What is “fake”? When a publicized truth is in reality false; when a given information is actually but a lie; when a disseminated fact is but an invention or merely an imagination – such is something fake. What is “news”? A publication or disclosure of something, an announcement of something previously unknown, a disclosure of this or that unsaid event or unnoted realty, an exposé – this is news. What is “Fake News” then? A published lie, a fabricated communication, a disseminated misinformation – such is fake news. In a word, “Fake News” is a downright lie. And all lies are contrary to reason and ethics, dissonant with good will and morals. No. This is definitely not merely a matter of good news but simply the demand of the eminent tripod of “Truth, Justice and Peace”, the absence of which eventually means social havoc and disunity, dissent and harmony – be this in the local, the national, or international level. Fake news benefit the fakers to the loss of people of good will and intention.
So it is that the Office of the CBCP President issued an “Exhortation” – dated 21 June 2016 - -, a short portion of which reads: “Crucial decisions – personal and social – depend on accurate grasp of facts. “Alternative facts!’ and ‘fake news’ engender faulty decisions usually with disastrous long term consequences to persons and communities. Sadly, we see this happening today. There are individuals who have given themselves to the service of writing about what never happened, concealing what really happened, and distorting what should be presented in a straightforward manner.” (Par. 3)
The above quoted exhortative call has particular to Social Media which in more known language comes to fore usually in terms of Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. While most of their more serious users register therein their personal thoughts, considered opinions and individual perceptions in all sincerity and candor, , there are users thereof who with full will and deliberate intent make use of the Social Media basically for the purpose of sowing news fabrications and informational falsehoods for personal reasons and purposes – not really excluding sowing this or that manipulative statements for individualistic interests or profits of one kind or another. This is neither that surprising to know nor that profound to understand.
It is not really a matter of getting all good or receiving all bad news as if the night and day events in the local, national, or international are not in fact a marked composite of happy and sad events, an interchanging admirable and detestable happenings. Rather, it is the question of knowing the blessing or the curse affecting people in the local and/or foreign soil. To publish what is falsehood as the truth and/or what is truth as falsehood – this is a fatal disservice to what is really right or what is actually wrong. And while everybody else wants to know the honest-to-goodness truth for their due appreciation and right guidance, there are certain individuals who sow what is wrong or false, what is lie and deception. These are errant and erratic members of society whose present they harm and whose future they undermine. News fakers – be gone please!