Why is fake news so prevalent nowadays?
One might construe a modern approach to political propaganda, pushing the agenda of the powers-that-be no matter the cost, such as misinforming a gullible populace.
Somehow, the tenets of journalism have all been desecrated, as untruths, alternative facts, or “symbolisms,” conveniently coined by one guilty perpetrator, become a powerful tool given the strength and ubiquity of social media. Worse, such trend has undermined respected media establishments, who have to grapple with this onslaught.
And the appalling consequence? More and more “news organizations” propping up to pass off incredulity and absurdity as fact.
This becomes so destructive, as more and more people are turning their eyes off from TV or print and now rely on Facebook news feeds to get the latest top story.
Lo and behold, so-called news websites you may never heard before delivering the top stories—out of their sleazy, shady minds, turning up on your feeds and making you believe the fabrication.
While there are sites that present their news as too incredible to believe that you really tend to laugh it off and assume the opposite—those ingenious satirical sites that make our day, there are sites who publish fake news as its core element, which is Indeed a dreadful development in mass media.
When you read such news sites, somehow, the political slip is showing, and you may get to understand the madness of it all.
But for a news site to really make wild falsehoods without remorse or fear of reprisals and worse target the reputation of individuals with reckless abandon is very much disturbing in the communications landscape.
And satire does not apply because they are not funny at all.
Take the case of the latest journalistic rip-off involving Megastar Sharon Cuneta.
The fake news site “Asia News” reported that she revealed “she’s HIV-positive.” There’s no indication there was an attempt at satire given how the “alternative facts” were so distant to the realities or issues concerning Sharon.
The gullible reader will initially take it as fact as there is no hint or attempt at comic put-ons. It was reporting a lie as fact, maliciously putting Sharon in a bad light and worse making people believe it at first until credible sources or the subject come out to deny it.
And this site also victimized other prominent figures with its senseless, ravaging mis-journalism.
As such, the moral damage has been done and the perpetrators may even be LOLing their way to the bank at her expense.
How do we battle this growing menace?
It is quite difficult, if not impossible, to bring down their websites, or even silence the liars who now dominate the scene. Amending the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012 is a good option to penalize these sites, but we still can overcome this by having the intent to distinguish fake from real—and our close scrutiny of what we read before believing it must be at the top of our minds.