The source of my news, like most of us, are the principle news sources that really catch our eyes that remain embedded into our endless Facebook feed,
satisfying our need to “stay informed” of current events. I underwent an investigation to see how the sources we find everyday are similar or
changed depending on who wrote it. Referencing Eli Pariser’s Filter Bubbles, I strove to find news altered due to their writer’s boss’s
political agenda. A quick search on Google will tell you that BBC is the biggest news source on Facebook with 33 million fans, CNN maintaining the two
spots right after. However scouring the top 20 list, you notice that they are all either British or American networks. Not only that, but a number of
news networks on the list are owned by the same company. How does this funnel of information affect the way we receive new.
I took a look at current events across a multitude of platforms and medias to see how they compared. The topic of interest was the Syrian ceasefire,
which was covered in variety of interesting headlines across the Internet. My primary source of news, The Guardian, titles their piece; Syria
ceasefire begins as agencies prepare to deliver aid. Nothing suspicious at first, the article describes a ceasefire brought together by the kindness
of the United States and Russia. The writing continues innocently to advocate for the high powers working for the truce in this carefully crafted
propaganda. Follow this cohesive evangelism with the writing of Kareem Khadder of the CNN who suggest a completely different story. “At least 90
killed in Syria, including 28 children, after ceasefire plan announced.” The writing tells quite a different story, the crack of violence and death
upon the news of the ceasefire. However the perpetrators are not identified in the piece. However the only piece of evidence given in the story is
that of Russian forces and the medical centers they have targeted. Anyone reviewing such news would immediately piece two and two together, and thus
conclude that the Russians were the cause of the attack in some twisted irony. Why does this difference actually matter? Well, based on your Internet
footprint, either one of the story may be presented to you. The former story describe the justice of democracy and puts a positive spin on a terrible
situation and even spills light onto Russia. It may be so that even your political standpoint would factor in to give you a pro-Russian article. On
the latter side, there is an indirect accusation to the Russians. The latter, incidentally, was the one article that popped up on my feed. What was
even more worrisome was when I attempted to search for this news event and mostly articles shedding Russia in a negative light was found and the
promotion of the US was omnipresent. Conversely when an acquaintance did the same the BBC told a different story.
The piece “Syria Conflict: Russia Fears Collapse of ceasefire” suggest a completely different story than that of the CNN article. Given, the BBC
article was posted a day after, but it describes how the Russians are, in fact, the ones fearing that the ceasefire may be compromised due to the
US’s targeted airstrikes after the ceasefire was announced. This is a completely opposing view compared to the BBC.
These two articles can be presented to sway a person one of two ways. The former shuns Russia for killing innocent civilians, while the latter does
the same, just placing the blame on the US instead. What factors could affect what you see? Liking different politicians may have an effect, or simply
what kind of news you are drawn to like. Just like Mat Honan was able to showcase by Liking Everything He Saw On Facebook. Obviously liking everything
isn’t especially realistic, but the principle is the same.
If you like something consistently, you give the Facebook (or other sites) an algorithm to construct the perfect filter bubble just for you.
However, even if we are showed all of these different articles, how do you know what the truth is? What is shown to us is the truth?
What you can do, and what I decided to do, was to go to a different news source that is notorious for giving out real news and is completely
impartial. Aljazeera and Mother Jones are great examples of just that. For this exploration, I found an article in Aljazeera named Tentative Syria
Truce to begin after surge of killings with a good dose of skepticism. It describes the how the killings had, in fact, not been caused by either
Russia or the US, but the airstrikes that terrorized the civilians and killed many, was in fact the government of Syria. Although it’s true that
Russia backs the Syrian government, Russian fighters did not carry out the airstrike as the CNN article insinuated.
The underlying question in the exploration that you should be asking at this point is; what can I do? In order to ensure that you do not partake in
schemes from up the food chain, you have to be skeptical and smart. Read sources, which offer an impartial opinion and have a skeptical mindset when
browsing Facebook or any other social media site in search for news.
edit on 26-9-2016 by TheTinHatExposer because: (no reason given)