Welcome to the latest manufactured crisis. Like the rest of the crises before this one, it’s a problem that we’ve dealt with for quite some time without considering it much of a problem. Before this current scare, it was basically considered a fact of life that we were all aware of and we just dealt with it. There was no need for politicians and major media outlets to discuss how they would put a stop to this apparent scourge of society.
What is this suddenly mega-prioritized problem? It’s fake news!
Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that fake news doesn’t exist. It absolutely does. But of course, the people talking about it the most don’t want to look at the biggest perpetrators. Should the mainstream media reflect on the truthfulness and validity of what it broadcasts? Nah!
But that is not even the issue here. Most of the “fake news” that people are sounding the alarm about comes from the internet and not network news stations. Apparently, people sometimes go on the internet and make things up.
I remember being a kid and not having the internet. When it started to catch on and more and more people were using it in their homes, it was common knowledge that anyone could post anything there. Therefore, it was well-known that you had to be insane to just blindly believe everything that you saw. This made it annoying to write papers in school as teachers would often limit the number of internet sources you could use (if they allowed them at all).
So why is it such a crisis now? They even blame this “fake news” for helping Donald Trump get elected President (after the fact, of course). And sure, there are a lot of people who cannot remember life without the internet, so maybe their guards might be down on what to believe online. However, the vast majority of the voting population does not fit that demographic, so that thought doesn’t work.
Of course there will always be people who get tricked into believing things and even the best of us get duped from time to time. But is it actually a problem? Should books be trusted more just because the words are printed on paper? Let’s not act like the internet and the information on it is a problem. The more it grows, the more people will have access to new information. It becomes easier to verify anything with almost all information at our fingertips. And as more people use the internet, there will be more people who can help parse through the garbage for the rest of us.
Oh wait, that probably explains why the powers that be are terrified of the internet and the information contained there.