Why Fighting Against Fake News is Useless and Dangerous

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Donald Trump fought against fake news since before his presidency. (Image Source:

Fake news. It’s the popular term these days for the western mainstream media’s news, popularized by US President Donald Trump during his election campaign to describe the opposition’s campaign tactics to discredit him and, finally, to discredit the legitimacy of him winning the said elections. And these days, the term has spilled from the US election campaign and spread across the world. Now people kept throwing that term around, whether they’re some big shots like Mark Zuckerberg or just ordinary people, against any news they don’t agree with.

It doesn’t mean that all news is fake, nor that there’s no such thing as fake news. But the range of obvious credibility of the articles depends solely on the person reading them and, as such, it’s a useless endeavor to fight it. A lot of tech companies are promoting the idea of fighting fake news. But the truth is that they’re actually censoring political opponents or alternative media that’s posting truths about the shortcoming of these companies, or the companies and people these tech companies are allied to. There is no real way to be able to tell which article is fake or exaggerated, and which ones are telling only the truth except for fact-checking. But then even fact-checkers are subject to their own political biases and opinions and, as such, could affect their actions and the integrity of the work they’re supposed to do. They’re, after all, just human.

Mark Zuckerberg (Image Source: The Information)

Mark Zuckerberg (Image Source: The Information)

As for the rest of the people, fact-checking is something they’d rarely do, especially in a generation where they’re used to have things handed to them. Now that the Internet is here, it makes things all the more convenient. Information from all over the world can come to you in seconds. But this also makes things even worse. For starters, it makes people lazy. When Wikipedia started children all across the globe rejoiced. No more trips to the library! Now all the research was done for them. Ask any teacher who’ve been teaching at the time, you find complaints about how their homework is completely copied off Wikipedia, prompting other teachers to act against the usage of the online encyclopedia.

Another problem with it is that confirming the validity of the sources is almost impossible. This is the same problem with the fact-checkers. Children have no clue that anyone, anyone, can just go and post lies on the Internet. And these children are lazy after all so you can expect them never to fact-check, ever.

But then what to do? Can we just leave these lies on the Internet, damaging our favorite celebrity’s honor, or the integrity of our preferred ideology, religion, beliefs? Isn’t smiting down these lies the right thing to do? Well, yes, and no.

James Damore, author of the memo that got him fired from Google (Image Source: Business Insider)

James Damore exposes the left-wing progressive bias in Google and got fired for it. (Image Source: Business Insider)

The thing is that the only way to destroy a lie is to reveal the truth, and usually, the truth is either too far from us to actually find out for ourselves or is hidden so well by those who would want to to be kept hidden forever. So there’s usually no way to destroy a lie or anyone. But if someone does know the truth or can find it, one way or another, it is his responsibility to tell it. And not just by words, but by presenting actual proofs of the truth. We should not attempt to debunk a lie with another lie either, for if that lie was found out it would lend more credibility to the first lie while discrediting the opponents until someone can show actual proof.

People must also not clamor for the removal of these fake news because censorship doesn’t discriminate targets. One minute, you’re the “true” news, the “establishment”, clamoring for the censorship of their voices, the opinions you don’t like and viewed as the “fake”. Then suddenly the power shifts, and you’ll find yourself in danger of being censored because now, they’re the “true” news, they’re the “establishment” and they’re free to do to you what you did to them. One could even say that they’re entitled to it. It’s a scary thought and such an idea must be met with resistance and countered whenever it appears.

So unless you can tell the truth, for now, let them lie.