After losing its grip on its ability to manipulate the public on BrExit and the US elections, the largest fake news industry in the world, the mainstream media, is calling for a clampdown on rival fake news. The irony is in your face, just like the proverbial egg is on the face of CNN, Bloomberg, Sky, Al Jazeera, The BBC and all the other usual suspects. The message is clear: Only our fake news is acceptable.
What is “fake news”?
This is the big question, because there is plenty of fake news out there, most of which is “Click-bait” designed to lure us into clicking onto platforms who want to maximize ad exposure and advertising revenues, but this is not actually a new problem and we can usually work out which are spam sites by looking at the other content on the sites. If the stories are packed with tales of alien abductions and zombies we can work it out fairly easily and we quickly learn to avoid these sites. We are not complete idiots (hopefully).
What else can be considered fake news?
This is more worrying because once major MSM sites like Google and Facebook start considering alternative news sites (see the right hand column of this blog for example) that carry a narrative different (or more truthful) than their own spin and propaganda, even if it is rival propaganda, we run into dangers of censorship. Censorship can take our ability to make up our own minds away from us and channel only one perspective into the public domain. This amounts to nothing less than mind-policing and places the Orwellian “Thought-Police” scenario squarely on the horizon. It's insulting and suspect behavior and ridiculous to assert that we are voting incorrectly because the MSM are losing the information wars. The real reason they are losing is precisely because people ARE making up their own minds and this is dangerous to the establishment.
I find it difficult to accept that this is not an attempt to squash the alternative news movement, which depends on the free availability of information and gives discretion to the end users to act like free thinking adults and make up their own minds. Over time we learn which sources are reputable and which are not, and I am absolutely sure that I do not want institutions that I already do not trust deciding what I should see and what I should not see. As it stands I already find the algorithms annoying and as far as I'm concerned the less filtering, profiling and censorship, the better we are for it.