ON MY OWN
Before the advent of social media, there was already yellow journalism which stands for sensa-tionalism and crude exag-geration of news which was not legitimate or was not well-researched. Usually yellow journalism caters to scandal-related news.
Today, yellow journa-lism or yellow press has been outdone by fake news. And this fake news proliferates in social media. They come in different forms like memes and fake sites to mention a few. What is disheartening is the fact that majority of the netizens (citizens in the internet) can hardly identify or distinguish fake news from real news. Fake news is a type of news (whatever the genre is) that intentionally misleads and deceives the public.
Lately, the internet has provided a low-cost distri-bution channel for fake news. Social media web-sites in particular have proved to be an easy venue for distributing fake news. False stories can be tweeted or posted from a mobile smartphone and in turn be re-tweeted or shared to large number of audience making it viral or trending. Usually this fake news would go viral in social media causing more confusion as to the falsity and truthfulness of the content.
Here in our country, the creators and distributors of fake news have political or social agenda. In politics, the aim is to destroy political opponent. And it is dange-rous. The social agenda, on the other hand, is to spread black propaganda, promote a negative cause or advo-cacy like making people believe that abortion is legal or that same-sex marriage is godly, and or anything that will change the mind-set of the society from good to bad from productivity to counter-productivity.
It is dangerous to use social media in spreading fake news because aside from shaping public opinion and behavior, fake news can also cause mistrust, encou-rage dissent and deflect attention from real news. Second, fake news in social media can spread quickly reaching all types of netizens , young or old, male or female, rich or poor.
In Germany, social media companies face fines up to €50M or P2.8B if they persistently fail to remove fake news from their sites under a new law. The Ger-man parliament approved the bill aimed at cracking down on hate speech, criminal material, and fake news on social networks.
Can the Philippine legislative body replicate the same law? I hope to see it in my lifetime.