Trapped in a Fake World

"Delve into 'Trapped in a Fake World,' a blog that uncovers the complexities of the digital age, where technology and misinformation intertwine. This insightful piece explores the rise of fake news, examining its influence on public opinion and the challenges it presents in discerning truth. It highlights the role of social media in spreading misinformation and the impact on privacy and reality perception. The article also addresses the broader societal implications, particularly for the Millennial generation, and the legislative efforts to combat digital deception. This thought-provoking read calls for critical thinking and a quest for authenticity in a world dominated by virtual realities."

Engr. Ervin Goh

1/26/20184 min read

A world created by humans, for humans to fulfill their every desire. A faraway place where there are no limits and no boundaries is now closer to mankind than ever before. Technology is helping individuals communicate and stay in touch with friends, family and colleagues. In today’s information age, society has become heavily dependent on cyberspace However, they are unaware of the dangers this world possesses in terms of privacy. With the explosion in technological advancement, enforcement agencies across the world use the internet as a source to moderate crime. Cyberspace allows almost everyone across the globe to explore, analyze and inspect elements of one’s identity and background over the internet. This new world has created issues its own creator might not have imagined. The infinite possibilities in cyberspace are causing people to develop false identities, communicate through social networks, locate crime, and slowly create a fake world.

The term “fake news” became increasingly common during the past year. While this concept has many synonyms—disinformation campaigns, cyber propaganda, cognitive hacking, and information warfare—it’s just one facet of the bigger problem: the manipulation of public opinion to affect the real world. Thanks to the connectivity and digital platforms that make it possible to share and spread information, traditional challenges such as physical borders and the constraints of time and distance do not exist anymore. Unfortunately, it also makes it easier to manipulate the public’s perception of reality and thought processes, resulting in the proliferation of fake news that affects our real, non-digital environment. Each new incident shows how much impact the technological manipulation of public opinion can have on people’s daily lives. However, people will use the term to simply describe a news story from a traditional source that contains a mistake. But traditional news sources generally correct errors and notify readers of factual mistakes. Sometimes, people use the term to refer to news that seems to contradict their own point of view, like President Donald Trump himself regularly refers to traditional news outlet, particularly CNN and New York Times, as “fake news” in his tweets. He has even tweeted, “Any negative polls are fake news” during the past election.

Fake news in its current incarnation would not be possible without social media sites, as these platforms allow users from various countries to connect with other users easily These social media posts also have to attract the target readers of the fake news operation. To do this, the fake news posts are crafted to appeal to its readers’ psychological desires—confirming biases, the hierarchy of needs, etc. In addition, some services use crowd-sourcing mechanisms to manipulate real users into doing the bidding of fake news promoters. For example, offer users free likes in exchange for a number of likes produced by the participating user. It would be nearly impossible for social media networks to distinguish such manipulated activity from actual or natural user actions. There is no positive effects of fake news, because technically it just give a fake information that misleads every readers. Almost everyone agrees that ‘fake news’ is a problem. We all want to see accurate and truthful reporting and few of us take kindly to being deliberately misled.

We, Millennials are found to be lazy and narcissistic, we are termed as “the new generation”, “the generation y”, “the laziest generation”, “the linksters” and now, “the fake news generation”. We are living in the age of fake news, simply because technology became our best of friends.

As what an article said, “The search for the truth did not end during EDSA 2 when people revolted against the non-opening of the second envelope of Jose Velarde.”, because we are still continuing searching for the truth, and now that fake news dominated the cyberspace, we need an EDSA Revolution version 2 but in a netizens edition, and our enemy remains within ourselves. One of the most important qualities that social media users should carry over from their real life relationships to their online community is authenticity. Authenticity is what everyone craves, whether they admit it or not. Authenticity is vulnerability. Authenticity is being raw and real. Authenticity is about the struggles in life. Authenticity is about the joys and celebrations in life. Authenticity is all about being honest and true, and unashamedly the real you, and acting like how you behave in the real world.

Fake news is the e-version of the budol-budol, which many of our people unable to distinguish fact from fiction fall victims to. It is not even farfetched that in the future fake news can trigger wars,” Senator Grace Poe said. I agree with this statement of Senator because words are the powerful weapon nowadays, the effect that words can have is incredible: to inform, persuade, hurt or ease pain, end war or start one, kill thousands or even millions of people. They can get your point across, or destroy any hope of your ideas ever being understood. Especially in the Philippines were we advocate the freedom of speech, but because of this freedom, Filipinos tend to abuse and use it in an improper behavior. Instead of the congress and the government focusing on the education and poverty issues, fake news became the trend that slowly destroys our humanity. But, I think our government will be able to successfully eliminate the problem because Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has signed into law stiffer penalties against people who publish false news. Under Article 154 of the new Republic Act, any person publishing false news “which may endanger the public order, or cause damage to the interest or credit of the state” may be jailed between one and six months and fined from 40,000 pesos (S$1,061) to 200,000 pesos (S$5,305). The law also applies to “any person who by the same means, or word, utterances or speeches shall encourage disobedience to the law or to the constituted authorities or praise, justify, or extol any act punished by law.”

‘Fake news’ is now used, often ironically, to describe any piece of information that someone doesn’t like. We are having difficulties in identifying the real from hoax information, however instead of finding a way to unravel the truth and stop the non sense deceptions, we are creating more problems in our society. We easily believed what we see and also we tend to make the internet our whole life. We are the ones creating problems, and I think it will be hard for us to eliminate the crisis because, is seeing is believing if we know that we are already trapped in a world full of fakes, in the world of cyber?