Fake News, Selective Facts & Stories That Threaten Our Democracy

Wouldn't you like to know the whole truth nothing but the truth so help you, god? I know I would! Sometimes we can't know the whole truth but stories that claim to be fact must be fact NOT commentary or opinion!

It's not an overstatement to say that 'Today's threat to democracy isn’t fake news—it’s selective facts.' While doing a Google search for 'Why are the news media so selective with their news reporting?' We came across this article that covered this question.
The article suggested there have been opposing values reporting throughout history. People want to read stories that they can relate to. "Because news has to engage us for us to read it. Selective facts occur because news and social media companies focus predominantly on their readers’ interests.'
Rather than fake news or alternative facts, the primary danger of these times are selective facts."

Selective facts are “true” facts that only tells us part of the story.

These selective facts influence our views on every issue from, how to deal with the Corona Virus, gun control to Islamic terrorism to China free trade.

Confirmation Bias

Quartz continues.  "Social Media has allowed more voices to be heard but we are more likely to watch people that give bias news that backs up our particular viewpoint. The news publishers and social media algorithms learn what the audience wants to hear. Then gives it to them over and over and the selective cycle continues."

The media, social media, and selective facts

Most of us use the news to help us make important personal decisions. Everything from safety to health. Political voting, to how we plan for our future.
The Quartz article explains. "Business leaders of media organizations therefore consciously focus on what readers want, not what they need to make the best decisions—even though most of us use news for the latter purpose. Sam Zell, the former CEO of Tribune, is characteristically blunt, telling journalists, “You need to help me by being a journalist that focuses on what readers want and therefore generates more revenue.” Fox chairman Rupert Murdoch echoes him, saying “Stop writing articles to win Pulitzer Prizes…Give people what they want to read and make it interesting.” On the social media side, Mark Zuckerburg, likely the most powerful news editor in human history (though, of course, he wouldn’t call himself that), designed an algorithm that focuses on featuring news we’re most likely to engage with.
In the past, we may have thought of news as a mirror of what’s going on in the world. Today, we need to think of news as a mirror of our own beliefs—and it’s time to take a good, hard look. Just because you think you’re a well-reasoned person doesn’t mean you haven’t accidentally cocooned yourself in an algorithmic bubble. If your goal is to make good decisions for your family, your community, or your country, you must consciously work to get a representative set of facts."
But is that the whole truth just a couple of years on from this article?
Is the media a reflection of our own views? i.e. You get more of what you ask for? If that was true we could simply take a look at opposing news channels and make up our own minds.  And of course in many cases that is completely true.  Check out 'recommended' YouTube offerings and they will reflect exactly what you have been watching.  Watch 'puppies doing funny things' once and you'll be offered this forevermore.  

Freedom of Speech

Selective facts are more dangerous than fake news especially if any opposing view is silenced by sackings or being canceled.
Studies have shown. "Having facts—no matter how one-sided and cherry-picked—makes us overconfident that we know what’s going on. Studies have also shown that when we see facts that are later shown to be wrong, we still remain confident in our beliefs. Other studies show how we’ll especially favor facts when they’re convenient to our view."

How to de-select selective facts

"It’s up to us as readers to correct for how prevalent selective facts are in our news feeds and in the publications we read. To make good decisions in this era of social media and personalized news, you have to realize that selective facts surround us.
If old media was a communist grocery store with absurdly limited choice, today’s media is a glittering Vegas buffet laid out to trigger our every weakness—and we need to learn how to consume a more balanced meal." Quartz concludes.

Virtue Signaling

But where do you get these factual news articles if the mainstream media is doing ever more Virtue Signalling? Constantly considering how they may be targeted on Twitter and the like. Or do they really believe in these views where no nuisance can be considered?  Rather than covering news stories with both sides to an argument.  Or the considered opinion of a range of excellent spokespeople from both sides of the spectrum. Perhaps its time for 'Business leaders of media organizations' to realize these extreme views do not reflect the vast majority of the country. But appease the loud minority.






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