The social media are currently going through a wave of criticism. Mark Zuckerberg just went to testify in front of member of the US congress to explain the ties of Facebook and Cambridge Analytica and at the same time #deletefacebook is trending. Facebook is currently being blame for all that went wrong. Brexit, Trump, the Rohingyas…
The involvement of Facebook on this is real, but the blame shouldn’t be point out on it. Having a better Facebook won’t prevent this kind of action. The responsible isn’t Facebook but people. They are the one to be accounted for. Facebook is just a tool that can be used to perform right or wrong actions, good or bad things. I think we have a tendency to focus on the tools to work out on the problem instead of understanding in depth the problem. It is easier to work on the tool that on the people but improving the tool isn’t a long-term solution. The problem would still take place with a different instrument. A tool is just a tool, it depends of what people build with it.
The fake news is a problem that several actors within the society are trying to solve. Several countries, like France are trying to ban them. YouTube recently announced it will link directly to Wikipedia to fight conspiracy theories (link). This are answers to the problem. However, I believe this isn’t solving anything, nor touching the real problem.
I think the solution shouldn’t be build between the people and the truth but around what people consider what the truth is. Trying to objectively define what truth and what is false is dangerous and won’t work in the long run.
I consider there are two main sides to the fake news problem:
The first side is that people are biased. It is really difficult to for oneself to overcome this bias. Moreover, on a daily basis people tends to watch news and ready articles that support their ideas, increasing and deepening the extremism of their view. Having an entity telling people what is right, won’t solve the problem.
The second side of the problem is inherent of the nature of the truth. Who has the ability to decide what is the truth? Should we have a ministry of truth? Should a specific group of people look for what is right or wrong? Is that the work of journalists? Or on the contrary, should the citizen be responsible for what is true or false?
I do believe if one wants a democracy as a system of government, then the ones who should be in position to decide what is true are the citizen. There shouldn’t be a ministry of truth, there shouldn’t be journalist who handle the truth. The right and wrong should be own by the people.
As a new mass shooting took place in the United States within a school a new wave of discussion raised again concerning gun control. The same arguments are used again by the ones in favor of more regulation and the one against it. Trump himself took position in favor of (a little) more regulation. The discussion, as always, is a stubborn yelling between the two factions, everyone thinking the other ones have lost their mind.
However, the gun control is only one part of the problem. There is no discussion about the reasons why this former student did what he did, no discussion about what can go in the mind of someone whose life droves to do such a thing. One of the solution of the mass shooting, particularly in schools, may be in the understanding of the problem as a whole, not only the outcome. School life could be really difficult to some people, the bulling being a huge problem with heavy consequences. Moreover, this could result not only on a diminution of school mass shooting but also on the improvement of the quality of life of many students.
This bothers me because of the lack of progress in the gun debate and the forever fundamental opposition between to views of society. In the US, where a gun culture is really important in the life of a large part of the population it would be difficult to end up with a satisfactory and effective solution. The discussions are now about laws when they should be focus on people.