The U.K., government is establishing a security unit to tackle and curb the spread of “Fake News”. This will go into effect as a means of preventing false information, photos, videos, manipulated images, satire or parody from being spread as real news. Essentially, if the security unit was being fair it would mean pieces like MSNBC’s fabricated piece about #GamerGate would be filtered out.
According to the BBC, a spokesperson for the Conservative Prime Minister, Theresa May, explained to them…
“[A] dedicated national security communications unit” [would be charged with] “combating disinformation by state actors and others”.
“We are living in an era of fake news and competing narratives”
It’s most certainly true that “narratives” do exist. Many of which have come from purposeful disinformation spread by outlets that into the Liberal-leaning category.
This isn’t just hot air and posturing through postulation. The Parliament explained to the press…
“The government will respond with more and better use of national security communications to tackle these interconnected complex challenges.
“We will build on existing capabilities by creating a dedicated national security communications unit. This will be tasked with combating disinformation by state actors and others. It will more systematically deter our adversaries and help us deliver on national security priorities.”
Commenters on the piece rightfully expressed scorn towards the idea that government would dictate to the populace what is and is not “fake news”.
AgateSpikyScorpion seemed to sum up how many other readers felt, writing…
“So the Gov’t is going to decide what news is true and should be published. Then of course the Führer I mean the PM will need a minister of propaganda I mean media to ‘decide’ what counts as fake. And thus starts the 4th Reich oh well better get my measurements in for my SS uniform unless Corbyn becomes supreme leader then it will have to be the KGB. Good thing we have the Gov’t to control us”
Given that many of the state-owned media outlets the world around have partaken in propaganda one way or other, it’s not surprising that people would be against the idea of a specialized private unit being able to determine what is and is not fake news.
What about tax-payer funded news outlets? When organizations like CBC can blatantly publish fake news without recourse, or the Australian Broadcasting Corporation can pick and choose which facts they feel are relevant for the general public to consume, what then? Many commenters on the BBC piece were certainly left to question: who watches the watchmen?