True Spaghetti, Fake Noodles or Merely All Impastas?

Do you watch or listen or read the news?

If you do – how do you do so? Which media do you trust today to deliver sound newsworthy stories that you believe?

Fake news has been around for a very long time – centuries in fact – and it’s not a recent phenomenon. Today we have fake news and propaganda aplenty – anyone and everyone can become an online journalist or an editor – create a headline, write a small story and then with the press of a button the world can start to read their story – be this true or false – the world is reading what has been written.

Long before the news events of today like topics dealing with Brexit or the coronavirus, we had stories floating about on the internet usually found on fake websites and or social media platforms where information could be easily shared – as readers or content consumers many of us were already starting to doubt the authenticity of the so called newsworthy story – l know l was. Truth is that l personally started to doubt the validity of certain headlines way back in 2014.

Things l was reading online didn’t always make sense and so after fairly heavy research l would find that my initial thoughts were indeed true. The content was false.

It’s ironic in a way, years ago when l used to run my business, l used to perform a small side line of fake news for a friend of mine in the animal industry – although back then it was more in line with a form of political or animal husbandry propaganda to the exotic keeper’s market which we created to try and both manipulate and encourage ‘keepers’ to improve their husbandry skills. The stories created usually held an element of truth to them, my role was to coerce and catastrophize the seriousness of the story so that we could incite a response and therefore most occasions create a debate.

I am naturally curious and as l briefly outlined to Geoff today on another of my posts l enjoyed the whole role of playing devil’s advocate at times. It is healthy to be able to create debate and it was most assuredly beneficial 15-20 years ago with the private animal keeper’s market. Point in, l am somewhat cynical about most things concerning news and tend to research practically everything.

Last week, when speaking to Madam “I am not a conspiracist, but …” When l got back home, everything she made reference to l looked up, researched and studied – it is in my nature to test the waters of some things. It is also very interesting as l take this Thrive course, because it is a course into questioning everything … right up my alley in some ways.

In the last few weeks, l have seen some exceedingly outlandish story lines over here in the UK that have caused damage to not just society but also to the journalism industry – let’s be honest, when we start to disbelieve the news articles we read and because of that we create ‘conspiracies’ or we ignore realities we are in many ways causing more problems for ourselves and the world. We run the risk of becoming hostile to everything and everyone around us.

So many ‘online’ news stories these days seemingly are no longer objective, or they are filled with inaccuracy and l often wonder who regulates and moderates these stories prior to publishing?

Who do we trust, what do we trust – what is real and what is make believe?

Friends and colleagues l have started to and have been saying they no longer read news, listen to news, or watch the news because they simply don’t know what is fake and what is real anymore.

I read news stories, watch the news and listen to news but l have learned that in order to remain objective, that for me l treat it unemotionally and objective, treat it purely as data – mentally taking a step back and adding a pinch of salt here and there to remind me of the world we live in. We have to be smart with our news intake and rely upon educated guesswork at times – learn how to spot fake news, not take everything at face value and perform independent research where applicable should we so wish and think twice if not thrice before sharing it to other readers.

I tend to always look at where the story is coming from – is it from a well known source supplier? Does the story have an element of truth to it to begin with? Or is it interwoven closely with reality only – how much information is there to actually read? Are the images or diagrams relevant to the story itself? It can become a hard game to play and most often and not, more people today are simply opting to NOT bother with the news anymore.

Are you able to spot fake news and if you can – how do you go about it?

If YOU were planning on creating a fake news story – what topic would you select and why?

How would you create a fake news story that was credible and believable?

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19 thoughts on “True Spaghetti, Fake Noodles or Merely All Impastas?

  1. Democracy requires an educated electorate, and unfortunately, a lot of folks are simply lazy — especially in the US it seems. That’s the key ingredient that enables fake news providers.

    If you read and listen consistently, it’s not hard to spot news items that are inconsistent with other information. Then as you stated, there are the sources and the know biases they bring to the table. Once someone (like Trump) has established a pattern of lying, they’re toast, as they should be.

  2. I don’t believe most of the news, fake or otherwise. It is usually untrue or with a grain of truth mixed with a load of bs!
    I would never create, at least not intentionally, fake news. Sorry, but I can’t think of any topic on which I might want to do that.

  3. I get home delivery of The Washington Post and I have an online subscription to The New York Times – I trust both of those news sources. The only time I become aware of ‘fake news’ is when those sources report it. I don’t watch tv news tho my husband does and I hear some of it, and the local news where I live is mostly the latest murder count and which local politician is being ‘cancelled’. I don’t see ANY news on social media because I don’t have anything in my social media that would contain that. Facebook? I have 12 friends who post as infrequently as I do and mostly personal stuff; I ‘follow’ cat FB pages – so no news there. Instagram? Same deal – friends, art accounts and animal/pet accounts. How do you identify fake news? Anything that is off the wall stupid, which lately is anything to do with Covid, or here in the US, the a$$holes who still think the election was rigged. Anything coming out of the mouths of right wing Republicans – fake news and stupidity.

    Why would I create a fake news story?

  4. I don’t know if I can spot fake news unless it’s really obvious ~ then again I never go to rightwing sites for news, so that eliminates a lot of fakery. NOT that the others are great either! But the RW is the worst. I began unfollowing people a while ago when they kept posting garbage from the right because I don’t want to contribute to legitimatizing it. Of course I wouldn’t want to create anything fake, unless it was obvious fiction or satire. Honestly, it’s a giant mess and I fear for the future because of all the people who believe ridiculous sh!t…

    1. Hey Paula, very much so – it is a problem for the future that is only going to get worse. I read recently that many 20 somethings are likely to believe anything they read when it comes to news and they will ONLY believe social media …. the future is going to be very short l feel.

  5. I’m quite careful about where I get my news from. There are certain news outlets that I trust, although I don’t ever expect a single news source to tell me the whole story. If I’m particularly interested in tracking down the details of something, I’ll triangulate using stories from multiple reliable sources. If they’re talking about research findings, I tend to assume that journalists don’t have the best research literacy, so if I’m really curious, I’ll track down the original source. I also pay attention to what kinds of sources journalists are using for stories, and whether they’re likely to be reliable.

    1. Very wise indeed Ashley – l tend to not believe anything in total anymore. I recently read an article that was suggesting the so called dangerous as hell solar flare was hurtling towards earth and it had 222,000 mph winds …… erm? 🙂

      I think the fastest wind l have ever read about was 253 mph in Australia in the late 90’s .. tornadoes can knock out some pelt but even then, l think the highest there is just over 300 mph .. but 222,000???

      Uh huh!

      1. For something like that, I would check with an authoritative source like NASA, which says “The solar wind is very weak compared to the wind on Earth, though it is much, much faster. When we measure solar wind speeds, we typically get speeds of 1-2 million miles per hour. They end up being weaker because there is very little of it. Solar wind density is usually about 100 particles per cubic inch. Thus, a typical pressure from the solar wind is measure in nanopascals whereas at the Earth’s surface, the atmospheric pressure is 100 kilopascals, and surface winds are about 100 pascals. Since solar wind is measured in nanopascals it is approximately 1000 million times weaker than winds here on Earth.”

  6. If I were crafting a fake news story, I would start with some truth and douse it with a half truth and them some lies that people would like to believe. The kernel of truth allows the recipient to accept what follows. And they can feel vindicated if their biases are confirmed about people they dislike whether politicians, bureaucrats, immigrants, used car salesmen, lawyers, men, women, hippies, churchgoers, medical providers, pharmaceutical salesmen, minorites, unions, rich people, etc.. People have no incentive to research the truth of something they desperately want to be true.

    1. Hey Geoff, this is an excellent answer – this is exactly how the best ‘fake news’ is delivered and created, carefully interwoven lies with truth aimed at raising the emotions of those who read,

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