What was that title, you are thinking? Yep, that was clickbait. Which means – manipulation, which also means – fake news. But is this clickbait at all? Or serious consequences of fake news are real threat for modern journalism?
The term fake news means intentionally misleading and misinformating people by publishing in any media outlet an information that is not true or half true, or manipulation, or so on. Some people would say “isn’t it called journalism?” Well, now you see the problem. Nowadays most of our traditional media and new media as well became untrustworthy, because sometimes it can be used by authorities to create propaganda, national ideologies, manipulate with public, advertise or set-up PR campaigns – you name it.
In the countries of third world media does not have independence and can not function in its full potential for several reasons: it is controlled by government, it has no finances and proper equipment or specialists in this sphere, or people does not trust it anyways. Not just third world countries use media for their own good, even in the most developed ones we can see diminishing of democracy.
However, it is not just the goverments who wants to controle journalism, in other days it could be journalists themselves seeking reputation, fame, money or trying to attract readers. And sometimes – demand creates its own supply, which is the worst case. But hey, lets leave the reasons of fake news for another article, and discuss the consequences of it in this one.
Media is the magical branch creating connections between people through space, time, status and all other borders. It helps public to speak their mind, learn news of the world they live in, decide how to react and respond to each of them. What happens when this magic is not working? Connection fails. People stop trusting media, stop trusting government and can not reach it, government in return owns more power, and democracy fails working in the right way. Information is the most powerful weapon and tool of 21 century, and if it becomes fake – then everything else becomes fake as well.
Fake news can be used anywhere starting from the show-business and advertising, ending with presidential campaigns and changing the balance of powers in the world or even declaring the war. It means the whole system can break apart because of one single fake information, and we are dealing with tones of it. There are several ways to fight fake news, for example, governments punish it according to laws… but who will punish the governments?