A recent and complicated social issue that has arisen is the “fake news” controversy. Donald Trump’s habit of attacking CNN by calling it fake news is very shocking. While the debate about fake news has been around for a while, in South Korea, such discussions have only been around for the past two or three years. Recently, with politicians expressing concerns over fake news and the government stating it will regulate it, talks on whether regulating fake news is appropriate have been occurring more frequently.
In the fake news seminars that have taken place in the past few years, almost all of the speakers and panelists have said that it isn’t appropriate to regulate fake news. The main reason for this is that it is hard to decide what exactly can be defined as fake news. Also, fake news is not only too broad, but it is also difficult to differentiate from false information. Fake news is generally defined as news that is misleading or fake, but Trump’s fake news depends heavily on his interpretation of the information. Basically, if the news is disadvantageous to him, Trump interprets it as fake news no matter what the truth is.
This had led to the so-called Post-Truth Era, where if the news content matches a someone’s opinion, he or she tends to believe that it’s true. The bigger problem is that even when the information is revealed to be false after being fact checked and verified, people tend to have a “if it’s not true, oh well” attitude instead of apologizing and understanding that their information may be false.
Fake news is now considered to be a social cost or illness that a person must suffer live in this complicated media age. If fake news can’t eliminated or its purveyors punished, then people need the wisdom to minimize its costs. It is now necessary to suspect news that in the past would easily have been accepted as true. If the news is revealed to be false, then one must become an informed citizen who is constantly interested in the truth.