“To know and not to know; to firmly believe to say the truth sacrosanct while pronouncing the most fabricated lies “. 1984 imagined by George Orwell has arrived. He saw its first sunrise with the birth of social media, there where the line between true and false likely becomes less and less obvious. Hundreds of alternate content on our screens. they raise issues of topical, but with an emphasis on issues that, if they are not relevant to the record, they will become for the reader. Or they invent news in order to convey a particular message.
In virtual channels browse everything: from the horrible equation migrants equal Isis until the news of the (and then denied) Pope Francis support to Donald Trump in the last US election. Without forgetting the conspiracy: foreigners stealing jobs, any kind of wrongdoing attributed to this or that politician, until Ufo, chemical trails and questionable food extremism. What was once written in small essays then relegated to the shelves of some small library now turns freely online. It affects a large section of the population. Orienting the choices, even in the political field.
An example of this: the Brexit. According to an article recently published in The Economistthe victory of “Leave” would, among other things, promoted by the rapid dissemination of false data on the web. For example the 350 million pounds that the UK would pay every week to the European Union. Invented a fact that, however, has sparked the indignation of millions of users. Comments, shares and tags are flocked, making the “fake”more viral. Experts and analysts have pledged to disprove this and other hoaxes, but without any result. In the society of 2000, moreover, the authority is no longer evaluated according to skills. Contrary, doctors, journalists, teachers and institutions are considered themselves to be part of a system to break down. It seems to go back to Goebbels: “Repeat a lie, hundred, thousand, a million times and it will become a truth”.
In the era of post-truth ( the universities of Oxford called it, promoting as a word of the year) we look on the web for easy answers to everyday problems, such as security. And who provides an acceptable response is considered reliable. So we see post xenophobic disseminated by users connected to this or that political force anti immigration that publish daily news just to emphasize the nationality of those who committing a murder, an act of violence or theft. In this way, the fact itself loses value, while It is more important if an immigrant or a Rom are involved . A slap to the ethics of information and, therefore, to the same freedom of the press. Brainwashing that it makes us more and more suspicious of anyone who is perceived as “different”.
After Trump’s election, accused by many of having ridden the Post-truths to gain consent, the case of spreading fabricated news on the internet has become central in the public debate. The same Mark Zuckerberg – who in the past had on Facebook claiming that only 1% of post could be classified as a hoax – has had to change his mind. “We have made great progress but there is still much work to do,” he said. The California-based company is studying more effective countermeasures, which include algorithms that can identify the fake news, and systems that facilitate the reports by users. The CEO of Fb has taken control of the situation, especially after accusations of having favored, indirectly, the rise of Trump at the White House without monitor all content posted by users on fb.
The same problem also afflicts Twitter and Google. Both the company of 140 characters that the company owns the largest search engine in the world have been brought into play for the same omissions in internal controls. They aim to identify and remove fake content through cooperation between information technology and appeal to the responsibility of Internet users. Among other things, we have to say that many sites that specialize in buffaloes put potentially viral content to get more clicks. In this way they get substantial revenues from advertising, bypassing the paid functions that social and search engines provide for those who want self promote on their channels. In short, It is not only ethical but also economic problem. And who knows what the contrast to the Post-Truth does not become one of the few cases of convergence between business and respecting the principles of true and correct information.