The Effect of Fake News…

So called ‘fake news’ is all the rage these days. In fact it seems like it does not matter if it is fake or not, just calling it ‘fake’ is enough and therein lies the problem. We tend to trust certain sources of information. As a Brit I have always tended to trust the BBC as a source of news, even though it was revealed that the UK government fed the BBC and other news sources ‘false’ information about troop and ship movements during the Falklands war for both strategic and political reasons. You might call that propaganda but it’s really still just ‘fake news’.

The propagation of fake news is not helped by the fact that news outlets are often quick to jump on a story and ‘report’ it without doing any sort of due diligence because they are afraid of missing out on it and thus losing viewers/readers/eyes and of course fewer eyes on a channel means less advertising revenue (yes, even the news is about earning $$$’s these days).

The effect of all this is that as consumers of news we become less and less trusting of our news sources to the point that in the end we don’t trust any of them and that becomes a problem because in many countries (but not all sadly), the press could be considered the conscience of the people at large or at the very least a watchdog against underhand dealing by corporations and governments.

At this point, those same corporations and governments have won the war of words. They are free to spin their own version of events, safe in the knowledge that it has become easy to discredit any source that attempts to contradict their version of things because people no longer trust those alternate sources of information.

And once you control the press, even if that ‘control’ is in the form of making it untrusted, then you control the people.

 

 

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