O my. Platitudes are being served on our beloved internet at mindboggling speed. And the one that makes me slightly nauseous on this early evening hour is the saga of the fake news. Fake news is to blame for everything: that Hillary lost, that Trump won, that the poles are melting, the sea is rising and that the Illuminati finally grabbed control.
Hang Mark Zuckerberg
The one to blame for this apparent deluge of fake-ness is, -if I have to believe the internet feeds-without a shadow of a doubt Mark Zuckerberg. He is the boss of Facebook. If anything fake on Facebook appears, he is to blame. An orange clown lied his way all to the White House. Hang Marck Zuckerberg to dry. Shoot Google man. Lynch Twitter boy. Without them, and their fake news, the world would just be about all right.
You are fake
Only, Facebook is a platform. Google a search engine (and not even the most intelligent one), Twitter is a discussion tool. Mark is not to blame, you are. Look at your carefully groomed Facebook page. Mark did not set that up for you, you did. When was the last time you posted something bad about you? Something embarrassing about your family? When was the last time your friends called you out for being too positive about your life on Facebook?
We love lies, and we know it
Look at the gossip magazines that keep on thriving, even in these difficult times for print publications. We love it. The fake rumours. The fake truth. The fake statements. The photoshopped images. The suggested innuendos. The blatant lies. We love it. We pay for it. We always have. The lie might be so screaming fake that even Paris Hilton gives birth after a short fling with a Norwegian dwarf gorilla will get its well-deserved amount of likes and shares. We know we are being lied to, and we would not want it any other way.
Fact check: did you ever?
Internet offers the greatest opportunity to rebuke fake news. Every story can be factchecked. Every quote verified. Every picture traced back to its very origin. If you have an ounce or criticism, fake news does not stand a chance. Even if you are too lazy to check your facts yourself, there are fact check sites, sites that expose hoaxes, and hunt for the truth. If the truth is dear to you, check Snopes.com or any other hoaxbuster. Upload a picture to Google, and trace it back to its original context. Use Copernic to balance the search results of different search engines, and see where search gets manipulated. Use your brain and think, ask questions, investigate. You can do so with any internet connected device. Fact checking never was easier.
You can’t be bothered
The only problem is, we can’t be bothered. The truth is boring and too complicated. Too down to earth. We like to read that pyramids were grain silos, that the moon landing was faked, that AIDS was invented by the government, that all immigrants are here to rape and kill, and that the pope has a secret treaty with aliens. That is the news that we like. Our question is not any more if the Donald slept with his daughter, but when we can download the (faked) pictures. Our fake news morality nears zero.
Only it is way easier to blame others for our penchant for make believe. It’s easier to blame Mark Zuckerberg…