Fake news and the role of social media outlets.

First let me say this. And this is the most important part of what I’m about to say…
If you are getting your information (news of a serious manner) from Facebook or off of some social media site that you’re subscribed to, you’re an idiot. STOP!

That should be all that needs to be said. And it’s sad that it NEEDS to be said. Unfortunately it does, and will need to be said repeatedly.

Now on to the second point; Why social media shouldn’t be, “keepers of the truth.”

I don’t think any of us should be under the illusion that Facebook or other social media outlets are by-in-large, open havens for free speech. There are always limits and restrictions to what an individual can say. And this is usually a policy that is community driven, although ultimately the singular entity has power over everything.

But what happens when that entity tightens its filters to present solely what it believes its majority of users/community wants to see and hear? What happens when a singular entity decides what text, wording, images,  or thoughts can be expressed…  or consumed?  What happens when a community relies on that entity to supply “truth”?

The inability of a community of users to discern fact from fiction, isn’t a social media problem, it’s a critical thinking problem. And when that community turns to an entity, which should be nothing more than a sounding board, to filter out what they refuse to use their own minds to interpret or figure out… Is simply a recipe for disaster.

When allowing a social media network to decide what millions of users should accept as truth, people are turning over essential and pivotal points of power to an unknown and fixed perspective. And while they might agree with the information they’re being fed, at first, there’s no guarantee that the information isn’t pushing an alternate agenda. By removing all critical thought to the process of what they are consuming, people are at the mercy of whatever entity is feeding them. Good or bad.

To end:
No. No, I don’t believe that social media companies should be taking on the role of “Truth Police”. What I believe is that, when you are on the internet, you the consumer, needs to be aware that there is a LOT of bullshit out there. The responsibility should ALWAYS fall on those that consume the information, because ultimately, it does.  I understand that means asking people to use their minds, and how hard that is sometimes. I understand that for some, it’s impossible. But for the rest of you… do your research. Ask questions. LOOK FOR ANSWERS, and throw blind trust out the window. Keep an open mind, learn to be a responsible consumer, take in all points of view, because it takes all points of view to come up with the truth. And it’s not a crime to change your mind.  Be your own Truth Police.

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