Well, maybe not EVERYTHING but, it sure does appear like we have a problem with …
Is it just me, or are you a bit worried about how prominent of a role the reported Fake News played in the most recent American presidential election? These days, most people get their news (world and local) from their preferred social media platform. It isn’t that posting fake articles for more clicks was a new strategy for (shady) businesses or political parties, it’s how damn prominent the actual problem is and that its finally being exposed. Unfortunately, we are now seeing what the real world consequences are for letting this problem fester online (i.e. a billionaire business man with tonnes of conflict of interest implications being elected the next president of the most powerful country in the world).
Social media companies are not just tech companies. They are major media companies. It is important for the big players like Facebook and Google to acknowledge this and work diligently to fix the fake news problem, as best they can. They need to find a balance between advertising profits and informing the masses of what is real. I understand the latter is subjective but there must be a way to filter these fake news articles from showing up so often, if at all.
One of the problems with social media is that you can say just about anything you want, with no real-world consequences. It can be done through a fake online persona. This is tied closely to #FakeNews but people creating fake personas online feels a bit more real or personal.
It is one thing to read a headline of a blatantly fake news article and laugh it off but, it is another thing to have internet trolls with fake accounts spreading false (negative) news about you personally, or about your company.
I am certainly not in a position to provide a solution to these problems but, if something doesn’t change soon, people will start to look to other places for credible news sources. This could force big platforms like Facebook to take action quicker on their advertising policies than they would like. It would be very sad if we let this get to a point where it becomes difficult to discern what is real and what is fake. Perhaps the eventual solution will be a whole new breed of social media that hasn’t even been invented yet.
Or maybe we just need to accept the fact that we are now, really living in The Age of Post Truth Politics that the New York Times spoke about in August, 2016.