Fake news has been around forever. Dig into the Bible a bit and you’ll see that Jews called Jesus a glutton and drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners. Not much has changed other than we’re calling fake news what it is. Fake. The problem is that everyone calls everyone else’s news fake and counters with alternative facts. This growing phenomenon is not good for you, and it’s not good for Apple.
Macs get viruses. iPhones are not secure. Watch is a dud. Apple is doomed. Those are popular memes which rise to the surface of the day’s stream of news all to often. In the face of a constant barrage of falsehoods, how can a person make a good decision in the face of an important choice? Our recent presidential election in the U.S. should tell us that it’s not easy for everyone to know the difference between fact and fiction, or the consequences with making a wrong choice.
Fake news proponents have castigated mainstream and traditional media as biased, yet I see as much bias in alternative news reporting. Recently, I asked a knowledgeable and well educated family friend to name his favorite news reporters. His list did not include one reporter, but was full of moderators and interviewers who bask more on the entertainment vine than purveyors of factual news.
In fact, factual news has become suspect because people in history have never been treated to such a barrage of information and misinformation that we live with everyday. The memes are many. If President Obama is a Muslim, then is President Trump a Russian spy? Why buy a Mac when the personal computer industry is a thing of the past? Why buy an iPhone when they have viruses and malware just like Android smartphones?
See the problem?
If all information is suspect, regardless of source, then nothing can be trusted; reality becomes indistinguishable from fiction. Other than the purveyors of fiction, who benefits from such deeply rooted mistrust? Even when outright lies are outed in full public view, the result will look fake to those who cannot tell the difference, and have no trusted sources for facts.
This growing and pervasive phenomenon does not help mankind; it demoralizes everyone, including those less susceptible to such media shenanigans; and it creates an atmosphere where up is down, good is bad, wrong is right.
Do you remember George Orwell’s 1984, and the fictional language Newspeak? I see similarities today, of course, and find it ironic that the Mac was launched in 1984 with a commercial that displayed a dystopian era where all thought was the same, but it was all wrong.
Those of us who counted our blessings as Apple customers for many years because we knew that a Mac experience was better than a Windows experience have long fought against such misinformation and may be somewhat immunized against the deeper infections– but we are still affected. Should I buy an iPhone even if they have malware, too? Why buy a Mac when a PC costs much less but does exactly the same thing? I read that Apple Watch is a flop and a dud. Who wants to buy one of those?
If truth and facts look to be fake or are treated as such, then reality and facts are merely one element within a collection of realities, all of which may be indistinguishable from fiction, and therefore of no value at all.