Is fake news destroying our faith in news?

Why I stopped taking news links seriously.

News is what somebody somewhere wants to suppress; all the rest is advertising. – Lord Northcliffe.

With less and less time for readers to verify the source of news and understand the intentions behind news, fake news is becoming a part of our daily lives. It skews our world views, especially when our views can influence many people subliminally, in social media, like Facebook or Twitter, where we construct and project identities. Falsehoods come in the form of internet memes, trolls, fly-by-night news links, videos edited out of context and a whole lot of false news stories shared by millions.

The more people share it, the sheer force of social pressure makes false news stories look sacred. And moreover, the quantity of contradicting news we consume makes it all the more difficult to take an informed stand on issues of critical importance.

Are we getting corrupted by the media, especially the journalists who are not able to understand the new world in the way we expect them to be! It is time for more caution while consuming news, as many use news links as a ballistic missile to defend their arguments in social media debates. Their conviction of news links being unbiased, informative and data centric is discredited, the moment the news become technically invalid by another link with contradicting information. This is war of falsehoods.

People love news which they want to hear, confirming their deeply held beliefs, and becoming intolerant to things which contradict that, making our progress in thinking slower!

And fake news is dangerous, as it can hamper a democracy by becoming unwanted fat deposits in the pipelines of citizens’ thinking clogging the judgement crucial for the future of the nations.

Fake news spread in the form of Whatsapp forwards, Facebook trolls, Twitter flashes, video memes, seemingly authentic analysis and sometimes even experts spreading with clearly awful intentions. Take a moment and verify. Pause and think. In a constant stimuli environment, we need to take a deep breath before reacting to news.