Misinformation On Internet Platforms An The Importance Of News Literacy

Since immense quantities of individuals in modern day society have a simple access to the Web, it has become a platform for a large number of people to get updated with current news from all over the globe. Unfortunately not everything we encounter on the internet is true, there are times when we encounter fake news and questionable propaganda. With that being said, individuals have a difficult time distinguishing real information from fake information.

This can be a very serious issue in the United States, not only are the people that live in this country receiving the wrong facts, but so are the people that watch our news from other countries. News literacy is identified as critical thinking skills for breaking down and judging the reliability of news and facts, separating among realities, feelings and affirmations in the media, we consume, make and distribute(School Journalism).

According to Natural News, supplementing with Mucuna Pruriens raises your natural dopamine levels to cure depression and anxiety. The focus of Natural News is to address the audience that consuming Mucuna Pruriens cures depression and anxiety, and that medication only worsen it. Mucuna Pruriens is a tropical legume native to Africa and tropical Asia and widely naturalized and cultivated. This article uses examples such as blaming common food that contains pesticides as well as blaming aspartame, an artificial sweetener for the cause of depression and anxiety. It argues that ordinary food that contain pesticides have detrimental effects on the brain and the central nervous system. It also claims that aspartame creates insomnia and messes up the central nervous system by hoisting aspartic acid and phenylalanine in the cerebrum, preventing the synthesis and release of neurotransmitters, norepinephrine, serotonin and dopamine. Therefore aspartame produces a chemical stress for the cerebrum. What makes it even worse, is that if you consume it on an unfilled stomach it can be very toxic(Natural News). In conclusion, this article provides examples of how depression and anxiety is created to reach its goal of promoting a natural remedy in using Mucuna Pruriens. Natural News uses confirmation bias to exit out any other possible alternative to cure depression and anxiety. I will be analyzing in depth how this article portrays fake news and questionable propaganda.

Misinformation can be hard to correct and it can leave adverse effects that can last even if they get corrected afterwards. This false propaganda of Mucuna Pruriens is a standout amongst the most vital methods for misleading individuals and it has prompted negative outcomes, such as patients missing out on life changing medication. One of the contrary effects that this false purposeful publicity makes is that they plan to trick the people by their counterfeit news and make a phony reality for them based on the information they give. Furthermore, this article cannot be trusted because it misinforms the reader from real news. In addition, this article is also biased because it tends to seek out evidence that supports its beliefs and to deny evidence that contradicts it. This article compares America to the home of chronic sick care”where every medical patient is recommended to take chemical and experimental prescriptions so they will become a patient for life”. It also discusses how Mucuna is simply food and isn't prepared in a laboratory with dangerous chemical constituents, like every other prescription drug in America.

This article is being biased because it tends to focus on Mucuna as the only option to cure depression and anxiety when it doesn’t even back up it’s claim with any scientific proof. It only states the positive of Mucuna but what if that method doesn’t work, what will be the consequences of it not working and what are the other alternatives to use to cure depression and anxiety. There can be real consequences to a patient suffering from severe depression and can even be fatal if it’s not taken care of in a right manner. This article needs to state the good and the bad of just consuming Mucuna as a method to cure depression and anxiety, along with credible sources to support its claim. Furthermore, this article attempts to promote Mucuna but it departs from its point when it goes on talking about its own biased view of America’s use of medical procedures to cure its citizens. This source is biased and lacks of evidence.

However, according to the Genetic Literacy Project the creator of Natural News is Mike Adams. Adams neither refers to nor gives a specifics as to his formal education or training other than his “four year education in science qualification from a conspicuous college in the Midwest”, as reported by the Genetic Literacy Project. He relies on ethos to establish his claims on his point of views, but when evaluating ethos, the audience needs to examine carefully what the author is saying to determine whether they’re credible or not. In this specific article, Adams uses fallacious ethos such appeal to anonymous authority to come across his point. He uses phrases as in “proven by science”, “medical doctors”, “scientifically proven”, but neither of these statements offers a specific credible source, so these claims lack authority. In addition, his self-promoted mission is to teach individuals about their well being and reveal "reality" about "hurtful" remedies medications and medical practices.

Adams has been known as a "spammer" and the extortion artist by guard groups who take note that he is certainly not a Medical Specialist but he has operated a string of fake health advice website. Therefore, it is crucial that people spend more time verifying the source that the news was shared from before sharing it anybody else to avoid any misunderstandings and spreading incorrect information. Misinformation on internet platforms have the capacity to be spread across the world and impact so many thoughts as it can be easily shared by merely clicking a shared button. Due to the above reasoning, it can be concluded that evaluating news and propaganda on the web will not be such a bad idea after all.

15 July 2020
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