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Truth about how Australia treats refugees is not fake news

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Syrian refugees.

Fake news is the new black. Just drop the phrase in a casual conversation and some people will be silly enough to assume you are an astute observer of the political scene.

However, used properly, fake news has a very limited meaning. It is: information, known at the time to be incorrect, deliberately fed into the media stream. It seems to be a popular move by some at the moment, but against all the information out there that is misleading it is, in my estimation, quite a small proportion.

The problem of incorrect information washing through the media system is not new. Some of it is bad faith by a person who sends out incorrect information deliberately. This is the age-old phenomenon we have newly named fake news.

There is also the accidental error. Someone believes something to be true, but they are mistaken.

No one can seriously suggest this hasn’t been happening for centuries. What gives it more bite today is the technology that enables anyone to put information into the public domain and for that information to spread around the globe in an instant. It further assists the sender being linked to like-minded people around the world who can rapidly build volume into their message.

Information, falsehoods and opinion all masquerading as fact travel the net like a turbo-driven velcro snowball collecting detritus along the way.


© Brisbane Times