We Need Ministry of Truth in Pakistan
Digital media making difficult to separate reliable information from propaganda
The recent past has been characterized by both a rise in fake news and the emergence of a febrile political atmosphere. Increasingly, social media and digital networking are coming under the spotlight as significant causes. The Internet has become perhaps a disinformation superhighway, the promised wisdom of crowds degenerating into the clamor of the twitter mob. Fake news and disinformation have come to dominate, and the democratizing effects of digital media have been undone by increasing concentrations of power into a handful of tech Users. I tried to explore rise of fake news and how it is transforming public discourse & its possible capping in the below lines.
Free information was intended to enhance democratic oversight
Digital revolution Aims and Charter – Historical Background
- Access to computers – and anything that might teach you something about the way the world works – should be unlimited and total.
- All information should be free.
- Mistrust authority – promote decentralization.
- Hackers should be judged by their hacking, not bogus criteria such as degrees, age, race or position.
- You can create art and beauty on a computer.
- Computers can change your life for the better (Levy, 1994).
Closed loops of misinformation, half-truths and lies – Actual Game
The openness and accessibility of the Internet and World Wide Web has arguably been turned against the interest of end users, ensnaring them in closed loops of misinformation, half-truths and lies. End users have been transformed into the product, neatly enveloped by clouds of demographic data that can be exploited to hijack individual attention by precisely targeted advertising, clickbait and political messages. It is no longer computer systems that are hacked, but our minds, values and beliefs. Social media of all kinds has become a reality filter, distorting the world to fit our pre-existing ideals and selling back to us our values and beliefs.
As younger generation come to prominence, raised in the multiplatform age of the Internet, the connotations of trustworthiness are likely to be very different. The ideals of the pioneers of the computing revolution may not have been misplaced as such, but their realization may take longer than anticipated.
Are Authorities legally allowed to shout defamation?
If authorities are legally allowed to shout defamation at every expression, journalistic or otherwise, that offends them and brings them under criticism, there would be no space left for democratic discourse. Both government and government bodies have to be cognizant of the fact that there is a massive power imbalance between the government and private actors. Criticism is part and parcel of a democratic setup and should be welcomed rather than discouraged. The way out is the Ministry of Truth. In this process, government & information professionals have an important role to play – separate reliable information from propaganda
Role of Ministry of Truth –Time for action & reaching for a better understanding of the dynamics of social media
The ministry should at least assume the following roles:
- Take the challenges of new and emerging tools and technologies
- Ensuring the right skills to manage these challenges effectively
- The Information Professionals to become the strategic advisor for data and information across the whole ministry.
- Strong audit of social media platform without any bias & tilt for the purpose of truth digging.
- Information Professionals Role – Subservient in Ministry relationships, and whether they feel their role is to answer queries of Social Media reactively or to proactively provide data that provoke new discussions and questions.
- Check the integrity and ethics of data: where data come from, how it is manipulated and whether good ethical standards in data management will become fundamental in the future.
- Focus on the increasing importance of information literacy.
Who will persuade this? Need your opinion on this in comment section.