With the political elite’s across the world increasingly under attack from an empowered public, is technology and social media really to blame? The answer, of course, is yes, their increasing encroachment into the lives of citizens has empowered them in a way never before possible. And it is the traditional mouthpieces of the elite’s, once bastions of “Real News” and the official message, that are struggling to remain relevant. As such the fight back is on against what is perceived to be “Fake New”.
Fake News – Fact or Fiction?
In a world where the idea of free speech is often challenged, and independent, and none-biased political reporting no longer exists. Just look at the BBC for proof of this, the problem we are faced with is, almost everyone has an opinion. However, opinions, are not based on fact, often they’re amalgamations of some truth. Coupled with rumor and in there lies the problem faced by society, whether you post that opinion for a well-known organization, or on your Facebook profile. If someone does not agree, it can be deemed as Fake News.
What Can Be Done
After the election of Donal Trump as President of the U.S.A, many turned to Facebook as the route cause of his victory. Followed by an attack on Google for allowing fake news reports against the likes of Hilary Clinton to perpetuate on its search engine. The problem with this, however, is it can be seen as an attack on free speech. After all, it was those who had lost something who cried foul. Wanting, the big social media companies and search engines to police opinion, and gauge what fact or fiction is.
Now, the question’s to ask are:
1) Is such policing possible?
2) Who has the right to silence opinions or fake news which they do not agree with?
3) Does this mean the very nature and freedom of the internet be under attack?
Technology to Save the Day
What’s the answer to this pervasive outbreak of fake news? Fact checkers, both Google and Facebook have them and continue to improve them. However, these tools will not delete fake news when discovered. Instead, they are self-policing tools, ones that enable their creators to check if the information is correct.
To those who say, “fake news shouldn’t be published in the first place.” I say if someone disagrees with what you write and post online, it too becomes fake news. Which goes to show how quickly using such a term or blaming those who give a mouthpiece to people. Will eventually lead to an authoritarian kind of internet, and policing of technology use. After all, it is only in countries that have a dictator, are communist, or where freedoms are curtailed that opinions are not allowed.