“Fake news” has been sweeping the nation, or has it?
Unlike what many in the mainstream media would like for you to believe, “fake news” is nothing new. That’s right. “Fake news” has been around in many ways, shapes and forms for generations.
Hillary Clinton claims that only now has it become “clear that so-called fake news can have real world consequences.” However, she is wrong. “Fake news” has always had real world consequences and likely always will.
Remember the viral e-mail chains filled with outlandish claims sent out in the 2000s?
Remember the anonymous scare pamphlets left on doorsteps and in mailboxes in the 1980s and 1990s?
Remember when “yellow journalism” boomed in the 1890s?
Each one of these served as the “fake news” of their day. So, what’s the difference now?
Essentially, the only things that have really changed are the form and the pace of “fake news” communication.
With billions of people now online worldwide, the Internet has allowed “fake news” to spread at an exponentially faster rate than ever before. What used to take days or weeks to reach thousands of people can now reach millions in a matter of hours.
And, while the spread of “fake news” is not ideal, it is certainly nothing new. And, when it comes to online communication, it cannot be forgotten that the Internet has also allowed real news to spread at an exponentially faster rate than ever before, not just “fake news.”
The reality of “fake news” is that it has always been around and will likely never go away. But, that doesn’t mean we have to read it or believe it. In an online world of information overload, we have many choices to make when it comes to our media consumption.
We can and should choose continue to promote accountability and truth among news sources within our own lives, engage in independent fact-finding and keep all of the “fake news” in perspective, just as our ancestors did before us.
• Madison Gesiotto is a conservative writer and commentator who frequently appears on Fox News Channel as well as on CNN. She is currently in the final year of pursuing her J.D. at The Michael E. Moritz College of Law at Ohio State University. You can reach her by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow her on Twitter: @madisongesiotto.
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