OPINION: Just because the news isn’t desired, doesn’t mean it’s fake

This week’s editorial looks at political bias and disagreeing with the news presented

Just because you don’t like the news doesn’t make it fake.

Let’s talk about fake news and what it really means. The dictionary definition of fake is that of something that is not genuine, a forgery or a sham. Fake news then is something that is a lie that has no truth to it.

Indeed, there’s quite a lot of fake news out there, some extremely convincing, others not so much. The reality of it is that most fake news creators do not really care about what they’re creating but how much money they make.

What’s more interesting, fake news gurus will argue both sides of a divided political argument. From a financial standpoint that makes total sense. What that means is, those of us who fall for the ploy are being made fools of by the fake news people. Fools, all because we saw it on social media.

It’s a pity we don’t have the means to research a story to prove it’s fake. Clearly, social media is the only real news available to the discerning public. News outlets, Google searches, Google News and others, these all have no place in the world of research.

What’s a real struggle is that with newsrooms becoming smaller, it’s more difficult to catch all the lies. Couple that with political bias, even organizations dedicated to the truth, such as Snopes.com, are being dismissed as unreliable and fake.

Indeed, on our Quesnel Cariboo Observer social media pages we have readers arguing that reliable news stories are fake because it paints a group they favour in a bad light. U.S. President Donald Trump doesn’t like a reporter’s questions so he calls them fake news. Well, I guess that’s one way to dismiss something you don’t like.

Fake news guys use inflammatory language to stir up people’s anger and it’s for good reason; when people click on their stories and sites, it garners ad revenue. If I was a fake news creator, I would do the same thing. Heck, I’d write two stories, one on the left side of the story and one on the right. I’d be sure to use language that gets people angry and riled up, making them want to click the link. Ka-ching!

It’s very easy to get people angry. All one has to do is write a headline that gets them clicking and putting money in my bank account.

There are of course other ways of getting the news.

Social media truly is one of those methods and that includes YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, and more. The trick with all of those is deciphering the fake from the real. There are some users who would rather create chaos than find a solution to a problem and when there is an immediate issue or breaking incident, some would love to confuse the discussion.

While social media has in one sense democratized the media landscape (which isn’t a bad thing), it’s also created more avenues of creating confusion. This immediacy of information has created a massive hole in the world of news verification, which can take a day or two. That’s decades in the social media world.

News organizations, used to in-depth research, having several editors and reporters on a story, are now faced with using an editor and reporter (sometimes one person) while also trying to remain current.

I’m reminded of the children’s story, Henny-Penny: The Sky is Falling! It’s a story many parents read to their kids about a hen getting hit in the head by an acorn but thinks the sky is falling.

We’re no different than Henny-Penny as we fall for the fake news, and the fake news writers are no different than Foxy-woxy, the opportunist who takes advantage of the chaos. Let’s be smarter than the hen and Foxy-woxy folks, and use real critical thinking before we fall for the fake news trick.

— Black Press Media

Just Posted

Quesnel Bikers have ridden 1,000 km in South Korea in 24 days

Chris and Heather Hartridge recently cycled the East Sea coastline

Runnin’ and Gunnin’ win Quesnel charity football tourney

Proceeds from the two-day tournament go to Royal Canadian Legion Branch 94

William Griffin arrested in Houston homicide

RCMP have now arrested William Griffin, the man wanted in connection to… Continue reading

Moving story of WWII veteran’s reluctant return to Juno Beach being performed Nov. 23 in Quesnel

Nov. 23 presentation of Jake’s Gift at Quesnel Legion is a dinner theatre performance

Teen with cancer whose viral video urged Canadians to vote has died, uncle tweets

Maddison Yetman had been looking forward to voting in her first federal election since junior high school

Rowing Canada, UVic investigate celebrated coach for harassment, abuse

Lily Copeland says she felt intimidated and trapped by Williams

Cleanup in the works after tanker truck fire leads to oil spill in B.C.’s Peace region

The province said the majority of the spilled oil likely burned away in the fire.

BC VIEWS: Action needed on healthcare workplace violence

While we’ve been talking about it, the number of B.C. victims has only grown

Closing arguments begin in B.C. case launched in 2009 over private health care

Dr. Day said he illegally opened the Cambie Surgery Centre in 1996 in order to create more operating-room time

MacLean says “Coach’s Corner is no more” following Cherry’s dismissal from Hockey Night

Cherry had singled out new immigrants in for not honouring Canada’s veterans and fallen soldiers

MacKinnon powers Avs to 5-4 OT win over Canucks

Vancouver battled back late to pick up single point

Poole’s Land finale: Tofino’s legendary ‘hippie commune’ being dismantled

Series of land-use fines inspire owner Michael Poole to sell the roughly 20-acre property.

Port Alberni mom takes school district to court over Indigenous smudging, prayer in class

Candice Servatius, who is an evangelical Christian, is suing School District 70

Most Read