This statement comes from Lee Atwater- he worked for the presidential campaign of George Bush Senior in 1988, later he became Chairman of the Republican National Committee (RNC). He past away in 1991 from rare form of cancer.Those simple 3 words mean that the truth can be hidden by creating a parallel reality.
In the 80’s Atwater did not know anything about Internet and Social media- they did not exist back then. Now creating and distributing lies is easier. You need big number of web sites publishing similar content and as many social media profiles sharing the same content.
One of a sudden your favorite social media, based on algorithm, decides that as you have interest in news it will put on your wall the most popular one.
Few weeks ago I saw on social media shared article saying that a popular artist has passed away. Just 20 minutes later I saw him on live TV with his little son.
Fake news stay unanswered for long period of time. And even if somebody is able to respond that does not help. If you want to destroy somebody’s image you already achieved that goal by changing the reality as you create fake news.
Negative campaigns discourage voters. In the case of the last US elections for President that goes together with true facts. The e-mail of the Head of Hillary Clinton campaign John Podesta was hacked in a very simple way. It was a Gmail and he got a fake message saying that his password was compromised and he should follow a link and change it. The hacker had a program that copied the new password…
In some of the e-mails the staff was concerned that Clinton will have hard time to defend against the fact that she got huge money for speaking on big corporate events.
You just mix truth with fake news and a candidate goes down. Finding the author of fake news is almost impossible.
This puts a very important question for democratic societies: How can we trust the people to make well-informed choice when they base their decision on lies?
Well, nobody said that freedom goes together with a guarantee that everything that is published is true. Freedom of speech means that a person might be wrong, stupid, incompetent or a liar.
So next time when you see somewhere on social media “Good morning”- check out who says that and if the sun is shining.