We are seeing a push for algorithms and actions from our tech leaders to solve the fake news "problem."
Anyone who thinks that this is a good thing or even possible must sit back and dust off their critical thinking skills.
If this problem was solvable, then we would not have spam or phishing attacks on the internet.
We all know what spam is and that it is simple for a human to identify it. It is very difficult for a computer to identify it in any reliable manner. Spam detection is so unreliable that we all have lost important mail that got misclassified and placed in a SPAM or JUNK folder.
Email phishing is a social engineering attack where the target is tricked into going to an improper site on the internet to collect data or download malware. Sometimes it is a little bit harder to detect than spam, but once one is trained on how to identify it, a human can spot one almost instantly.
Media is something completely different. It is very difficult to identify if something is real or not. You have to be educated on how to vet something that you watch or read. This can take time and in some cases a lifetime to master.
The other problem is how does one define fake? Who or in this case what determines if something is fake? Previous generations would have said that is it the consumer of the information that must make this determination in a free society. A key part of the education of our children was to give them the tools to be able to do this. This is commonly called critical thinking. Have we lost these skills? If the answer is yes, we must ask ourselves why and what are the motives behind this.
Since this is a technical blog, one has to question how can we suddenly have algorithms which can identify "fake news" which in many cases are hard to identify in the first place, but have yet to solve the spam and phishing problems, which are easy for a human to solve, but has plagued us for over 30 years?
There is an answer on why and what is going on. Go pick out your favorite dystopian and see if you notice a common thread. All news and information is controlled by the central computer or committee and is used to control the masses. The masses are dumbed down to the point that they lack the language and critical thinking skills to object to their masters.
Brazil - The entire story is based on the main character learning the truth about their society. The central committee controlled the media. The main character learns the truth because of an error. The masses are distracted with terrorism and mass media.
1984 - The entire story is based on the main character learning the truth about their society. A computer called Big Brother controls all information. Undesired information is either rewritten or simply destroyed in a memory hole. The language is restricted to keep the classes under control - Thinkspeak. People are controlled through work and mass media.
Brave New World - The entire story is based on the main character learning the truth about their society. A central group of Alpha citizens controls all information and keep the masses dumbed down to where they do not understand information outside of their social class.
Babylon 5 - A key story arc is the change to the Interstellar News Network over the five seasons. INN starts off as an unbiased news network that told both sides of a story. Throughout the series, there would be news segments on the network that showed their interpretation of the events taking place. After the coup, the network is taken over and becomes a mouthpiece for Clark's government. As the revolution starts the network shows pure propaganda. After Sheridan wins Earth’s Civil War, a key INN segment shows just released newscasters from the first season break down on air and give out the first free news cast in years.
Wake up people, you are being manipulated into accepting censorship.