Fake news is a phrase that we have come to associate with Donald Trump in the same way that we do a machine that Hoovers with Dyson. I’ll bet you can hear him saying it right now.
With the news that Trump is about to take the Social Media Companies to task – now that Twitter has created a button to flag fake news, the threat that the President of the United States could pull the rug from under the new media age is something that should concern us all.
Fake news remains a major problem on streams such as Facebook and Twitter. But fake news is now a constituent part of what Mainstream Media and Governments actively create when they publish or broadcast subjective opinion or personal views, then frame it as being objective or factual news.
We have seen this process in action just this week, with Emily Maitlis editorialising what should have been a journalistic intro to the BBC’s Newsnight Programme on Tuesday evening, giving what was an opinion on the Cummings saga whilst dressing it up as clear fact.
Emily is thankfully a relative minnow in comparison to the World’s heavyweight opinionator Donald Trump. What they share between them is the misuse of a public platform to project the correctness of their own views – or who they represent, clearly opposing alternative points of view, not to mention playing hard and loose with any countering truths.
A wholly objective Trump might have a point about easy ‘reporting’ on Twitter being a retrograde step. Teaching and promoting the art of critical thinking in Schools, Colleges and Universities would be a much more appropriate and reasoned action for any Government to take.
Regrettably, the subjective and Donald first at any cost Trump that we know simply hates the prospect of it being easy and straightforward for any normal person to call him out.
Trump heads towards a late Autumn Election in which he intends to secure a second term. Shutting down Companies like Twitter and Facebook now would simply be with the intent of furthering his own political cause. It is a step that is unlikely to pay the dividends that he intends or would like.
Social Media has been very kind to Trump for as many wrong reasons as there have been right. Trump would do well to remember that now.
Whilst 2020 began with his re-election looking like it was in the bag, his handling of the Coronavirus Pandemic and the rise of Joe Biden make it look anything but certain that he will win.
The difference between now and 2016 is the rules have changed. Social Media has matured. More and more of us know and understand what it is all about.
Yes there are many echo chambers that exist and confirmation bias does have an unkind habit of doing its absolute worst.
But for all the trolling and negativity of this parallel universe that the Internet and Social Media provides us, the positives and the opportunities they offer far outweigh the negatives. That’s as long as our freedom of use is maintained universally, as it was intended and our communication is not censored, coerced or controlled.
Trump is possibly the worst offender when it comes to being the archetypal angry control freak attempting to influence and dictate what others are in his viewalways supposed to think.
The parallels with Social Justice Warriors who visit destruction on the livelihoods and reputations of whoever gets in the of their agendas are quite startling and we have to wonder if Donald Trump is the biggest SJW of them all?i