The Man Who Cried Fake News
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Politics and Activism

The Man Who Cried 'Fake News!'

Calling honest journalism "fake news" has unethical effects. Stop it.

The Man Who Cried 'Fake News!'

We have all heard the claims and uproars of Fake News. Whether it is Fox News, CNN, or live press conferences, being able to determine what is "true" is still as difficult as it was before the internet existed (probably). What crying "Fake News!" does is make it clear that whatever the person is screaming about is just a dissenting opinion, not actually fake news. However, what does crying "Fake News!" really do?

Rene Descartes believed that true knowledge acquisition comes from independent inquiry, not relying on what others tell you. Otherwise, you are getting biased and secondhand information. Makes sense, right? Well, the United States government and the president are beginning to use this against the people.

In a world where an infinite amount of information is literally at our fingertips, it makes it easy articles to be published and treated as fact. By sheer logic, it is easy to understand there is probably a lot of inaccurate news out there. Even trustworthy sources are being torn apart by "fake news" witch hunters, which begs the question, "who can we trust?".

President Trump would say himself. At this rally, he called reporters "horrible and horrendous" when they are just real people trying to do their jobs. And when someone like the President of the United States is trying to undermine every inch of media, it pulls more people into his camp.

By verbally amusing the media, he emboldens himself to be the light at the end of a dark tunnel. It allows those already at his feet to continue their immaturity, as Immanuel Kant would probably say. President Trump appeals to their own beliefs, so they can stop thinking for themselves.

But this hurts his opposers as well.

Even if you do not believe the fake news claims, the cries still plant a seed of doubt. A doubt that makes you think, "is this real?" every time you read an article. A doubt that makes it impossible to pursue your own knowledge and beliefs.

By manipulating how everyone perceives the media, it makes it nearly impossible to learn what the real truth is, which makes it difficult for people to acquire their own opinions and knowledge. This is unethical, and Descartes would be appalled.

However, nothing is totally impossible (that's not true, but for the purposes of this article, sure). Imagine a piece of ordinary cake with icing. Imagine that the icing is the charged language, biases, and lenses of media; while the cake is the truth. Most articles and segments were being subjected to are 75% icing and 25% cake.

Now, imagine we are asked to determine what flavor the cake is, but we simply cannot because there is so much godforsaken icing. What we need is someone who will neutrally scrape off all the icing or just give us some cake without the icing, but that is rare. Instead, we have to taste every slice of cake to find the common flavor.

In a world where we are oversaturated with media, it is our duty to find the common threads to determine the truth, not simply take what is handed to us first. Be careful, however, because edits to audio, images, and text are becoming more frequent (just check out fellow Odyssey creator Alyssa Spady's article).

In conclusion, pursue knowledge responsibly, do not listen to cries about fake news, and vote.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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