Okay so that was a bad joke.

I originally intended this to stop there but I thought when taking that shot and since whether a post surrounded by barbed wire and with a lock and chain could be symbolic of recent changes in social media and trying to clamp down on Fake News; where posts are censored and moderated.

I might regret this as I vowed previously to keep away from opinion pieces so will try to keep this objective…. normal service will be resumed 

Fake news is a problem as now everyone has a platform for voicing their thoughts, ideas and anything they want.  Previously it took a lot of effort to get an audience, without which free speech doesn’t achieve much.  I remember going to London in years past and stopping by Speaker’s Corner where there is usually someone literally standing on a box talking about some issue that concerns them.  Not only does standing in front of a crowd take effort, it also takes courage.  Sometimes they have an audience that is more than passing tourists and maybe that gives them a platform to take it to the next level.

Now though, these voices are easily (and virtually anonymously) given the whole world of ears to attract and even if 99.999% of people ignore it, that 0.001% is not insignificant and can in turn lead to incite hatred, contempt, arguments of even a following.  People venting and giving opinion is one thing and we should generally try not to get upset by that (hard sometimes I know) but no audience is no power.

It is also easier now to write things and present them as fact which is a bigger problem. Previously facts were presented in books or in papers/publications that had some consistency and integrity which publishers wanted to protect and made sure facts were verified. There is too much out there on social media to physically check these facts though and so we fall into uncontrolled chaos where the ignorant are unable to separate fact from fiction.

But it’s hard, almost impossible to stop it, yes, rules and algorithms can be added to websites to catch things but invariably those things are going to block perfectly legitimate words and comments as they won’t be accurate to start with and will always fall on the side of caution.  And then we are into censorship and it wouldn’t be a difficult step for someone to take control of that to make sure “only real (acceptable) facts” are published.

I’ll stop there…