In 2016, we lived in a completely different world. Maybe it was naive to think that way now because it wasn’t the world that was different. It was how we viewed the world. In my attempt to stay positive these days, I’m trying to think about the 2016 presidential election as a way to learn and grow. Sure, in the early days, I was angry. Not just because of who won, but how he won. I have very strong beliefs when it comes to certain things – like democracy. When someone comes along to challenge that belief in me, I get upset. So when I write today’s post, I’m writing it from a place of positivity.Before the 2016 presidential election, we didn’t think about fake news. I mean, sure we’d watch funny parodies online or on Saturday Night Live, but once we realized that they weren’t real, we breathed a sigh of relief. Now, however, it’s hard to differentiate between what’s real and what’s not. No longer is it an us vs. them type of situation. Fake news is coming from both sides of the political arena, unfortunately.While I’d like to think that those on the left are bigger than that, I can’t say that they are. I also can’t say that they’re wrong in wanting to fight fire with fire. But I also don’t know that two wrongs can make a right. Which I’ve said numerous times on this blog. This means fake news is no longer a partisan issue.Which leads me to wonder if progress is being made? Social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook that once refused to police harassment are now starting to measure what “healthy” conversations look like and using AI to identify potential bad actors. I’ve said this before, and I’ll say it again – everyone should have their voices heard. Even if it’s the most backward and conservative opinion in the world, everyone is entitled to say their piece. Not everyone is entitled to agree with what you have to say, but you can say it.The caveat I’ll throw in there is that when it starts to become hate speech, I don’t think that platforms like Facebook and Twitter have to provide the venue. But you can still have your own views and opinions.While I think that Twitter and Facebook are making progress in their own way, I think the real progress is in how we view the news in general. Is it fake news? How do we know if it’s real or not? Sure, there are some reputable news sources that get things wrong on occasion. That happens, so I’m not saying ignore all news. I’m saying do your research. Think about what you’re hearing. That said, I hear things now, straight out of the president’s mouth and I can’t believe that it’s actually happening. I think that we all need to be vigilant in today’s society. Otherwise, we are letting the trolls or the fake news generators win.Earlier I spoke about wanting to be more positive when it comes to these types of situations, so I will. I am a firm believer in the idea that everything happens for a reason. Whether that’s the loss of a job or a break-up. But I also think that it applies to our culture and society. Bad things are happening in the world right now. How we choose to handle them is what matters most. We can’t change who the president is, or what he says. But we do have the power to go out and vote in the mid-terms. We have the ability to stay positive and spread love in a world that seems to be overtaken with hate. This is in all of us.Fake news won’t be around forever, but it is our reality right now. Let’s use this opportunity to learn and grow from it and make a better world for the next generation.
Fake news might be getting better thanks to the work that social networking platforms are doing, but could it actually be a blessing?