The Proliferation of Misinformation on the Internet
The world increasingly, is becoming a crazy place to be and with the advent of ease to access the Internet by the general public, the craziness is being proliferated exponentially. (This brief rant its self might serve equally to justifying this observational statement).
Every human with access to and the will, can now make their point-of-view, qualified or not, known to whom-ever is interested to read, listen and/or watch their dissertation on an infinite array of subject matter. To witness the extent some individuals, organizations, assemblies, etc., are willing to go both in expression and expense, spend an afternoon on You Tube or similar public access website to see evidence to this statement. It is amazing to comprehend the production values expended on presentations with the aimed objective to convince others of what more often then not, represents an obtuse perspective from the conventional norms held by the majority.
From jehadist to evangelical extremist and not to forget the fatalist perspectives of Truthers, end-of-times prophets, etc., etc., the Internet has become a timely tool to make these perspectives wildly known being broadcast to a global audience. And, amazingly, basically at no or minimal cost save for the time and expense of production.
For all intent, the Internet, in the infancy stage of presence yet, is already rife with ubiquitous and outlandish, often conflicting, perspectives begging the question: Where does it lead?
Post the unceremonious passing of the overly hyped end-of-the world events speculated during the years leading to the arrival of Winter Solstice 2012 and similar dire prophecy, it would be expected such prophetic conjecture to diminish in presence on the Internet due to the general failure to capture a credible audience. But yet, quick review of the content of current You Tube uploads would suggest otherwise.
A recent example of this deals with the subject of Planet X or Nibiru that to-date, occupies gigabytes of data on You Tube uploaded over the past decade. The speculation to the arrival of this mysterious dwarf star’s collision with Earth is now long past yet just recently an astronomy student posing as a Dr. Kaplan, an astronomy professor, posted a You Tube video making a very convincing statement to the `truth’ of the Planet X event replete with its being recorded at a real astronomy observatory displaying to the unfamiliar, computer graphs and co-ordinates of its placement in the solar system and projected arrival. Subsequent to this posting a second video was posted wherein he admits it was a hoax. Unfortunately, such misleading and for the gullible fatalist prone to viewing these episodes; this experience is repeated far to often with little effort however, has the potential of imposing much harm on those easily influenced in such matters.
This then begs a second query: why does there continue to be significant audience for what most often, proves to be nothing more than misleading, misinformation for much of what is uploaded to websites such as You Tube?
A suggestion to answer this question to the ongoing and in some instances, growing fascination created by much of what is presented on You Tube and like websites, is the innate sense of curiosity inherent in the minds of most people. Is it possible the intrigue derived by encountering a source to what might be new, `unknown’ information, regardless of its truth or fact, becomes the driving force to take-in the material being presented? Too, as in many cases, the quality and production-values attributable to the presentation can be of such high standard as to imply the information to be credible otherwise, why would the presenter be willing to expend significant resources for its creation?
To conclude; as the decades `stream’ by and sophisticated technological tools such as CGI (computer generated imaging) and similar video production and editing software becomes increasingly available and easier to use, coupled with advanced computer technology accessible for public consumption, it will become increasingly difficult to discern the truthfulness and accuracy of what is presented. In the end, it is likely to undermine systems of belief in gaining sense of real-truth to our advancing reality and the potential impact on society at-large.