In my ongoing effort to highlight the narrative being pushed to convince non-gov people to accept, even demand gov regulations of social media not just here in America, but in other parts of the world, I give you this editorial written by Giles Kenningham of The Spectator. The article is following the “Fake News is a danger to our democracy” narrative. It demands the government step in to protect us all from Facebook’s insidious spreading of fake news, while it ignores the fact that governments regularly disseminate fake news to manipulate the citizens to accept a shorter leash.
Remember, if you choose to click through and read the whole article, take this article for what it is, content marketing for the state, a state that wants people to accept government control over social media, you know, for the good of the whole.
Fake news has been around for decades. But it was normally the preserve of despotic regimes. Now it’s threatening to undermine democracies across the world. The rise of the internet means that, in the words of Mark Twain, ‘a lie can travel halfway around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes’. You can normally assume newspapers, irrespective of their political stance, have sourced and doubled checked their facts. But with the explosion of social media, we need to adapt our mentality to make sure people start questioning the sources and veracity of their news more. While the government, rightly, commits billions to tackle cyber security to protect the nation form cyberattacks, disinformation has become a new front in the cyberwar.
This week we have finally seen tentative moves to get a grip of the issue. Ipso have launched a logo aimed at tackling fake news by giving websites a form of accreditation. Encouragingly, the BBC have unveiled a fresh initiative to help young people identify false information. But in reality these measures barely touch the surface.
The chief culprit when it comes to the spread of fake news is Facebook. It needs to step up and get real. With two billion users worldwide – and over half the UK population on the platform – it is now part of the establishment and has a moral responsibility to bring in stringent safeguards and take down fake news. Let’s be clear, it is a publisher not a carrier of information. Similarly, other social media giants need to be held to greater account when it comes to taking down bots and fake accounts that rapidly spread fake news. The reality is that we are now in a situation where people are unwittingly spreading falsehoods.
Read More at The Spectator