Good day. I’m sure we’re no stranger to the phenomenon of ‘fake news’ now- but as awareness of it rises, large companies and groups are starting to take the issue seriously, and are dealing with it in a refreshing and effective way.
Indeed, fake news has existed much longer than the term has, through sensationalist papers and magazines. Papers such as The Daily Mail have been criticized for years over their habit to blow things out of proportion– having produced titles over the years such as: “Send In An Army To Halt Migrant Invasion” and “Middle Class Children Have Better Genes […]”
As I said before, papers such as The Daily Mail, and tabloids such as the Sun have been producing material like this this since the dawn of time- but finally as the fake news situation reaches it’s peak- people are deciding to put their foot down by starting with the papers themselves.
As of last week, Wikipedia made it very hard for people to use The Daily Mail as a source for pages on the site. According to editors of the site, a consensus has been established to not use T.D.M., especially when more reliable sources are available. They also said that they stood by this decision because of the paper’s reputation for ‘poor fact checking, sensationalism, and flat-out fabrication. This ban also includes the online version of the paper.
Last week also saw another paper with a reputation being banned from a certain place; Liverpool FC banned the Sun from reporting on it’s grounds– as a result of their coverage of the Hillsborough disaster- in which 96 fans were ‘unlawfully killed’ as the inquest last year found (BBC). The paper had already been boycotted (largely) around Liverpool as a result of their coverage of this close-to-home tragedy, and one member of the ‘Total Eclipse of the S*n’ group said- “We are delighted another institution has taken a stance against the Sun newspaper”.
Last week, Apple CEO Tim Cook shared his concerns about fake news with the Daily Telegraph and said (among other things) ‘some of the people that are winning are the people that spend their time trying to get the most clicks, not tell the most truth’. However, he or Apple have yet to produce a codified plan for this problem.
This is a bold move for Wikipedia, and other groups should be following their example and ditching the papers which were reporting sensationalized content way before the internet even existed…
Thumbnail Credit: Typoretum