For the past year, we have seen a new war begin, we have had the War on Drugs, we have had the War on Terrorism, now we have the War on Fake News.
It all began during the last US Presidential Election campaign after the Internet was bombarded with a continual stream of nonsense media from thousands of small websites trying to cash in on the bullshit bubble.
However, a bullshit bubble is exactly what it is, the mainstream media have been the front runners of this ever expanding industry for decades, the thing is they were much better at it as their time preference was much longer.
Shock stories is a great way to get instant results, don’t worry about the truth, just follow the google trends of what people are looking at and create a story based around potential facts, no need to worry about the gaps in the story as these bits can be filled in with juicy shock narratives. This is how the likes of Newspunch.com and Infowars.com operate. They all just wanted to jump on the Bullshit bubble and take a piece of the pie!
Shock stories are the bread and butter for many Alternative News platforms, and why wouldn’t it be, after all, ‘Shock’ sells well, very well. But the truth is, the Mainstream news outlets run exactly the same operation of poor journalistic practices, they are just far better at it.
Its far easier to gain the confidence of a population when you have the financial backing to provide news on every thinkable subject from around the World, much of which is tedious and uninteresting and some which is partially interesting and a very small amount which is shocking. A population finds it easier to trust in these platforms, they provide a nice stable, consistent look at the World. But are they any more accurate?
The Media Bubble
Online media has been growing at an insane rate over the past few years with giant VC funding being pumped into a multitude of platforms pushing their visibility and dominance to new otherwise impossible levels. Between 2008 and 2017 the US saw the number of employees triple at online media publications, that’s a staggering increase and one which as we are finding out now is unsustainable.
In the past week the layoffs have began as both The Huffington Post and Buzzfeed have both announced mass layoffs. This media bubble was no accident, VC’s did not miscalculate the potential for profit from advertisers on these platforms, they would of likely known that these media giants could never generate profits which could reflect their value on the stock market. Funding for these platforms has been given in return for public opinion and social direction. The rewards from this are far more profitable than anything the advertisers can generate.
The mainstream media is no less Fake News then much of the Alternative News platforms that are being labelled as ‘Fake News’, they just have a more solid foundation to which publish it. People feel far more comfortable with a platform that has a slick design, a
Truth is Rare to Behold
The reality is
This is the problem when the News industry is a multi-billion dollar industry, how can we expect truth to remain intact when we turn it into a product for human consumption. When the truth is monetized by Government, Advertisers and Corporate funding it is no longer
Real Journalism does still exist, on both Mainstream media and Alternative media, but their jobs are becoming ever harder, specifically mainstream Journalists as their work is often heavily edited and often pulled if their content does not satisfy the interests of the media organisation.
It’s very important to support good journalism whether it be in the Buzzfeed or Wearechange.org, because if we don’t, one day there may be none left to tell the stories as they should be told.
The War on Fake News is actually no more than a War on Who gets the centre stage, who defines the narratives while crushing real journalism.