Op-Ed: Will regulating social media prevent fake news?

Graphic: Puerto Vallarta News

By PJ REGOLE

To understand the impact of regulating social media, one must first understand what the term “fake news” really entails.

Fake news is a term likely popularized by (not) our president, Donald Trump, by his claims that all the negative things in the news about him are made up.

With that being said, fake news can be about anything. It can range from celebrity deaths turning out to be hoaxes, or even things about North Korean leader Kim Jong Un threatening America via Snapchat.

Yes, most of us should see right through fake news. Unfortunately, that is not the case and gullible Americans have been known to spread some crazy rumors nationwide.

Some think the best way to limit the amount of hoaxes we see on the Internet is to regulate social media, meaning that you supposedly won’t be able to repost things that are untrue. I find this to be quite backward.

During a time in which the term “fake news” is a phrase that is used far too often, the impact of regulating social media will do and has done nothing but increase the amount of fake news we see in our daily lives.

Sure, you might see a couple things on social media regarding things that may or may not have happened in the lives of your favorite celebrities, but when it comes down to news people really need to know about, social media is the fastest way to get it out.

While you do have to weed through some off-the-wall conspiracies and a whole lot of clickbait, the fact that everybody on social media is able to check each other somewhat enhances the validity of what you’re reading.

With a standard regulation of social media, that in turn would mean you are leaving one collective to decide what is true and what is false, leading to the one collective being able to control what news comes out.

Controlling the system in such a way would lead to drastic misinformation nationwide. The government would be the one controlling what goes where, and in all honesty who trusts the government? Nobody.

The purpose of social media is supposed to be for people to be able to communicate and share things with one another. This purpose would be destroyed if the government was able to control what you are allowed to share with one another.

While there are drawbacks, and one may get fooled into thinking Justin Bieber may actually be dead, I think Americans can agree they would rather get fooled into that rather than the government leaving everybody in the dark about something we should all know about.

At the end of the day, I personally am willing to take a false article here and there as opposed the there being no article at all, and I believe there is no way regulations on social media could ever have a positive impact on anything, let alone fake news.

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