AFTERWARD: The Top Five Silver Linings of 2016

5. Fake News

As Obama and the mainstream media howl about the existence of Fake News—especially on social media—they have opened the door to criticism of their own fake news. While several websites deliberately distribute fabricated news through Facebook and Twitter, it is noted that it was the professional media that brought us the reports of Saddam Hussein’s purported weapons of mass destruction that resulted in seemingly incessant war. It has been the professional media that fed us slanted reporting by journalists clearly supportive of Hillary Clinton during the election. In the most recent example, the well-respected publication, The Guardian, mischaracterized an interview with Julian Assange to generate a hit piece on the WikiLeaks founder.

Alternative media is on the rise because the professional media abandoned journalism and much of the population—rightly so—no longer trusts them. What we are witnessing is the democratization of news. The citizen journalist enjoys the same First Amendment protections afforded to the professional journalists—at least for now.

Although Facebook initially responded to Fake News complaints by observing that this is a very small portion of news stories shared on its platform, it has now decided to partner with the very media outlets that have falsely hyped fake news as a problem in the first place. These efforts could greatly curtail freedom of speech.

Alex Jones, to many the face of Fake News, has threatened to hit Facebook with a class action suit over their new policy to reign in Fake News. Love him or hate him, he has the means to wage the war, and if he does go forward, we may find that this is necessary to preserve First Amendment rights for all.

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