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Fake news is nothing ‘new’

Social media begat fake news. Or put another way: social media made it a heck of a lot easier to post all sorts of mistruths, lies and devil-may-care rants.

You mean, nobody saw this coming?

When anybody who can string words together could post something for thousands, or even millions, to see?

Above and beyond anything you may read, remember this: humans depend on storytelling. It goes back to the days when mankind lived in caves.

We have internal beliefs that we constantly yearn to have reinforced. That's why social media works so well: it filters the news to what you want to read and hear.

Some people view news as nothing more than simple entertainment, because so little of it directly affects them. Perhaps that's why the idea of fake news has taken hold.

It has to do with people’s weak perception of “news,” as in most people could care less. An individual has other things on his or her mind and have always taken the things he or she hears on the radio or sees on TV – the way most people used to get their news – as just fantasy or superfluous entertainment.

But fake news is nothing new: just look at the supermarket tabloids that have existed for decades. But it is so much easier to proliferate fake news now.

You simply have to learn to trust the source of what you are reading, seeing or hearing.

Why not return to newspapers? What a concept!

Andrew M. Andrews