ID and popular culture: What is fake news? Do we believe it?
|January 10, 2017||Posted by News under Intelligent Design, language, Mind, News|
Many sources feel that we readily believe fake news. Concern trolls in social sciences are often heard on this point, usually demanding government and corporate action.
Having spent a life in news, I would say that the ability to detect fakery increases with familiarity with the medium, as any magazine rack will show. That’s because human are decision-makers. The humans analyzed are as much decision-makers as the analysts.
Those who think that chickens are just like people, apes are entering the the Stone Age, and rocks have minds probably think that there are “scientific” formulas for getting around the reality of the independence of other people’s minds.
Fake news is hard to define. Discussions often conflate disinformation, such as Russia’s troll house onslaughts, hoaxes (the Pope supports Trump) and conspiracy claims with inconvenient stories that are well within the accepted bounds of partisan journalism.
The checkout counter’s top-selling magazine advised me last year that Hillary Clinton admits she is an alcoholic. And, in a more recent edition, that she is dying. Post-election, her whole family was said to be going to jail. On December 28, the Globe informed me that Prince Charles will be tried for the murder of Princess Diana because Her Majesty refuses to shield her “evil son” any longer.
Post-election, a news item also popped up beside my Facebook page announcing that Melania Trump was divorcing Donald. But years ago—like everyone else in the checkout queue—I had also ignored the claims that Michelle Obama was divorcing Barack.
No one seems to have noticed any of this turmoil, for years on end, or maybe…? Also,
Analyst Brent Bozell draws our attention to the fact that major media commonly indulge themselves in the equivalent of fake news in the form of speculation and predictions, especially in the New Year period or prior to a political turnover. More.
Fake news actually works very well in mainstream pundit predictions because the analyst is free to choose which factors to count and what weight to give them. That’s harder to do in a post-contest analysis where past events limit our imaginations. But in either case, hearers are free to substitute their own judgment and they usually do.
See also: Part I: What is fake news? Do we believe it?
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