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Nowadays spread of the Internet, press media and social media all over the world let people access all the informatıon and news every day. Social network and media have been changing the world in terms of globalization and international relations, while TV and press media facilitates people’s life. However, due to the vast amount of the news and information people cannot decide whichever to believe. N. R. Portnow who is an American music industry executive agrees with this idea when he claims “We live in a time of fake news – things that are made up and manufactured”. As a result of deceptive experience, people became confused with social media such as Facebook and Twitter, as well as TV and press media. Thus, serious problems such as failure of big companies, political misinformation, and lack of capacity to separate fact from fiction are real and negative consequences of fake news; however, fiction is the best way to bring people together and create unity.
Currently, the bankruptcy of big and important companies is one of the serious impacts of fake news. According to C. Binham (2019) who is a journalist at Financial Times it is claimed that the spread of misinformation on social media has become a big headache and inconvenience for all companies all over the world. Binham (2019) argues that for the first time the global survey which is especially about social media threats and fake news polled among 13 countries from 588 large companies, and it is revealed that 84 percent of the companies suffer from rumors on social media, and feel inconvenient. Furthermore, even companies themselves ought to be careful about whatever they publish and press. Giving an example from my own experience, I may introduce last week’s project “YUKSEL” which was a lecture about public relations. It was held in Baku Book Center by Nigar Arpadarai (2019) who is the Head of the Marketing and Communications in Azerbaijan Grand Prix. Arpadarai mentioned numerous cases about the temporary failure of the companies such as Coca Cola, BP, and Cadbury due to denials and misinformation. These companies denied the fact that they had guilt over botulism, over The Deepwater Horizon oil spill, and over the decayed chocolates. Denials made public angry instead of accepting their fault and being transparent. Therefore, these companies had lost their fame and revenue for a long time; however, the heads of firms confessed the responsibility and pressed transparent news. All in all, companies themselves should consider that even denials and misinformation may cost their status as well as fake news on social media.
Political lies and strategies are other main sources of fake news. It is obvious that politicians care about power and leadership rather than transparency; however, it again leads to political tension among politicians as well as the public. Referring to Y. N. Harari (2018), who is an Israeli historian, it is mentioned, “As a species, humans prefer power to truth”/ As he mentioned it is the best way to make the world easier to be controlled rather than easier to be understood. Moreover, the desire for power is not an excuse for politicians to lie because it hurts public’s political perspective and ideas, as well as leaders, they may face with legal problems which might cost their status. As a result, when it comes to politics, people feel confused and insecure because Harari says “Underneath all the fake news, there are real facts and real suffering”.
According to D. Stecula (2017) who is a PhD candidate in political science, the University of British Columbian, another essential and serious impact of fake news is that public cannot differ quality information from fake information. To be sure he tested 700 undergraduate students at the University of British Columbian and revealed that students have difficulties to separate fake news. He showed different screenshots of fake and original websites especially including political content, and he said that it is terrible that even they gave more legitimacy to fake news and websites. It shows that even fabricated and unreal things also look like real and gain the interest of the public. Thus, people, especially the young generation have difficulty to separate fiction from fake.
Although, opponents may claim that fiction is one of the effective ways of creating unity and gaining easy cash. For instance, Harari (2018) claims that in terms of religion fiction can create huge cooperation among people, and it can inspire them to design significant architectures such as bridges, churches and cathedrals. Furthermore, creating fake websites and contents brings attraction and easy money for people who engage in creating and managing these fiction and fake news. Thus, it is an inevitable truth that fake news is a questionable topic in terms of its positive sides.
To conclude the essay, I can deduce that the decline of large firms, change of political views, and realization of fake news are only visible negative sides of the fake news. My own experiences through class discussion and different lectures interact with Harrari’s (2018) arguments, and I strongly advocate his idea that if we want to get reliable sources and news we have to pay sufficient money for it. Moreover, another useful solution is that it would be better if we refer to scientific literature and articles instead of skeptical websites.
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