Saturday, 10 December 2016

Fake News, Social Media & Censorship

There is a storm coming, it's a big one, and we better pay attention or we won't be prepared.

Censorship is "...the suppression of free speech, public communication or other information which may be considered objectionable, harmful, sensitive, politically incorrect or inconvenient as determined by governments, media outlets, authorities or other groups or institutions."

I have a very good friend who is one of the smartest persons I have ever met. He checks everything out. I am going to share his post from Facebook here because I believe he brings up an extremely important point that is an enormous issue at the moment that we ought to be paying close attention to. 
Have a read of this:
"Fake News. I saw a post on a FB friend's page about Obama telling WWII vets to "get over Pearl Harbor."
I looked it up and... it didn't happen. But as I researched, I went down a fake news rabbit hole. Site after site picked up the false story and if you search, the odds are you'd think it's true. "Everybody" is saying it. 

But just this one example of the Pearl Harbor story, as you follow the post, it really seems like yelling "fire" in one theater and all those folks run to other theaters. The effect is chilling -Fiction becomes fact. It's like the old classroom game of "telephone," where you pass a message between 20 students and listen to how it changes by the time it gets to the last student. 

But in this case it ends practically with pitchforks and torches, people justifying their hatred on what they think are verifiable facts. Then, we think the worst of these folks, like how can they be so misguided, but that's exactly it, a fairly organized program of misinformation that just feeds on itself. 
This is just ONE of so many re-posts. This one purports to have [Video] of the event, but the video is about something else - So many will even assume there's corroborating video and believe.
I hate "scary" thrown around, but to see the masses with pitchforks (so to speak) IS scary. Otherwise reasonable people worked into a hate-filled frenzy. Like getting caught up in an angry mob, but a virtual mob - all online, many quietly holding opinions gained from these fake stories. Just wow."

He goes on to add: 
"Even on Fox News, you won't hear the press secretary or any White House official say to "get over Pearl Harbor." But Meghan McClain seems to be the "root" of saying "get over it" and then THIS sound byte was repeated again and again until it was "truth."

Keeping people honest: "Uphill slog. 90% of the time, I bury my head in the sand. I don't have the stomach to read the hateful, misguided responses (on either side of the spectrum)."
 So, why is all this important? This is my response:
This seems to be a main story; FB, Twitter, trying to remove "fake" news stories, etc. Amongst all the "fake" news stories, there might be a real news story that gets lost in the shuffle. But it becomes hard to identify. So why not get someone to "edit" and "censor" what news feeds that everyone gets; just to keep the masses correctly informed? I can see it coming. Someone has to "big brother" the internet because the masses can't seem to tell the difference. And with stories like the "pizza-gate" becoming another conspiracy theorists main meal; the worry of censorship and someone being in charge of the internet is perhaps the real concern that needs to be addressed. We can all easily accept that the "fake" news stories should be edited and someone should police these stories and keep them off social medias....but then, who will police the police? Those who control the information that is fed to the masses.....will eventually control the masses.

I have to wonder if all the alarmists are raising a hyper-awareness of "Fake" news stories so that we (the public) will support removing these (censoring) kinds of stories on the internet. Of course we will when the stories reported are of a ridiculous and sordid nature; like Pizza-gate, for example. Remember when the Onion would post news stories....we all knew it was satire at its finest. 

Now it seems we can't tell the difference between what is "real" and what is "fake".  Is it a good thing to have someone else decide for us? And if we agree to that, and the door starts to open, what or who will keep it from opening wider? 

Sometimes we should ask, what is the "real" agenda behind the stories we are fed? What will the outcome be? 
I am all for "real" news and information, but I don't think we have had "real" news in a very long time. The media is controlled by those in power and their messages are manipulative at best. Our responsibility is to research and study it out for ourselves. But then, how do we trust that?

Alternative News Becomes a Threat   

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