Most people will answer 'yes' to this question. They might think that a foolish group or person will be fooled. However…… Human has structure that instinctively likes fake news regardless of will. Because people are more attracted to sensations, and fake news is aimed at this human psychology.
In fact, according to the US internet news, BuzzFeed, the response rate of real news at the time of the US presidential election was about 7.37 million, while that of fake news was about 8.71 million. As the fact that fake news attracts people’s attention more than real news and the people’s delusion that they will not be deceived by fake news meet, the seriousness of fake news has escalated. In addition, that fake news spreads faster than real news and that people are not interested in facts are regarded as problems. In other words, the distribution of fake news is not merely a matter of 'the distribution of false information with a specific intention'. It becomes clearer in terms of economics. According to the survey by Hyundai Research Institute, the economic cost of fake news is estimated at total 30.9 trillion won, assuming that the total number of articles in the past year is about 13 million, and 1% is classified as fake news.
As a result, countries around the world declared war on "Fake News" and started to fight back. The European Union is pushing for regulations on SNS companies that are spreading fake news ahead of the European Parliament next year. Germany has been implementing the Network Enforcement Act since this year, and France is preparing a countermeasure against fake news. In Malaysia, the “anti-fake news bill” was passed, and the distributor will be sentenced to 10 years in prison. The situation in Korea is the same. In May, a bill to impose fines on fake news distributors has been initiated, and the regulatory authorities are going to be set up. Nonetheless, it is still unclear whether these measures will eliminate fake news.
Why is the fake news defined as the evil of society made? There are a variety of causes, but in essence, people try to see what they want to see. In other words, there is a psychology that people want information that matches their existing cognitive structure, and the current media environment is optimized to meet these psychological needs. In the traditional mass media era, we had to accept it as it was provided, but now we are able to choose information on our own, and it even recommends information that we might like more. The convenience and customization of acquiring information has increased as we move to providing information that meets our tastes. On the other hand, however, bias has also increased, while diversity and quality have declined.
The problem of information unbalance has exceeded the level of the filter bubble, which can lead to distortions of values by a stranger involuntarily. It is worse than that. Now, information that is not customized to oneself has been accepted as wrong information even if it is an objective fact. A while ago, a customer asked an artificial intelligent speaker about the age of his son, Sang-won, and asked for a refund in response to the speaker saying, "Sang-won was dead at the age of 18." If so, did the speaker provide the wrong information? Not at all. The speaker was only telling about the age of the 18th century personality, a member of the royal family during the late Joseon Dynasty, that is, the historical fact. However, the user regarded it as erroneous information because it was incompatible information. The form of media use that consumes and selects only the information that is customized for oneself will further deepen this phenomenon in the future. The reality that a fact is not accepted as a fact.
The way to stop this society is eventually back to the user. It will be necessary to create a regulatory agency and legislation, but the effectiveness is still very low. The information that the user wants to know is good, but it is important to remember that there is "information to know" as a citizen. All societies have common sense, rules, norms, and culture to know as members of a society, even if they do not want to know. As a member of society, what we need to strive for is pursuing a variety of information including disagreements in information acquisition
However, it is not easy to do this on our own, and it is also illogical to transfer the efforts and responsibilities to the users completely. Someone should perform this role on a public interest basis. And so far, the mass media has been in charge of the role. In fact, the mass media has been around for a long time on SNS and video platforms. The use of mass media is declining year by year, and also the perception that mass media is needed is disappearing. As a result, it cannot be denied that mass media have been defeated in terms of availability and customization of information. But its role has not been defeated.
The political socialization role of mass media news has already been proven. The use of news media has been shown to play an important role in informing people of political and social issues, encouraging them to have interest in various issues, and promoting civil society participation. At least, mass media plays an important role in the cultivation of citizenship by providing information that should be known as a member of society, and it must continue to do more faithfully in the future. Maybe that's why mass media is still needed in our society.