"Fake News" is a strange new problem that I don't think many people saw coming. The technological age has brought with it many strange and interesting sociological problems, but this one is far too big to ignore. And no, I'm not talking about by placing sanctions against "Fake News" sites. I mean our very culture needs to change in how we view information on the internet.
Even if legislation is passed within government guidelines, good intentions or otherwise, government can't fix the actual problem with "Fake News". In fact, the government(across the globe) nowadays are the very ones who use this as a tool to guide public opinion. This doesn't have to mean conspiracy level stuff in order to be an issue. Because deep beneath the surface of this problem there's a philosophical opportunity to better the way we perceive and consume information.
Any old person can make a blog, post an article that has done little to no research on the actual issue and still get passed around like it's fact. Does it happen all the time? Certainly not. There are those out there who will adamantly follow up on articles and verify information before shaping an argument around the information. Yet even the most well researched individual can still fall prey to Fake News via "trusted sources".
If you feel like you can trust where you get your news on a day to day basis, what is the likelihood of a story that wasn't fully researched(or spun to hide facts) popping up in your feed? Actually, pretty damn good. Because journalism on a broad scale is not about keeping facts in view, and opinions behind closed doors. It has become using words to spin facts to support your argument.
This combined with "Native Advertising" is a serious problem when you realize that quite a few major companies are using "Native Advertising" to combat pop-up blockers decreasing their revenue. This increases the likelihood of people mistaking "Native Advertising" for a genuine article. One could argue that if the content of the article is truthful and maintains a narrative around the product, then what harm does it do?
Well, none if the person reading it takes the information with a grain of salt and verifies it before using it in an argument. Unfortunately, it's not really in our culture to apply the scientific method when taking in information. We don't search for more data points to confirm or deny the idea we're touting. And by the way, it's not as simple as "people are just stupid" either.
The issue is we are a culture that trusts those that we roll with on a consistent basis. If your friend tells you they read about it, you're inclined to believe them. Why would you question information a loved one gives you? Chances are you trust their judgement on where they get their sources.
I don't want to advocate mistrusting those you place your faith in. All I want to advocate, is ensuring that the information they give you has been proven to be firmly rooted in reality and wasn't just spun to fit an argument in the first place.
Our culture seems to be the main source of a lot of our current problems. It's a very delicate issue and not an easy problem to fix. Nobody wants to think that their culture is broken, but there are a lot of problems yet for us to address before the others can even begun to start getting fixed.
It all starts with the individual and how we interact with the rest of society.
E Pluribus Unum