Difficult Conversations – Fake News

After the volcanic eruption in St Vincent, the Government held a news conference on 11 April 2021, and declared that fake news was killing us.  The Government explained that the Commissioner of Police will be asked follow-up on fake news, since it can lead to a loss of life.

I expected the press to ask some questions about this new path on which Barbados is being directed.  But the Government charmed the media present by giving them an honorary non-fake news title.  It seems that the media did not want to risk having this new title taken away.

At the news conference, the public was advised to repeatedly sweep the ash from their roofs.  I strongly advised against this, noting foreseen death from falling off a slippery ladder.  Last week, someone died from falling off a ladder while trying to follow the advice.  To whom should the Commissioner of Police be sent?

FAKE NEWS CAREERS.

Politicians normally make a career out of falsely accusing their political opponents – the ultimate fake news.  When they form a government, they normally create fake news to avoid disclosing inconvenient information.

Fake news is information that is provably false.  All news media, without exception, spread fake news.  Some do it unintentionally, and then issue corrections once they become aware of their errors.  Others intentionally spread what they know to be false, in service to their political party.

An independent press will allow all evidence-based ideas to contend, so that the truth may be revealed by discussing an exchange of ideas.

BARBADOS NEWS MEDIA.

Barbados’ news media have a mix of responses to fake news.  A few of them allow evidence-based discussions.  This allows the public to see which arguments are supported by the evidence, and which ones are based on speculation.  The remainder only allow the views of their political party on politically sensitive topics.

When media outlets spread obvious fake news, and block evidence-based discussions that can expose fake news as false, then it prompts citizens to ask, why.  Once people try to answer that ‘why’ question, they risk having their suggestions labelled conspiracy theories.

DISSERVICE TO OUR YOUTH.

The fear of discussing issues is doing the next generation of Barbadians a grave disservice.  They need to witness an honest discussion of ideas, not a persecution of those brave enough to offer different explanations of the evidence.

Why are our media preventing the next generation of Barbadians from benefiting from evidence-based discussions?  In countries like North Korea, their media persons must fearfully promote fake news as truth, to avoid being executed.  That may be a valid excuse for promoting fake news.  So, what is Barbados’ news media’s excuse?

Grenville Phillips II is a Chartered Structural Engineer. He can be reached at NextParty246@gmail.com

11 comments

  • Cash for passports. A Caribbean phenomenon which has now spread to other jurisdictions. And a subject that our local media refuses to discuss.

    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/apr/22/revealed-residency-loophole-in

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/oct/16/the-passport-king-who-markets-citizenship-for-cash

    Like

  • Timely post! I was a panelist on the ICT Pulse podcast where disinformation and fake news was recently discussed:

    https://www.ict-pulse.com/2021/04/ictp-151-navigating-disinformation-misinformation-and-fake-news/

    Their podcasts and blog looks at I.T. issues from a Caribbean perspective.

    Like

  • @Grenville Phillips, the myopic may dismiss your post and try to discount your views, be ever mindful those who change the world are the ones who challenge the status quo.

    I agree with this post and we must call a spade a spade irrespective of who it may offend.

    Only recently an organization I am associated with requested I participate in a panel discussion, when the dumb political yard-fowl for a manager heard my name the public was denied an opportunity to hear my out the box views. Thus, I have grown accustomed to political yardfowls, deceitful associates and backstabbing so called friends modus operandi.

    One of the greatest death bed regrets gained from research was the desire to have been more outspoken.

    Do know sell your soul or conscience at the expense of future generations or feel guilty for a lack of social invite.

    Societies are made up of three gangs.

    1) Corporate Gangs

    2) Club Gangs

    3) Block Gangs

    Sadly, only block gangs which are funded and provided distractions by the other two gangs are persecuted and prosecuted.

    Like

  • There is another perspective to the issue of fake news often flows under the radar. Many people of the political talking heads tossing about the label fake news troll social media supported by their surrogates peddling fake news as well to feather narrow partisan political positions. The level of political tribalism permeating the country is sickening.

    Like

  • What is fake news? If you bend the truth just a little, is it still the truth or is it fake news?
    https://www.npr.org/2021/04/24/990376231/opinion-after-george-floyds-death-a-press-release-obscured-a-police-murder

    Like

  • It is interesting to watch the evolution of fake news.
    The clumsy and outright lies are fast disappearing.
    Messaging is becoming smoother and the distance between truth and lies is decreasing. If you can draw a line between truth and lies then the liar is neither smart or good.

    Like

  • Do you see how news begin to trickle out after the trial. Just as bad as fake news is the control, placement and release of real news.
    “Just like with Floyd, Chauvin used an unreasonable amount of force without regard for the need for that level of force or the victim’s well-being. Just like with Floyd, when the child was slow to comply with Chauvin and [the other officer’s] instructions, Chauvin grabbed the child by the throat, forced him to the ground in the prone position, and placed his knee on the child’s neck with so much force that the child began to cry out in pain and tell Chauvin he could not breathe.”
    https://www.foxnews.com/us/doj-derek-chauvin-2017-arrest-14-year-old-boy-report

    Like

  • Interesting response to fake news
    “Readership of articles in medical journals soared 557% between March to July 2019 and March to July 2020:.
    https://www.marketwatch.com/story/in-a-world-of-fakenews-more-americans-are-getting-their-covid-related-news-from-the-same-place-2021-04-07

    The worst fake news I see on BU is when a blogger provides a link supporting their position. Most of the time the link is to a blog of a next nutter and to an ‘article’ without any scientific information. You know your name.

    Like

  • I hate Fake News

    But this story is a reality which should be highlighted and Tag “A travesty against Humanity

    Employers place their workers In danger to clean up ash

    Like

  • William Skinner

    @ David
    “The level of political tribalism permeating the country is sickening.“

    Keep going muh boy, yuh getting there- don’t stop now.
    Remembuh ah tell yuh nuhody can’t plant okra and reap corn.

    After the ball was over Mary took out her false teeth and place them in water/ Oh what has become of my Mary after the ball ( Apologies to the Merrymen)

    Like

  • “At the news conference, the public was advised to repeatedly sweep the ash from their roofs.  I strongly advised against this, noting foreseen death from falling off a slippery ladder.  Last week, someone died from falling off a ladder while trying to follow the advice
    (@ Grenville Phillips, Difficult conversations-Fake news, April 22 2021).

    Some government officials unpurposely already generate fake-news profusely and disseminate it.

    Do honorary non-fake news media titles designated to specific Bajan media outlets matter when fake-news perpetuates disingenuous misinformation that can confuse and conceal whatever truth may be?

    Is it known if government officials provided a rationale for the demand to clear ash laden roofs before the news conference event started?

    Whatever the reason, it was urgent for residents to possibly risk bodily harm, health or life and complacently comply with the orders.

    ….a disservice to all regardless of age, pedigree, rank or title…..

    Like

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