Nowadays, we get our news from traditional media; print and broadcast, alternative media, consumer generated content, all are legitimate sources of information. At first, it was heralded as revolutionary which we welcome wholeheartedly for finally everyone will have their opinion voiced out whether in print or broadcast. Imagine giving everyone a voice, we will reap benefits of a shared knowledge readily available for everyone; it is a gift that we should use wisely and responsibly until there are people with other motives propagating Internet sites specifically producing exaggerated or false information,then there stems our problem.
Since then, all media are under public scrutiny. They were the ones under public lenses; their perspectives and objectives are being probed. Those who proliferate and disseminate hoax and fake news are forever branded shit on their forehead and trustworthiness of media are forever tarnished. It is up to the discerning public who to trust; it all comes down to stories that consumers choose to share among their peers and on social media.
How the problem came about? It stems from information dissemination during election campaign with the aim of promoting candidate’s platform or to divert public’s attention from the real issue or if the candidate in question is involve in a debauchery and other inappropriate behavior then grandstanding is employ. The movie Wag The Dog is best example for this. To reach more people, candidates employ its arsenal of resources readily available called “keyboard warrior” which include and not limited to bloggers, social media influencers and supporters with access to internet.
With the aim of advancing their political career, candidates can’t confine themselves of promoting and making voters aware of their platform, they also resort to mud slinging. Maligning the opposing candidates by publishing blogs with no factual basis and pass it as credible news. This is where fake news came to be and it became prevalent because it proved to be effective as it generate hate and fear among voters. It became a norm as the conversion from being a hater to a voter is high.
Fake news is so prevalent it flooded our social media news feeds and we need to get rid of it. Thanks to concern netizens who ardently campaigning of disengaging these fake ones and thoroughly combing through the existing ones that needs regulation. There should have a committee who will work on rules and regulations. They should establish guidelines on publishing blogs and establish a distinction between bloggers and journalists. There are bloggers who work for government entity or bloggers who holds office in a media organization. There must be accreditation on those bloggers as there’s no way of finding how much of the content they’re publishing as their personal opinion; or how much of that blog shares the same sentiment as the entity they work with. Irresponsible bloggers should be held accountable for disseminating false information. To cite an example, media personalities like those from CNN, they make it known who they represent whenever they post on social media. Supposed a certain media personality @huntleigh is posting as himself with all the content of his post accountable to him as an individual as opposed to the one he is posting as @huntleighCNN as representative of CNN. There is a distinction between two accounts. Mind you, there are irresponsible journalist who manipulates everything to pursue their ambition as cited in the movie Mad City.
There are blog post which directly violates basic guidelines and principles of publishing news. We can identify them with obvious mistakes like lifting photos from sources in the internet they’re not even affiliated with and pass it as their own which is an offense if the photo is protected by copyright. We should look into blogs of irresponsible influencers regardless of the number of follows as they inevitably will cause proliferation of illogical, unsound news article even if we don’t want to take them as legitimate news provider, the thing is they are there to serve their purpose of disseminating false information. Worst is they have the conviction that what they publish are true without even conducting interviews or studies or investigations to support their claim. I have nothing against memes but we should look into how these so called keyboard warriors disseminate malicious memes targeting undiscerning or uneducated voters. Memes that are faulty, unfounded and flawed are use as tools of their black propaganda and sadly they have power over your mind.
We should look also into news feed of mainstream media outlets. They are guided by basic guidelines and principles of broadcasting but we should look closely into their content as some of them are bias because of their political affiliation. They deviate from truth and served those who feed them.
Analyzing media content will help us identify their political affiliations and in this way we would know their agenda. It would be easy to spot fakes by studying consistencies of their content. If they don’t digress even a bit from their twisted ideologies, that is to say they made a career of being a full-time fool and doesn’t welcome opinion outside of their own belief then it is highly likely a fake as it prohibits depth and breadth that you should expect from a real balanced news content.
But how in the World Wide Web will a committee infiltrate a murky crazy world of internet? For one, anonymity online is a norm especially of irresponsible for hire bloggers. Just check out forums, they use aliases so they could run incognito while disseminating fake news. Snowballing sampling is perfect as for hire bloggers and online warriors identify each other and thus formed groups or exclusive community of irresponsible bloggers and like minded bandits. Facebook successfully banned them (fakes) though it’s too late, it’s still a work in progress. It’s a crusade now. This is when a fact finding committee comes in, if you can’t beat them, join them but as a spy (and once there, employ observation as means of collecting data and apply structured observation. But seriously, they’re easy to spot on a surface but this is the best way collecting data of evidences as we don’t want just to assume. Let them be trolls, we are not.
For more movie references on this subject, check out The Post.
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