The Media, Reality and Fake News


Hello, humans. Basically, today was my first class at my new university. Since I don’t have anything to do yet (cause it’s the first day) and I don’t have any idea on what to write about, I what I ‘learned’ so far. Actually, I learned nothing. This is just some ‘ideas’ that the lecturer said as she was explaining about what we will learn about (in hopes that nobody will drop the class). Note: Some of the ‘content’ is of my own so I’m not 100% plagiarizing  (just 99.99%)

1. Fake News


Nowadays, there are many many concerns about the spread of fake news. FACTS: In Malaysia (which is where I’m from if you don’t know already), 51% of Fake News is spread via WhatsApp compared to only 3% in the US. The main question is not why people are gullible to fake news but it is: Why people want to spread Fake News? What are their aims?

For example, in the 2016 US Presidential Election, the number of fake news being spread increased tremendously to instil fear among the electorates so that they would vote for the other party. Fear is not only about terrorism but also about immigration. It is shown that people have a wrong ‘guess’ of the number of immigrants in their country, causing them to panic when they hear or see ‘fake news’.

In the media, fear is one element that is used to control people. When people are scared, they would do anything to protect their rights which are why when someone says they can take care of the whole situation, people will go to that person to solve their problems even when that person doesn’t have any experience especially when the current government refuses to address the situation.

2. Realities

Reality is real but it differs from person to person. For example, people of an older generation would want someone to have a face-to-face conversation during dinner where else, people of a younger generation would prefer talking (texting) on the phone via social messaging apps. Something is the viewed as the reality for you may be different for someone else. Therefore you might see that some people are more open to change while others tend to be more conservative.

It is also a fact that younger generation is more open to change and see something out of the norm as being a form of ‘art’ or something new. People of the older generation tend to view something out of the ordinary as being bizarre and sometimes immoral. It is also a fact that younger people tend to vote for a more liberal or left-leaning political party while older people tend to vote for a more conservative political party. For example, in the UK, the probability of someone voting for the conservative party increases with their age.

3. How far should censoring be?

Some people may argue that we should be free to view anything that we want on the media including movies that had been banned due to certain circumstances. Banning something wholly just for being controversial is not the only option. In fact, the authorities should really make sure that certain something that they wish to ban will really cause a major problem if they don’t.

For example, if the authorities believe that a movie might cause a religious tension among the country’s citizen, they should analyse the movie first to make sure that it will really cause tension between people. Banning a movie just like that will cause the public to become angry as they have a feeling as if they were being oppressed. If only a certain part of the movie is thought to be controversial than the authorities should only consider censoring that part only.

4. ‘Mediapolis’

Deuze said, “We are living a media life,” Note: If you don’t know who Deuze is, don’t worry I don’t know too but it seems he’s someone rather important as I will learn about his ‘theories’ a lot if I choose not to drop this subject. Basically, what he meant was, our life is mediated which means we are being controlled. We really need to think about the choices that we make in our daily life. Why do we buy something? What makes us buy that car? When we are communicating, what message are we trying to send to people? For example, while some of you use your own picture for your Facebook profile, others don’t. Ask yourself, ‘Why do you do it? What are you trying to show?

That’s all. Bye! (It’s only the first class and I’m already feeling rather smart)

UPDATE: Deuze is a professor of media studies at the University of Amsterdam




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