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Have you ever wondered why there is fake news on social media? Why do people still share fake news even though they know it can hurt other people’s lives? Why were people tricked by the propaganda of any institutions via social media? Or why are there still so many pirate movies on social media and people supporting it? If you have ever wondered about these things, check this article out.

As everyone knows nowadays social media is an important part of our society. With globalization, people can access social media more easily resulting in the increasing  users of social media. Social media can not only be able to connect people together but it can also preserve democracy in society and can also bring many benefits if everyone knows how to use it to their advantage. However, every coin has two sides. Not everyone who uses social media can use it properly. For some people, social media has become a space for exploitation. Some people use social media as a tool to deceive people.  whether it is creating fake news or false information. While some social media users do not have enough ability to analyze the information. Moreover, many social media users also use social media as a place to gain profit by publishing pirate films. And many people still watch and support those pirate films publishers. Those are the vital problems that we commonly see in everyday social media use. And that creates the question that “Is our society ready for social media use?

For the Fake News, Fake News is false information presented as news with the intent to mislead people to cause damage to the agency, legal entity, individual. Fake news can also be used to obtain financial gain or even used in political terms. 

Why is there fake news on social media?

Fake News makers often use erotic, deceptive, or entirely fictitious headlines to increase their readership, online sharing, and income from internet clicks. Similar to the “clickbait” headline, fake news mostly relies on advertising revenue regardless of whether the printed story is accurate or not. 

In addition to economic reasons, the creation and dissemination of fake news can be systematic operations for political purposes. Using manipulative techniques or psychological persuasion or creating conspiracy theories to make consumers of information confused or questioning existing facts or evidence.

And with those elements in the fake news, it can totally influence people. Fake news for people in today’s society is still new.  No one or any agency has provided the knowledge about it. As a result, many people in society do not have enough ability to distinguish between real news and fake news and that is the problem.

Why do people still share fake news even though they know it can hurt other people’s lives?

As our world is changing very fast with the advancement of technology. Unlike aging personnel, these advances are countered. For example, the people in the Ministry of Education which mostly are the old generation do not even recognize the problem of fake news. Such problems were not taught in the school. Since these matters are not properly taught in schools, many people in society are unaware of it. They are not taught to have media literacy, which is an essential skill to deal with fake news. They don’t know that information on social media should always be verified before sharing. They just thought someone had shared information and it was interesting, so they continued sharing. A good example of this is the story about the information about COVID-19 pandemic. Many people on social media have spread fake information about this disease. Some of them shared that drinking alcohol can help prevent you from COVID-19 or some herb such as Kratom ( Mitragyna speciosa ) can cure COVID-19. That false information was spread among social media due to the fact that people do not have media literacy to verify the information. And such information can really harm people who do not have enough knowledge about this disease. They just believe whatever they see on social media without realizing that they were being deceived by interesting headlines.

As seen in the previous paragraph, the main problem arises from the inability of social media users to distinguish information before sharing due to the lack of media literacy. This is still a new issue, causing fewer people to understand media literacy, mostly just students or staff working in the media industry.

Apart from the lethal terms of fake news, lack of media literacy can also get you influenced by propaganda as well. 

Why were people tricked by the propaganda of any institutions via social media?

Propaganda is a form of communication that primary goal is to persuade the listener to make people act on what the media producers want in order to drive political goals that may not be objective. And may use a partial representation of the truth to generate the expected feedback. Or use weighted language to produce an emotional rather than rational response to the information presented.

With the fact that various organizations, whether governments or political parties, know the great power of the media. More and more organizations are using the media to propagate people. They can just create exaggerated information to promote their side or attack their opponent. People who do not have media literacy are easily influenced by misled information. 

Another term is about the pirate film. A film piracy refers to the uncertified sharing of copyrighted content. Due to the improvement of technology, digital disruption makes this problem getting worse. The occurrence of social media resulting in the increasing of film piracy. In the past, film piracy was in the form of illegal CDs, but nowadays it can be seen in many forms including websites, Facebook, or Tiktok. 

Why are there still so many pirate movies on social media and people supporting it?

Because pirate films are easy to access and have many platforms since social media occurs. People can even create their own platform to publish pirate films such as  facebook pages, websites, or even Tiktok. Those social media platforms make it easier for piracy makers to publish their pirate films. Pirated films are so popular among social media users that some films are still in a cinema but piracy makers can put those films on their platform and gain much profit from advertising or engagement of websites. 

This problem was caused by the lack of knowledge, education, and logic errors in social media users. Some people do not know that pirate films are illegal. They just watch and do not understand a copyright act. Moreover, there are many people who share and comment to support the piracy maker. It can reflect the problems of the educational system that it does not cultivate enough awareness about copyright. On the other hand, there are still some groups of people who know that piracy film is illegal, but still don’t care about the law. All they know is that piracy can reduce the cost of watching movies. 

Despite the fact that many countries already have a copyright law that protects copyrighted works, the problem of copyright infringement, particularly movie piracy, has been steadily increasing. The pirated movies are distributed to online platforms immediately after the films premiere and are only shown for one or two days. Or some films are still in theaters but it has shown in a piracy films market. And it can show that existing legislation is ineffective.

Back to the question, “Is our society ready for social media use?”.

According to the statement above, it can be seen that all of the problems are caused by social media users who do not have enough knowledge about social media. They do not know that there is a lot of fake news on social media. They may continue to share such fake news with good intentions, but they do not know that fake news can hurt others. They also do not even know that there was a lot of propaganda on social media. Furthermore, they may also not know that it is wrong to watch pirated movies or share pirated movies on social media. They do not have enough knowledge about these subjects because the information about media was not taught in the education system.But that is not the user’s fault at all. With the fact that social media allows people to share and consume information freely, it can bring about these problems as well. So, it is undeniable to say that it is important to teach people nowadays to use social media properly and appropriately. 

For me, even though all of the problems arise from the fact that the knowledge about media use was not taught thoroughly, it was only taught to students or personnel in the field of mass communication.  Although all problems are caused by the unpreparedness of the society to use social media. But to be able to solve these problems, we must start from the root of the problem. Every country should pay more attention to the knowledge about social media use. So that social media, which is important to people these days, will be a quality and safe place for everyone.

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