lessen the amount of disinformation on the web. In order to deem a text as disinformation, this organization makes artificial intelligence review the work as well as journalists or human-checking. 

First Draft News: First Draft News is a global organization that is dedicated to lessening the amount of fake news on the web. Not only does this organization take part in debunking, but they also work to train more members in fact-checking so this dynamic can spread even further. Currently, First Draft News is working on implementing fact-checking in multiple nations like the US, the UK, France, Germany, Brazil, and Nigeria – and they have plans to expand even further.  

Written Response #2

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In  Demagoguery and Democracy, Patricia Roberts-Miller claims that in a demagogic situation one always remains central to their beliefs; In other words what one identifies with will influence their perception of information they believe is the truth. Roberts-Millers states that one will always reside with their identity even when exposed to different perspectives. She says, “Demagoguery is about identity. It says that complicated policy issues can be reduced to a binary of us (good) versus them (bad). It says that good people recognize there is a bad situation and bad people don’t; therefore, to determine what policy agenda is the best, it says we should think entirely in terms of who is like us and who isn’t” (8). Roberts-Millers is implying that we abide only by the information that is in favor of our perspective and deem it as “good”, and information that is not in our favor is deemed incorrect or “bad.” She is claiming that one’s perception of the truth can not be altered because they will always believe that the opposing side is inaccurate or incorrect.This is an implication that we are subconsciously stubborn and will always remain close-minded no matter how many perspectives we are exposed to. With her perspective of the ‘truth,’ one might question – can your opinion or your mindset be altered even if you have a ‘hardened’ or an already shaped bias? Is it impossible to have your perception of the truth altered or will it remain consistent throughout your lifetime?

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Identity, Atlantic author Julie Beck agrees, does play a role in one’s perception of the truth. In “This Article won’t Change your Mind,” Beck claims that one’s perception of the truth depends on their surroundings and the way they think. Beck mentions a case study about a former yoga group member, Daniel Shaw, and his blindness to the abusive allegations set out about the yoga group. Because he was apart of that group, he did not believe in the allegations – He strictly believed in the purity of the group. Beck stated that, “People have always been tribal and have always believed things that aren’t true.” Aforementioned, Shaw’s cling to this group is what caused him to believe the fallacy of these allegations. The members of the group having similar mindsets also contributed to his way of thinking. Beck does state that identity does play a role in one’s perception of the truth like Roose, but Beck also mentions the idea of group-thinking playing a role in one’s perception of the truth as well. Your surroundings influence the way you think. If you are apart of a group that thinks the same way as you (like Shaw), you will continue to have the same mindset, however if you surround yourself with people that have different mindsets or ways of thinking then you will be more likely to change your ways of thinking. Beck uses a real life example of how one’s mindset can be changed by their surroundings. As opposed to what Roberts-Millers was saying, Beck is saying that being exposed to varying perspectives can potentially lead to shifts in how we perceive the truth or our biases. 

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Similar to Beck, journalist Kevin Roose led a case study about how one’s perception of the truth had been altered through the virtual world in “The Making of a Youtube Radical.” Roose mentioned a young man named Caleb Cain who — like many teenagers and millenials—  dedicated the majority of his time on social media, especially on YouTube. Cain was originally a liberal, but because of YouTube he had become a supporter of the far right of the political spectrum for a period of time in his life. Roose stated that, “To Mr. Cain, all of this felt like forbidden knowledge — as if, just by watching some YouTube videos, he had been let into an exclusive club.”The information being fed to Cain by the YouTube videos about the conservatives seemed very engaging to Cain because he had never been exposed to such information or thought of certain things in a different light. He felt as if he was apart of a special group that touched upon topics that he had not acknowledged before, like advocacy of men’s rights. The YouTubers that created these videos spoke about certain political topics in the point of view of a rightist in a very cunning and relatable way. With the help of YouTube’s algorithm and Cain’s resonation with the life story of a YouTuber, Stefan Molyneux, he continued to watch more videos that pertained to the right wing of politics. “Red-pilling,” the idea of shifting one’s political view to the conservative side, occurred in Cain’s case through YouTube’s algorithm. Both Rooses’ and Becks’ case studies suggests that one’s perception can be altered in many different ways. Cain had his political stance shifted through technology and Shaw had a change in mind through group-thinking. Robert-Millers’ claim does not stand as strong once juxtaposed with Rooses’ and Becks’ case studies.

Synthesis Response #1

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On October 2018 an episode of The New York Times’ podcast, The Daily, included an in-depth interview with the creators of the site Madworld News— Cory and Christy Pepple. The site that they created was a Facebook page that was in favor of the conservative side or right wing of politics. This website has many posts that  pertain to showing the conservatives in a positive demeanour while also including posts that exaggerate the actions of the left wing in a negative light. Many fact-checking websites, such as Snopes, claimed that this website expresses many notions of fake news. The Pepples blatantly said, “The most reliable way to make a story grow is to make the audience angry.” The Pepples were knowledgeable about what they were doing and knew they were deepening the division between the two opposing sides. The motivation behind the publishing of this content was not only to share conservative insight and negatively depict left-wing news, but also to gain more views which in turn increases their profits. 

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The United States was built on the foundation of freedom of speech and freedom of expression. With the aid of technology, the process of spreading one’s words has become an easier task. There are thousands of sites on the web that pertain to one sharing their perspectives of certain topics whether that be in a blog format, social media posts (like the Pepples), or publishing news stories. As time progressed, the use of the terminology and the distribution of fake news— the mass spreading of information that is deemed inaccurate— had grown more apparent in the nation. 

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Fake news tends to take the form of one spreading their opinion about certain topics, while claiming the information presented is factual. The idea of truth grew very abstract and, according to Roberts-Miller, developed the characteristic of “genetic fallacy.”  Robert-Millers’ text goes into depth about demagoguery and how it has impacted the type of news we are being exposed to in the nation. Demagoguery inhibits the characteristics of group identity (loyalty of one side), need (recognizing what the opposing group’s ideals are, and punishment (not being open-minded or accepting of the ideals of the opposing group) – all influencing how one interprets a truth. She touches upon the foundations of democracy and how one’s political view influences what one perceives to be real or not real. People that lean more toward a specific group tend to be in favor of all of the actions and the reputation of that group. With that being said, if there are statements that oppose the ideals of that specific group, supporters will deem the statements as false. Roberts-Millers says that, “ We don’t realize we’re engaged in the genetic fallacy because it appeals to our (often incorrect) intuition that people like us (members of the in-group) are essentially trustworthy, and people like them (members of the out-group) are not. When we operate that way, we aren’t just treating members of in-groups and out-groups differently; we are perceiving them differently” (37). Genetic fallacy describes the dynamic of the ‘in -group;’ People that reside within this group only believe in what appeals to them and they oppose the ideals of people that are apart of the ‘out-group,’ or people that do not have the same ideals as them. Furthermore, in-group members only deem information as accurate if it pertains to their ideals and deem it as inaccurate if it opposes their ideals.  

While some people are blind to the spread of fake news, those who are not use this to their advantage. Many people use specific methods to spread their beliefs onto others by the tactic of exaggeration. Spreading false or hyperbolic content help people strengthen their specific communities support or help spread news at a rapid pace. This often deepens already existing political divisions. Authors like the Pepples use their knowledge about genetic fallacy to spark strong emotions between both the in-group (the right wing) and the out-group (the left wing).  Although many out-group members believe that the information set forth by the Pebbles is inaccurate, members of the in-group believe otherwise. The Pebbles evoking strong emotions from both groups helps spread the information and also furthers the growth of the subjectivity of the truth. Just like Madworld News, there are multiple sites that evoke and thrive off of division between the out-group and the in-group. With the growth of this fake news and the subconscious practice of genetic fallacy, the concept of truth is growing more and more subjective.

Fact-Check #4

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According to Medical News Today (MNT), a website dedicated to sharing health-related information, a recent study came out on July 8, 2019 which states that giving up alcohol will help boost your mental health, especially for`adult women.The article mentions that over the years there had been numerous disputes on whether or not alcohol impacts one’s health negatively or positively. Many scientists present different ideas about how alcohol impacts humans.  Prior to delving into the information provided by the article, I noticed that the article said that it was fact-checked already by an editor. This gave the article a sense of legitimacy because it showed that the work was reviewed and deemed as accurate by a specific person. Although incorporating the fact-check certification did strengthen the legitimacy, it does not mean that the information presented within this source is completely accurate.  When searching up Medical News Today on Wikipedia, there was no mention of the source being biased or having inaccurate information. This helps with strengthening the legitimacy of the site and the information within this article.  

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As you read further into the article, it discusses four studies published that illustrate how alcohol consumption and mental health have a very ambiguous relationship. Although the links within this post point to other MNT posts (internal links), those posts do include links to the actual studies. The first link provided speaks about the debates many scientists were having about the impacts of alcohol consumption. It then later mentioned that drinking alcohol increased people’s risk of getting cardiovascular disease. The next link also mentioned the disputes many scientists had about the effects of alcohol consumption on a human. It spoke about how alcohol can be beneficial to women, but further went to explain how recent studies have shown that alcohol consumption has very harmful effects, one of them being depression, which supports the author’s claim about mental health. 

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The author mentions an important study, done in Hong Kong, which acts as the base of the author’s entire article. The research’s publishing page, CMAJ, is Canadian-based and solely focuses on medical findings. CMAJ has an impact factor of about 6.8 as of 2015, which is pretty good. When viewing the research findings done in Hong Kong, the authors’ information were provided and a link to Google Scholar for each author were provided as well. Each of the authors had a medical and research-based background. The research paper did include specific information about how people that consume little to no alcohol do tend to be mentally more healthy when compared to those that are regular alcohol consumers. The MNT article did specify that women who abstain from alcohol tend to have better improvements on their mental health, so the authors’ claim about women being impacted more is accurate according to this study. The article mentioned that women who were lifelong abstainers actually had a lower mental health improvement than those who gave up alcohol consumption, which was confirmed by the  study. The information provided in this article about this study aligns with the research paper published in CMAJ. 

Overall, the information provided within this article was proven to be accurate through the findings of the study on CMAJ. The study conducted in Hong Kong did help support the author’s claim. It went into detail about how refraining from alcohol can help improve one’s mental health, especially women. The authors of the study done in Hong Kong did have a prior background in research and the medical sciences. The research page, CMAJ, also provided the readers access to the detailed backgrounds of each author which helped with determining the accuracy of the study. The internal citations also helped with supporting the claim in the article because each of the articles had a specific study embedded within them which pertained to health and alcohol consumption. 

Fact-Check #3

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The Daily Mail sometimes gets its information from sites which includes other news outlets. For example, they had an article created pertaining to the earthquake that occurred in California recently and they included images and quotes from CNN. They also included specific quotes from the U.S. Geological Survey, however, they did not embed citations within their website. They also included many quotations from celebrities that made comments about the earthquake. Within the article, they included one link, but once the link was clicked on, it took me to the same article I was reading.  In another article that spoke about President Trump’s July 4th speech, there were no sources once again embedded within the article. However, this time they included a video of President Trump’s speech. The author of this article, Emily Goodin, claims to be a journalist and a passionate political writer, according to her LinkedIn bio. When I clicked on her name on the website, it directed me to all of the articles she wrote on the Daily mail, which was only the Trump article. 

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With Trump’s Fourth of July speech, the Daily Mail did not have a sense of bias towards him. All of the information provided within this article were factual. For example, they mentioned that he was the first president in nearly seven decades to speak in DC in Independence Day. However, the images used to display the event spoken about show President Trump in a very patriotic manner. It also shows his dedication to acknowledging the American people. With this comes propaganda in showing that President Trump is a true leader to his people. Him being shown as continuing his speech even with the terrible weather conditions, makes him look like a man of his word as well because he made a promise that he would make this speech during the Fourth of July. Majority of the written work pertain to just describing the event.

Furthermore, according to Allsides— a website whose intended purpose is to expose readers to different sides of the news media— the Daily Mail is a news source that leans more towards the right side of politics. Allsides defines right-wing news outlets as conservative or in support of republican ideals. Allsides uses a voting system which allows people to agree on whether or not the side chosen for the specific website is what it is assigned as. It was agreed upon by the visitors of the website that the Daily Mail is a news source that leans more towards the right side. The website Allsides says that the Daily Mail owns the BBC, which is more of a centered news source. Being a centered news source means that it has a mixture of both leftist and rightist ideals. This is very interesting given the fact that the Daily Mail is leaning more towards the right side. 

Similarly, when delving into Wikipedia, it stated that the Daily Mail is indeed a very conservative-based news outlet. It also mentioned that many readers and sources, including Wikipedia, deem the Daily Mail as an unreliable source. They state that the Daily Mail is notorious for having poor fact-checking and for fabrication. The Daily Mail also had many criticisms pertaining to producing “scare stories.”

All-in-all, the news on the Daily Mail did not come off as right-winged from the two articles analyzed. The articles looked at mainly have specific events described with pictures as references. One thing that does stand out is that the information is poorly cited. This weakens the legitimacy of the information being written about. Also, when viewing what Wikipedia had published about the Daily Mail lessens its sense of legitimacy as well. Many sources consider the Daily Mail as unreliable because of their poor use of factual evidence.

Fact-Check #2

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This article is sourced from Insider, a website that shares news through videos and/or articles. Insider displays a wide variety of news types, ranging from environmental issues to entertainment news. The articles on this site tend to have a sense of legitimacy because of the amount of supporting sources within each article and the credible authors for each article. This specific article speaks about the parasite cryptosporidium and the infection cryptosporidiosis; More specifically, the article claims that crypto-contaminated water is on the rise in U.S. pools and one of the many concerns of this rise is more people being affected with diarrhea. The title of the article gives off a sense of fear that cryptosporidium is very common in the U.S. which triggers the need to look deeper into the matter.  

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According to Wikipedia, cryptosporidium is a parasite that survives in a chlorine-based environment. Once it leeches onto a host, it causes respiratory and gastrointestinal illnesses, including diarrhea. Cryptosporidium enters potable waters or recreational waters through poor filtration. Typically, when water filters clean our water, chlorine is used to wipe out most of the bacteria. Given cyptosporidium’s resistance to chlorine, it is hard to filter it out of the water. Wikipedia also mentions that cryptosporidiosis  occurs when one is infected or contaminated by the parasite, which will lead to severe cases of diarrhea. 

Although Wikipedia does not mention the rise in cryptoridium in U.S. pools, the author of this article provides numerous sources throughout her piece in support of this claim.While reading this article, I delved into the sources within the article determining whether or not this claim serves to uphold the sense of concern.  She first refers to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a government website that speaks about different forms of epidemics, their causes, and prevention. This specific reference included an explanation of the parasite and its effects on humans. The article, “Cryptosporidiosis Outbreaks,” mentions that during the years of 2009-2017, there had been an annual 13% rise in this parasite in 40 states and Puerto Rico. The parasite is indeed impacting a great amount of recreational waters in the United States, ultimately impacting a vast amount of the U.S. population. The evidence used within this article helps support the authors claim of the rise in cryptosporidium in our pool waters. The information provided did show recent evidence of annual growth of the parasite in U.S. recreational waters and its impact on humans. The author then refers to another Insider article that speaks about risks in swimming in waters. This was not a strong move to support the authors claim because they are using the same base website to attempt to support their claim. However, that article did have a subsection about cryptosporidium and did have a link embedded within the brief section. The link cited spoke about a cryptosporidium outbreak in Wisconsin in 1993. This information is somewhat outdated, however, it does explain the detrimental effects of cryptosporidium with a historical example in the United States. With this parasite being somewhat of a consistent issue within the U.S., the author referencing the outbreak is trying to convey what can happen if further action is not taken place. Another article, “Half of Americans Use Swimming Pools as Communal Bathtub, Survey Finds,”  was cited and it touched upon the poor sanitation of swimming pools, but failed to mention cryptosporidium which ultimately does not provide support to their claim. 

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This article did include factual evidence about cryptosporidium and it did go over how it can be apart of one’s pool. The author claimed that it is growing in the United States recently and that it does cause diarrhea. Through the analysis of the sources within the article, there were facts that supported the claim that this parasite is increasing in the United States currently. It did mention the parasite’s past growth in the United States, helping readers get an idea of how detrimental this situation can get. All-in-all, the author did support their claim with the use of strong, legitimate evidence which contributed to the validity of their claim.