Daily Maroon

Media Manipulation

By: Max Diehl, News Editor

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America is currently more divided than ever before. America is tearing itself apart. America is on the edge of destruction. We are a nation divided. We are doomed to fall. At least if you are to believe the media.

Many have begun to refer to certain media outlets as “fake news”. That term, while vaguely accurate, is underwhelming; the better word is manipulation.  We the people have been manipulated by our news sources, our media and our devices to believe that we are much more different than we are similar. To believe that we are the enemy of our fellow man. This is false. The world isn’t tearing itself apart at its seams.

We are now in the age of misinformation. The internet was the rise and will be the fall of information at such an attainable level. Media outlets have let their own personal beliefs reign over their duty to serve the American people useful and important information. That system has broken down, and has left a black hole of falsities.

The social media world erupted in stories of Trump and Russia throughout the election season, and the trending on Twitter was nothing but politics. Trump was nothing if not guilty in the eyes of many, and still is, due to the media crucifying him. Later, as President, on his trip to Japan, he dumped a small box of koi feed in a pond after finishing feeding the fish. The media treated this as an act of disrespect so heinous that you would think the world had ended. Not so. Trump only poured his out after the Japanese prime minister had poured his box out. He was conveniently left out of most pictures. Don’t get me wrong, it isn’t just anti-Trump mania and what not, but the GOP favored media is doing it as well. All mainstream media sources are guilty of different levels of severity of spreading misinformation.

Going on to social media is something that requires suiting up now, you have to get prepared to see the politics, the idiocy and the misinformation. Social media is a pit of despair and political extremists. Today, there’s no way to know if what information you’re consuming is true. Every source is desperate to slander one another, and they will go so far as to mislead their consumers to do so. No source by itself can be trusted.

If you have been on social media or watched the news in the past week, you’ve no doubt seen a statistic of 18 school shootings this year. That is blatantly false and misleading. There have been 18 firearm incidents on school property this year. A bar fight turned shooting on a college campus. A suicide by gun in a car on school property. Things like these are all bundled into that stat.  

The solution is just a bit more effort. If you can go onto a multitude of sites and find the same thing being said in the same way with the same details, it is most likely true. If many sites have something different, it is probably not. Sadly enough, we can’t take anything at face value in this society.

With this distrust of the media, ratings have dropped across the board, falling below channels including Hallmark, which shows the severe lack of trust the average person exhibits for their media sources.

Now that the age of misinformation is upon us, how can we be expected to survive it? We can’t. It is as simple as that. If our society continues to tear each other apart and to believe that we are more different than we similar, we will become more divided than we are consolidated. Americans need to realize that we the people are supposed to come together to change and fix the government, not to destroy each other over it.

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Media Manipulation