The term "fake news" has been floating around a lot over the past year, largely fueled by events surrounding the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election. Following Donald Trump's November victory, the world at large began to wonder if heavily biased or outright made-up new stories were causing real ill effects in the general populous. Even entire companies have been mulling the theory, including Facebook, which has been actively battling the issue in France, where a springtime election is fast approaching.
The latest person to chime in on the issue is none other than Apple CEO Tim Cook. He goes so far as to say that fake news is "killing people's minds", which isn't hard notion to sympathize with. Some people easily fall for fake news, especially if it happens to strike a right (or very wrong) chord with their viewpoints. The problem becomes even greater when the fake news is shared by trusted friends, which could put you in a less-scrutinizing mindset.
To emphasize the problem, lest we forget an incident that occurred just this past November. Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg took to the social network he built to tell us all about his company's efforts to thwart the fake news problem. However, two blatantly false sports stories on the right-hand side of his post could be found just sitting there, mocking his words.
Even Mark Zuckerberg's posts are not safe from fake news
So where's Apple fit into this battle? We're not quite sure at this point, but Cook does send out a plea: "All of us technology companies need to create some tools that help diminish the volume of fake news. We must try to squeeze this without stepping on freedom of speech and of the press, but we must also help the reader."
An important fine-line is mentioned there: in order for the battle against fake news to be a success, we simply cannot have biased algorithms that will rid out potentially factual information. In an ideal world, everyone would take the time to properly scrutinize the news they're fed, but as we've seen proven in months' past, that is just not reality. And if you believe that every vote counts, you certainly would want everyone to be as well-informed as possible. Fortunately, Cook does paint a bright future where the rise of fake news is "a short-term thing" that we will eventually get past.
For the sake of us all, we hope that he is right.