Facts, Fakes and The Internet
The discussion at this week’s class reminded me why we all need to be more thoughtful about what we read, see and consume from the media.
Digital media convergence made information so wonderfully accessible. Our mobile devices have become constant and trusted companions as we have grown reliant on them to be our window to the world. But, in the transition from a world where there are savvy gatekeepers who control and monitor published information, to a world where even individuals can create and publish media we may have also lowered our guards.
So how to know what is real, which news to trust?
Climate change has been in the news recently. Greta Thunberg spoke at the UN Climate Change summit, NYC students marched in protest of government inaction. And online there are numerous outlets that declare that climate change is “fake news.”
Is climate change really happening or is it one big hoax? What can you believe? Fake news can sometimes take on the appearance of serious scientific publications. Those who do not wish to face climate change can tune in to the stories that they want to hear. It is easy to be surrounded in a comforting bubble of similar-minded opinions.
The conclusion is that we should be more critical of stories. The responsibility of every person is to analyze and assess what we read and what we accept as truth. This is not always easy, especially since we are not all experts on all topics. Nevertheless, either on social media, or on news outlets, make sure you are critical of who publishes it, and even more critically who might benefit from this story being accepted as truth or fact.