If you’re like millions of people around the world, you’re probably tired of the lame, usually misused accusation that it’s “fake news.” Politicians, particularly in the U.S, have come to use that accusation as a crutch. A very dangerous crutch that is causing untold problems.
So the other day, a friend posted a link on Facebook claiming that NASA has admitted that climate change is not being caused by, or made worse by, humans. When I saw the post, I was like “What? That doesn’t sound right.” Fortunately, right below her post was two “fake news” warning alerts from Facebook, with links to the correct story. So my friend, probably with all good intentions (at least I hope), passed along what really is a fake news story, because as it turns out, NASA made no such statement.
Maybe this Post is Fake News
The reason why this story relates to happiness and positivity, is because once certain politicians began dismissing any news critical of them as “fake,” we entered into very dangerous territory. Now, the truth has become so convoluted that we’re gobbling up “fake news” as fact, or we’re dismissing real, factual news as “fake.” A big reason we’re doing this is because often, people have a need to only believe views/news that matches their own bias. We’re so obsessed with being right, that we consume and then disseminate any information, even false information, that matches and supports our own bias because it makes us feel better — “see, I told you I was right….” And with social media, that fake news gets spread across the globe in mere seconds, with other like-minded people falling for it hook, line and sinker. Meanwhile, the truth is increasingly getting dismissed as “fake” by people in positions of power (I name no names…) and they use this bogus claim simply to protect themselves and their self-serving interests.
The Real Losers
The real losers in all this are the people — the average citizen who is just trying to get by in life and without realizing it, is a pawn in a high-stakes game played by the rich and powerful. Consider the two stories above — one is falsely attributing a statement to NASA, while the other seeks to correct that false story. Ask yourself who benefits most from the fake story? Climate change, whether we like it or not, is happening. The argument is really this: is mankind causing it, or, is it a naturally occurring cycle and mankind is making it worse? Its a scientific argument, not a political one, yet some people have successfully made it a political debate. And the real losers from that misdirection are we the people.
Fake news is running rampant and its becoming increasingly difficult to know fact from fiction. Personally, I resent those bad actors who dismiss real news as fake, simply to advance their own selfish agenda. I also resent people who knowingly spread false news, because that is a very nefarious act. Positivity means truth. It means being a good, descent person who seeks to help others. Only negative people spread lies and use fear as a tactic to promote their own self-interest. Fake news has probably always existed, but with the advent of Television and the internet, we all become responsible for advancing the truth and not the lies — the moment we post/email/Tweet a story that is fake, we help to, whether we meant to or not, spread lies and dis-information. Its a heavy burden to bear, but it comes with the territory when dealing with virtually instant communication.
“Alternative facts and fake news are just other names for propaganda.” ―
- How to Fight Fake News—Cognitive biases can make discerning truth from fiction difficult, but recent research suggests there may be hope