Tuesday, December 19, 2017

On The Spread Of "Fake News"

I wonder if it has always been this way and I am just noticing it. Or whether something has changed. This “fake news” phenomenon when people don’t like what you say or what they read. I notice it on Twitter all the time. It was always there, but below the radar. And then Donald Trump started calling whatever he didn’t like, “fake news." Then it really took off. It made its way to blogs, and newspaper pundits, to tv and even to Facebook.

But the facts are the facts. Like, "Russia tried to influence our election." Nearly 20 separate agencies of the US intelligence service said so. Other countries services, like MI-6 say it.

Yet, the standard rejoinder is ”Fake news.” Which really means, "I don’t want to hear or believe it. So I won’t."

It is an easy rejoinder and a lazy way to try to shout out an argument. Just deny the evidence.

I realized just how far it had gone when in a neighborhood Facebook group someone claimed it was “fake news” that he had participated in a conversation. When confronted with a screenshot of that actual conversation he doubled down and said it wasn’t him and it was ”fake news.@ I would laugh, but it isn’t funny. If we can’t agree about the nature of reality when it is provable, we are in deep trouble as a country and as a community - probably globally. Heck - some people are even denying that the earth is round. These flat earthers believe that the "round earth" is a lie or "fake news."  I swear I am not making that up.

And that isn’t “fake news.”

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