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article imageOp-Ed: Fake news kept alive by ‘belief’? You sure about that?

By Paul Wallis     Sep 7, 2019 in Internet
Sydney - One of the not-overly-new theories about fake news, the industry for lazy criminals and stooges, is that “everyone believes it”. WRONG. Fake news is a paid thing, hyped up as much as possible. It’s marketing, just a different form of marketing.
Fake news is a plague of our times. Read any list of headlines on the subject, and you’re looking at a whole global industry covering itself, very ineffectually.
According to someone called Kalev Leetaru, an American academic writing on, people have begun to believe everything they read online. Leetaru points out that anyone or anything can be a source of “news”. What he rightly calls “context-free” information is now published on a bot-like basis.
Leetaru says, quite rightly:
“…The citation standards that once governed the publishing process have been replaced with a reference-free world in which length limitations and writing norms prohibit proper sourcing. The careful research and fact triangulation that once served to identify contested narratives has been replaced with a first-at-all-costs emphasis on absolute speed.”
It's an unnecessarily polite way of saying that the people producing the news are absolute slobs, but he goes on to ask why total nonentities have as much weight in media as authoritative news sites like The New York Times, etc.
The result is the unbelievable mess we see on a daily basis. People gravitate to things which agree with their current pre-existing beliefs. That theory is one of the mainstays of fake news analysis, and it’s also a marketing principle – Tell people what they want to hear. Denigrate the people they don’t like, accuse them of anything, and all is well.
Fake News Modus Operandi
Fake news is predicated by a few basics:
1. Whatever information is provided is totally false and is never investigated by any sort of law enforcement because it’s fake.
2. It targets specific individuals, or some myth like “the Left”, that common phenomenon of dedicated Marxists living in palaces on 6 figure incomes around the Western world. (Plausibility, zero. Accepted as fact by highly paid imbeciles worldwide.)
3. Fake news is invariably geared to politics and/or political objectives. There are no exceptions.
4. Fake news is paid for; again, no exceptions. These guys do nothing otherwise.
5. Fake news uses pretty much the same terminology, particularly the commentary from paid commentators.
6. Fake news is usually ultra-hysterical, accusing people of anything and everything.
7. Hate campaigns are invariably based on fake news targeting specific groups or individuals.
8. Fake news and propaganda are the same thing, with very short shelf lives in public awareness. Fake news pushes other fake news out of the public arena on an hourly basis. It’s incredibly inefficient.
9. Fake news defaults to nebulous entities like the Deep State, racism and Globalism to provide a basis for credibility. So something you can’t even define is the basis for what you “believe”. Cute, eh?
No, people don’t “believe” fake news in so many ways
The problem with fake news is that there’s way too much of it and it’s always a total failure in terms of actual outcomes. However insane the allegations, the actual result of fake news, like conspiracy theories, is invariably nothing. The one thing you can be sure of about conspiracy theories is that nothing will ever be done about them, and fake news is the same.
How is this a basis for belief? The basic principle of preaching to the converted is the whole story about fake news, People aren’t so much believing the fake news as believing what they already believed, at whatever level of ignorance.
However, the belief isn’t universal by any means. Fake news has a lot of weak spots:
A lot of factual news is called “fake news”. That backfires on those who call facts fake on a routine basis. That reinforces disbelief in the fake news offshoots based on real news.
The expression fake news is used far more by serial spreaders of fake news. Falling things fake can be an own goal. For example, should a certain future record-breaking presidential American train wreck tweet for years about fake news bias in the media on just about every possible subject, how believable can it be?
Belief isn’t merely what you say you believe. It’s the information you’re prepared to trust and act upon. How many people rush out and do a damn thing on the basis of fake news? How many people even pick up a phone?
Fake news is ugly, it’s insane, and it’s proof of the corruption in global media, itself no beauty pageant winner in terms of credibility. Fake news exists only because it’s allowed to exist and people make money out of it. When the money goes, the fake news will go.
I think most people instinctively know that the more rabid the source, the more likely to be fake news it is. Fake news is merchandising, in many ways. It’s promotional material for all those wonderful people turning the planet into a sewer.
A few suggestions for fake news management
There are some ways of managing this unsightly idiocy:
1. Any sort of defamation should be prosecuted by civil law, preferably in class actions. Fake news should be a guarantee of bankruptcy.
2. Take a page out of Russia’s (aka Uncle Samovar’s) book on disinformation and spread it right back at them. No shortage of targets.
3. Any kind of threat of violence against anyone or anything is technically a criminal offence. Act accordingly.
4. Remember the unstated part of the First Amendment – You have the right to free speech, but nobody has to listen to BS.
5. Don’t be an idiot all your life. Expect proof at all times, and you’ll see a lot less fake news.
Might work, do you think?
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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