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Find an example of a fake news story. Debunk it and consider its potential aims, dangers, and motives.

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Unfortunately, there are many possible fake news stories one could use to address this prompt, and one might find a good example surrounding the debate about the COVID-19 vaccine.

One story that is circulating about the vaccine is that it turns people into magnets. Scientists have disproved this and worked to assure the public that this is not possible, as the vaccines do not contain metals, microchips, or anything of the sort. There are many possible motives for such a theory, like the fact that many people today do not trust their government. If people do not trust the authority figures in their society, they might speculate about how these figures might work to harm them.

Fake news stories like the magnet one are dangerous because they do not base their claims on scientific evidence. Some aim to keep people safe or build public distrust in the government, but they are actually putting people in dangerous situations. For instance, in the case of the magnet story, the fake news might discourage people from getting vaccinated. Someone might read the story and become scared of the vaccine and not get it. They then might become very sick with the virus and die. The possibility of such a case shows how important it is to only consult credible news sources to ensure your news is real.

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