I hope that this blog will be a good addition to the world of politics, a place where current issues are discussed and reflected upon in an open way. So often we talk about facts and the truth, or what the right answer is, but all news are real news and we need to figure out what the objective reality is and why we choose to believe what we do. Once we can base our facts on solid arguments we are able to have a valid opinion, even if it differs from someone elses.
For example, governments have already expressed interest in controlling the way news are spread, trying to ‘guarantee’ that the news are true from the source. But what about individual responsibility and reflection, the art of questioning everything you hear and not taking every bit of information as given? Is it not better than having someone tell you what is true and what is not?
I believe that educating children in having their own opinions and basing it on facts is more important, because it builds a natural resistance to what we know as ‘fake news’. Fake news is basically wrong statistics reported as the truth, but instead of having governments decide what is true, people should be accustomed to filtering through this information from a young age, learning how to decide for themselves. It is not about intellectual intelligence or a high GPA, it is about learning to filter information and reflecting upon it, not taking everything as given.
Fake news are not a new phenomenon, news have always been ‘skewed’ depending on the source and there has always been a need for people to be selective of what information they choose to believe. The only difference is that when ‘fake news’ become mainstream, it becomes increasingly important to teach the next generation of children how to have their own voice and question what they are told. The idea is not to create people that all agree on something that is ‘right’, the idea is to have people that see things differently and debate about the issue, because that is when decisions become achievable in a democratic process.
Fake statistics can always be uncovered through research, and statistics alone cannot tell the whole truth, but if people do not learn how to question news as they filter through the information, a top-down approach including governments that monitor news articles will only work to limit the freedom of speech. Although some might argue that this is needed since a majority of people lack the interest of engaging in what they perceive as ‘non-relatable’ or ‘far away’, we should not be so pessimistic about the ability to give everyone a chance to question what they choose to believe.