IN this age of information technology, the power to inform the masses is in the hands of everyone. Therefore, everybody can be journalists even without taking a journalism degree.
There is this principle that mass media should be democratized and people should be given two sides of the coin in every report they read. The intention is good but the application can be messy at best because one can publish news without verification. And once you publish news online, it often cannot be corrected or erased anymore.
Now comes fake news. These have been proliferating because those who have an agenda, like furthering a benefactor’s interest, already have means to publish these.
In social media, you can customize what kind of information you want to know, thus the tendency is to come up with an echo chamber where you only read news coming from a source that you like and in the process verification gets done away with.
Many social media users read news through free data where they cannot access the photo of the news article unless they enable the data. With that, many users comment on the news article or the thumbnail on Facebook without checking or verifying its veracity first.
Thus, social media can be blamed for the proliferation of fake news because of its ubiquitous nature. There, everyone with hidden agenda can spread fake news in a one click.
We should be alarmed with fake news because people behind these have agenda, including repressing your freedom to express thoughts and repressing freedom of expression in the name of “order,” which is dangerous to our democracy.--Joseph Solis Alcayde