WHAT IS ‘FAKE NEWS’?
Through the years, there has been a variety of names used to refer to what a lie is. No one wants to use the words ‘lie, liar anymore. We have heard references to:
and now, the new one is
Some have tried to define fake news, but since often they are some of the sources of ‘fake news’, it is unlikely that their definitions truly define it.
It is like the adulterer who calls his/her sin as an ‘affair’.
The drunken alcoholic calls their sin as being ‘buzzed’.
The murderer calls their sin as ‘justifiable’.
The gossip says that they are ‘sharing information’.
So, those who commit a sin seem to find shoddy definitions to make their sin sound less sinful, if not totally good.
The term ‘fake news’ is called by those who create it to be good by their definition of it, and evil by those that are victims of it. The definitions vary, and necessarily so, so the creators of fake news can attack what they say the others definition of it is, and condone what how they define the ‘fake news’ they spread.
God referenced the people who redefine good and evil so they can justify their use of evil and attack those who are good.
Isaiah 5:20 (KJV)
Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!
The New York Times defines ‘fake news’ as ‘fictitious articles deliberately fabricated to deceive, generally with the goal of profiting through clickbait’.
Clickbait is a means of luring people to websites where advertisers pay those who create news-like stories that make people click to read more of the story. The headlines, at least, and maybe the whole story is untruthful, and misleading. The subject of the headline makes people want to read the rest of the story. They may disappoint immediately, when the real story is truthful, but just had a headline that deceived as to the nature of the story. The whole story may be untruthful and further research may be required to verify if any of it is truthful. The creator is paid by the advertiser that has the victim of the fake news be subjected to seeing the advertisement that is prominent at the site.
PolitiFact defined fake news as ‘fabricated content designed to fool readers and subsequently made viral through the internet to crowds that increase its dissemination.’
Fake news is nothing new. We heard stories decades ago of George Washington cutting down a cherry tree. Some actually believed long ago that the earth was flat, that the moon was made of green cheese, and that there was an actual invasion of earth on October 30, 1938, when CBS radio broadcast Orson Welles and the ‘War of the Worlds’.
Bogus ‘fake news’ filled the media forms during elections. The left wing of politics called the truth revealed by someone revealing what emails revealed in truth about the lies of the campaign. The right wing of politics were inundated with fake news charges. Truths were called lies, lies were called truths. The fake news abounded. The ‘clickbait’ creators made fortunes with their fake news bait luring victims to lies paid for by advertisers.
Facebook, Google, and others announced they would crack down on ‘fake news’ but their definitions of such seem to be politically revealing. It takes research on news stories, identifying the source, determining its validity, to stay ahead of the abundance of fake news. Much of what is called ‘news’ is misinformation, propaganda, fake news. Some ‘fake news’ is not intended to be false, but is due to unresearched, error-filled, misleading information, presented in a shoddy manner. The lack of professionalism of the writers, the biased blindness to truth, and the willingness to believe the lies of some politicians, had led to a multitude of fake news needing obvious truths out there to reveal their stupidity.
There are some obvious indications of a story being ‘fake news’, in the more unexperienced offerings of bogus stories. Some have an anonymous author, some have misspellings, some publish denials like ‘This is NOT a hoax.’ Some have links to sources that do not exist, or sources that do not confirm the fake news story. Some more practiced at fake news offer more sophisticated presentations of fake news. The headline of the fake news is often the obvious indicator, for if the headline were true, the national news would have been interrupting normal broadcast to announce WWIII, the falling of California into the ocean, etc. If such headline were true, the meagre story with its advertisement, would have not been the only source to the fake news. If one uses some fact checking methods, and adds some critical thinking, the fake news and their untruthful creators can be identified.
The fake news story by the non existent company called abcnews.com.co, written by the unfindable ‘Jimmy Rustling’ who supposedly has 14 Peabody awards and several Pulitzer prizes, said that Obama had banned the pledge of allegiance in schools nationwide. The clues to it being fake news were abundant, even before in the midst of the story it claimed that its source was ‘Fappy, the Anti-Masturbation dolphin.’
Sometimes ‘fake news’ cites official sources, but a bit of research will prove the ‘source’ denies the story.
The fake news story that claimed that Vice President Pence claimed that ‘gay conversion therapy’ had saved his marriage, was as false a story as its creators could concoct. Other fake news announced that Donald Trump would be appearing with Russian leader Putin in some of his rallies. These kind of stories hope that readers will make ‘fake news’ appear as innocent attempts to guide victims to advertisements, so the creators can be paid for luring possible customers to the culprits who pay for the fake news to be successful bait. The clicks that brought the creator of fake news, and the advertisers willing to deceive their intended customers, may create revenue, but the victims are the possible voters deceived and errant therefore in their voting choices.
One fake news report claimed that in 1998, Trump had told People magazine that ‘if I were to run, I’d run as a Republican. They’re the dumbest group of voters in the country.. They believe anything on Fox news, I could lie and they’d eat it up.” No such statement was ever spoken by Donald Trump, and People magazine has searched fully all their material looking for it. They could not even find an interview with Donald Trump in that year. Comedian Amy Schumer helped spread that fake news, and still later admitted: ‘Yes, this quote is a fake, but it doesn’t matter.” Yes, it does matter, for fake news is not without victims, and damage is done by fake news.
So, how do we correctly define ‘fake news’? The source of what some claim to be ‘fake news’ was an informant within the democratic party, who sneaked the truths within Hillary Clinton’s emails, and in the emails of others of her campaign to WikiLeaks and Julian Assange, and those truths were published and called ‘fake news’ by the democrats. Yet, those were ‘truths’ and not ‘lies’. Julian Assange identified one of his sources as Seth Rich, a DNC staff worker, who was gunned down on a late night secret attempt to take information to the FBI on July 10, 2016. Yet, though only the material he was turning in, was taken, not his money. The assassination is true news, but the fake news tells us daily, with no evidence, that it was the Russians who stole the truths in the emails, and therefore we should forget the lies told by the campaign, and only hate the Russians who they lie were the source for wikiLeaks.
The Republican campaign called the deceptive and totally untruthful attacks on their candidate to be ‘fake news’ due to the untruthful prevarications, normally called ‘lies’.
So, is ‘fake news’ truths that are unwanted to be revealed, or lies that deceive? The world wants to use the term ‘fake news’, for the proper definition of fake news is “lies.’
We live in a world of lies. Politicians lie, salespeople lie, children lie, mates lie, advertisers lie, and now unfortunately, even some preachers lie. Hardly anyone could honestly say that they believe that politicians do not lie, especially when they are campaigning for the political office. And it is not just politicians, we all have heard and seen salespeople with wild claims from their lying lips. Too many of us have shrugged our shoulders and thought that the fake news is just part of politics.