If there is a “fake news” epidemic, it exists in our willingness to blindly trust the most suspect of sources. The compulsion to confirm one’s own opinion is placed above all else, including fact.
Fake news is a problem due to where the news is consumed: not in meticulously researched papers, widely critiqued public broadcasts, or even vetted online sources. Instead, many of us get our news from social media, where misinformation has always been a disease.
This is not a new problem; the world has always claimed those who would believe lies from those who would tell them—see email forwards, chain letters, tabloids.
It is no one’s job but our own to discern the truth, which means getting control of our diseased information diet and restoring our objectivity.
If we are unwilling to question our sources, there will always be fake news.