For those of you calling for a ban on “fake news,” you should really consider the consequences of what you are asking for.
This nation already has laws that prohibit libel. If a news outlet defames you, the courts are at your disposal. But that’s not what you’re talking about, is it?
You want some sort of authoritarian council to decide what news is real and what is not. If it puts a slant that goes against your position on a topic, it’s fake. But if it puts a slant that agrees with your perspective, that’s A-OK, right?
And what if the news you are reading is parody? Will this council have a comedic expert on hand to make the call?
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Fake news has been around since the invention of the printing press. We have seen stories of Bat Boy and Dog Girl in grocery store checkout aisles for decades. Should the publishers of Weekly World News be thrown in the slammer?
As adults, we have the responsibility of not believing everything we are told. If there are some who cannot differentiate between absurdness and fact or lack the basic skills to verify information before believing or sharing it, then so be it. We don’t need to slip into an Orwellian society just to pander to our weakest links.
What you are asking for is nothing short of censorship and the abolishing of the First Amendment.
E. Brian Rose