Much has been made of “Fake News” by both sides of the aisle over the past six months. It’s hard to believe how much of our media consumption has been shaped by this concept so quickly. Remember, back in the day, when everything you read on the internet was true?! Barack Obama was President, Fox News was fair and balanced, and Pitbull was just “Mr. 305”! Those were the good ole days!
Which raises the question, “When has the internet EVER been a pristine source of true information?” The answer? Never.
The reality is, the internet is mostly crowd sourced. There are no footnotes, no citations, and you don’t have to show your work. There are no rules. Consume information at your own risk.
Luckily… Fake News—information that has been fabricated or slanted for political or commercial purposes—is destined to die.
Here goes my crazy theory:
Truth in media of all stripes is scarce right now. At some point we took truth for granted. Or just ignored it. For a while now, Americans haven’t valued facts… but they will, because scarcity creates demand. Likewise, the marketplace will develop innovations to cater to that market demand.
Take, for instance, Facebook; which has begun flagging fake news. Or, as Facebook calls it: “disputed” news. Innovations like these will continue to improve the landscape of the internet’s information flow. Facebook has been reluctant to be put in the position of judging what content is misleading. And rightfully so. Instead… it will let us do the work.
We’re in charge. We’re the driver. The internet is the car… we tell it where to go.
In this media landscape, we kind of get what we deserve. We’ll get “REAL NEWS” when we’re ready to work hard for factual content and authenticity. I’ve got a feeling this is right around the corner.