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Practice English Speaking&Listening with: Learn English from the News - What to do about fake news articles?

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hello students are you ready for another

English in the news lesson okay we are

live so today's lesson is about an

article I read about what Facebook and

Google should do about some of the fake

news articles that are appearing on

their sites and how these fake news

articles can influence people people's

opinions especially when considering the

recent presidential election so get

ready I'm going to teach you eight words

and phrases from this article so the

article started out by talking about we

are in the wake of the presidential

election in the wake of is an expression

that simply refers to after the period

of time after usually a major event or

something that causes a lot of change or

disruption okay this word wake in this

context it's not talking about being

awake like not sleeping when you have a

boat that's going through water and so

the water is normally very calm right

and when the boat goes through the water

it leaves an area of agitated water

behind the boat right and that is called

the wake of the boat okay it's the

agitated water that is present after the

boat passes through so when more

generally when we say in the wake of a

particular event it refers to the period

of time afterwards so usually an event

that has changed things or made some

disturbances in the normal situation and

now we're talking about the period of

time after so right now as I'm recording

this video in November of 2016 we are in

the wake of the most recent presidential

election here in the United States

in the wake of the election Facebook and

Google are coming under fire what does

that mean if something is under fire it

means it is being very strongly

criticized or people are accusing it of

doing something wrong okay

you can have a company under fire you

can have a person under fire so if

there's a person at the company who made

a lot of bad decisions and then people

are getting angry and accusing the

person and criticizing the person that

person is under fire okay if you're

under fire it means you're receiving a

lot of criticism and accusations so

right now in the wake of the recent

presidential election Facebook and

Google are under fire because there are

some fake and some misleading articles

that appeared on Facebook and Google so

we have fake and misleading something

that is fake is false it's not true okay

that's what the word fake means and

misleading is a little bit different

something that is misleading means it's

deceptive it gives you the wrong

impression to lead you in the wrong

direction okay like I'm trying to think

of another example okay let's say you're

driving and you're trying to get to New

York City and you see a sign that says

New York City is to the right and so you

think okay directing me to the right so

you go to the right but actually the

sign was saying that New York City is

maybe the next right after that and so

you took the wrong turn so you would say

oh that sign was misleading it looked

like it was true but it actually led me

in the wrong direction

so we when we talk about a news article

that's misleading this might be an

article where the headline makes it

sound different than the facts really

are or it gives a more

dream impression than the truth okay so

something that is fake a news article

that is fake is completely false

completely imaginary completely

different from reality and something

that is misleading is usually just

somewhat different it just leads you a

little bit away from the truth or the

correct direction all right so basically

a lot of people are criticizing Facebook

and Google for allowing fake and

misleading articles to spread and be

shared on their websites but and they

want Facebook and Google to stop these

fake and misleading articles but

Facebook and Google are a little bit

reluctant to do that Reluctant if you

are reluctant it means you really don't

want to you are hesitating maybe you

have some doubts about if this is the

right thing to do so to be reluctant

means you really don't want to do

something and if you're maybe going to

go very slowly or you're going to

hesitate before doing it Facebook and

Google are reluctant to stop publication

of these news articles because they say

that they are neutral areas so something

that is neutral means it is in the

middle and it doesn't support one side

or the other side okay something is

neutral it means they they have no

opinion they are just regular in the

middle and so Facebook is saying we are

neutral that means we allow publication

of news from one side of the opinion and

the other side of the opinion and so

because Facebook and Google say they are

neutral that's why they are reluctant to

stop some of these publications because

they don't want to start judging what is

true and what is not true because they

then they wouldn't be neutral any more

then they would have to take a more

active role in analyzing the news but

there they they are trying to

answer some of the critics so critic is

a challenging word okay it's a noun the

adjective form is critical and that also

has a couple different meanings maybe

I'll make a separate lesson on that

later but if a person is a critic there

are two potential meanings so in this


critics of Facebook and Google are the

people who are criticizing Facebook and

Google the people who are saying bad

things about them or saying that they

are wrong and they need to change so a

critic can be someone who is against

something or someone who criticizes now

you also might see people talking about

a movie critic or an art critic in this

case it's a little bit different it just

it doesn't mean someone who says bad

things about a movie or someone who says

bad things about art a movie critic and

an art critic those are people who

evaluate movies and art so they analyze

the movie or the art and they give their

opinion both the good and the bad okay

so in the context of movies and art and

literature a critic is just someone who

evaluates these works of art but when

you hear someone talking about a critic

or critics of a new law or critics of a

particular politician then that usually

means people who are against it people

who oppose it they criticize it all

right so in this in this context critics

of Facebook and Google are the people

who are saying bad things they are

saying Facebook and Google are wrong for

allowing these misleading news articles

to be published so in an attempt to

satisfy the critics Facebook said that

it would bar fake news sites from using

paid advertising so you're probably

already familiar with the word bar as a

noun meaning a place where you can drink

alcohol or bar can also mean

metal bar like you might see in a jail

but in this context bar is being used as

a verb meaning to prevent or not to

allow so if facebook tells one of these

fake news sites you are barred from

using our advertising that means you

can't do it you are prevented another

example would be if here in the United

States you have to be 21 to buy alcohol

so if you tried to buy alcohol even at

the supermarket and they asked for your

ID your identification and they see you

are only 17 years old they will bar you

from buying the alcohol that means they

don't allow it okay so in this case bar

is being used as a verb meaning not to

allow Facebook will bar certain news

sites or fake news sites from using the

advertising features on Facebook however

the Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg

tried to play down the role of Facebook

in the elections what he said was it's

pretty crazy to think that Facebook

could influence the elections so play

down is a phrasal verb and play down

means to de-emphasize to try to make

something seem less important okay so

the critics are saying that Facebook was

very important in the election and that

the misleading news articles tricked

people or deceived people but Facebook's

leader is saying is trying to play it

down saying no it really wasn't that

important okay the opposite of play down

is play up so to play up means to make

something seem more important okay or

more obvious for example if I use bright

red lipstick I'm trying to play up my

lips I'm trying to emphasize them and

make them look important okay whereas if

I have let's say

have a scar or a pimple on my face then

I'm going to try to use makeup to play

down that flaw to make it seem less


okay so play up means to make something

seem more important or emphasize it more

and then play down means to make

something seem less important or

emphasize it less give it less

significance so the Facebook founder and

owner tried to play down

Facebook's influence on the recent

election all right so those are eight

words and phrases from this recent news

article about fake news articles

appearing on Facebook and Google I'd

love to hear your opinion so tell me

what you think about fake news that

appears on the Internet just leave a

comment below this video and if you're

interested in taking a course with me I

have courses in speaking vocabulary

phrasal verbs I have one called phrasal

verbs in conversation so it will help

you learn phrasal verbs in context I

have ebooks on collocations confusing

words almost every area of the language

so if you'd like to take a course with

me click on the link that I will put in

the description of this video or just go

to espresso English dotnet and then

click on courses and ebooks to see

what's available I hope you have been

enjoying today's live lesson let's see

how many people were watching 76 all

right thank you for joining me today and

I will see you in the next lesson bye

for now

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