When I was reading this news about Tim Cook saying that fake news kills people’s minds, I was just wondering, what would have been people’s opinion about fake news had Donald Trump not won and someone like Hillary Clinton had become the US President? Would there have been so much brouhaha about fake news dominating the discourse? Or it would have been just dismissed as one of the Internet’s quirks that, although annoying, don’t cause much harm? Interesting angle.
From Russian interference to mass ignorance to the flooding of the Internet with fake news, almost everything under the sun is being blamed for the rise of Donald Trump. But that’s another news, another topic.
Tim Cook says that technology companies and the society, together, need a massive public awareness campaign to fight fake news. Fake news, he says, has made it very hard to stay in touch with reality. The reality was that Hillary Clinton is good. The fake news was Donald Trump is good. Something of that sort.
What is fake and what is real is quite subjective. It depends on what solves your political, ideological and commercial purpose. I personally feel that the big problem is not that fake news is misleading people (there has been lots of fake news all the time), the problem is what the fake news seemingly led to – in this case, the elevation of Donald Trump and the downfall of Hillary Clinton as president. I believe that there was more scope for fake news doing great harm in the pre-Internet age than it is now. Fake news can be easily countered now.
Tim Cook says:
We need the modern version of a public service announcement campaign. It can be done quickly if there is a will. It has to be ingrained in the schools, it has to be ingrained in the public. In some ways kids will be the easiest to educate. At least before a certain age, they are very much in listen and understand [mode].
Is fake news actually a big problem on the Internet? It might be. The strength and the weakness of the Internet is that it’s very easy to publish news on the Internet, whether it is fake news or real news. Just as fake news can travel really fast, so can real, critical news. When people cannot distinguish between fake news and real reviews, it can cause confusion and cluelessness and it can also endanger lives. People these days are relying more on social networking websites for news than on conventional news sources such as news websites because to be frank, very few people these days trust publications like the New York Times or Washington Post due to obvious reasons. 1 person in 10 gets his or her daily dose of news from Facebook, for example.