OPINION: COVID-19 facts hard to find amid ‘fake news’

Derek GoforthMidwest Times
Stick with news sources that have been proven to be factual and reliable.
Camera IconStick with news sources that have been proven to be factual and reliable. Credit: Peter Cade/Getty Images

Whatever happened to facts?

Let’s face it — the internet has revolutionised modern living.

The web permeates 99 per cent of our daily lives; some might say we can’t live without it.

Since the outbreak of “the virus”, how much more reliant have we become on getting information in the comfort of our own homes?

But every silver cloud has its own very dark lining.

The world wide web is no different.

The dark lining has many forms, but it’s commonly referred to as “fake news”.

The very nature of my column is that it is very open as “opinion”, by which I mean any information presented is my opinion and should be treated as such.

But not all people who use the web as their voicebox share this distinction.

In fact, many disguise what is essentially a glorified opinion as stone-cold factual evidence, which could not be further from the truth.

As yet, there is no governing body whose job it is to police how people present opinions on the net.

This presents a quandary to anyone seeking truth and facts — just who do you trust and who do you dismiss as self-opinionated gossipmongers?

If you believe what Donald Trump says, even the mainstream media cannot be trusted, and most news networks are indeed “fake news”.

His opinions are skewed depending on whether the news network in question is supportive of his agenda or not.

There is no clear answer other than to trust who you know.

By this I mean I always stick with news sources that have proven to be factual and reliable.

Currently, that is limited to perhaps three sources which, given there are hundreds of worldwide news organisations, is quite a damning indictment of the world’s media.

But do we need multiple sources of news and information? I really don’t think so.

Often, calling on more sources can have negative impacts.

After all, receiving bad news can be jarring at the best of times — but receiving it 100 times on a news feed — well, that’s just a recipe for anxiety and depression.

The best thing I did was to unsubscribe from all but two news pages on my Facebook feed.

I still get the information I need each day but I now don’t find my entire news feed filled with the same story told slightly differently.

But hey, this isn’t the facts, just the opinion of a Pom in Oz.

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