Fake news is a phrase that’s become kind of iconic; I can faintly hear Donald Trump leaning way too closely to a microphone to interrupt a reporter asking a question about one of the many, many compromised situations he’s gotten himself into.
“No, no,” Trump says, wagging his finger around like it has the force to shut the entire room up. “That’s fake. Fake news, all lies.”
At this point, I feel like most people have become desensitized to “fake news” and “false media” because there’s such a gray area between a news article just stating facts, even if they hurt someone’s image, and genuine made up lies.
The only real fake news at this point is satire, and even cute old people who don’t know how Facebook works fall for those.
Unilever, which owns brands such as Dove, Ben and Jerry’s and Lipton, apparently has their panties in a bunch because of fake news.
Marketing boss Keith Weed said that platforms such as Google and Facebook are failing to properly filter content, and is threatening to pull advertising.
Eighty-five percent of Facebook’s revenue comes from corporate posts, according to CNN, so for Weed and Unilever to follow through with their claims would definitely sting.
No filtering system will be perfect. It’ll just never happen, one picture or video will always manage to slip through the cracks and end up being seen by someone who shouldn’t have clicked on it.
It’s totally within a company’s rights to choose what platforms they want to have ads on.
They’re just attacking what’s already a very flawed system that also depends on people’s help — there’s just too much stuff on the Internet to successfully keep track of and filter out what Unilever described as a “swamp” of racism, fake news, homophobia, and sexism.
After a certain point, it just depends on people either alerting the systems or just monitoring what children can go on and see.
And it’s not like Google and Facebook are just reclining back and letting extremism run rampant either — according to CNBC, Google has announced that 10,000 staff members will be dedicated to finding explicit content, and Facebook will be using artificial intelligence to track down images, videos, and texts related to terrorism.
The “fake news” part is the one that gets to me the most.
It feels vaguely 1984-esque in ways that I can’t put my finger on.
It’s just become such a politically-charged statement, there’s really no way to say that seriously anymore without echoing Trump’s sentiments about how everyone’s out to get him.
On the flip side, there’s no way to say that seriously anymore without echoing sentiments of how Russia rigged the elections.
It’s just odd to hear those words used almost strictly in a political sense and then have a company that makes soap and Cherry Garcia ice cream turn around and use it.
It’s some risky business that Unilever could get themselves involved in.
They’re such a monster company that there’s no way this can be responsible for their downfall, but it’s just an odd phrase to use that can easily be used against them.
Izzy Manzo can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org