Recently we have seen more and more censorship by major media platforms such as Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter, as an attempt to remove or restrict “Fake News”. This has been met with some uproar by “alternative news” publishers, since it opens the door for censorship of “controversial news” or any “other news” that might not be deemed “real” by the people who happen to be sitting in Facebook’s or YouTube’s offices.
Any form of censorship opens the door for a small group of people to choose which news is “real”, which news is “unacceptable”, and which news is “fake”. Censorship undermines the value of the Internet as a tool for freely sharing information, and undermines the principles of Freedom of Speech. At the same time, most of us abhor some forms of hate speech or threats of violence, even if we believe in free speech. And there are always cases of people just flat out lying for one reason or another and trying to pass it off as “real news”.
While we often assume that the “real news” comes from established mainstream sources such as the Associated Press, ABC, NBC, CNN, or the New York Times, etc, it has become clear that much of the real news is being directed by political or financial interests, which results in an incomplete version (at best) or outright deceptive version of the news (at worst).
At the same time, we are now in an age where almost anyone with a smartphone can report “news” simply by tweeting a story, photo, or video. We can peer into the lives of our friends via Facebook, Twitter, or any number of open forums or social media sites, all of which are forms of news. Thus, the challenge for all of us is to determine which news is “real” and which news is “fake”.
Whole News Vs. Partial News
The fact is, real or not, any news that is reported by somebody else is never the “whole story”. Even “real news” reporters can only ever tell part of the story. It is impossible for anyone to report the “whole” story, since they are limited by time and space to report the whole story, and the audience is limited by time and space to hear the whole story. If you think your Facebook friends are telling you the whole story, I’ve got news for you!
Therefore, even what we assume to be “real news” is only ever part of the story (usually a very small part). What is critical, of course, is that in order to make informed and educated decisions based on news, we need to know “which” part of the story is being told to us and “which” part is being left out – and that is a small but important detail we will often never know.
One would hope and assume that a reporter of so-called “real news” would not leave out critical parts of the story, but this could be a false assumption on our part. It is not only possible but likely that a reporter does not have access to, or was not told, the other part of the story. In other words, there are many, many ways in which “real news” can become “incomplete news”, which is arguably similar to, if not the same or even worse than outright “fake news”.
The same can be said for “alternative news”. On the internet today, it seems you can find “news” about any possible topic or idea, the only question is how real it is, and how complete it is. And even if it is real and complete, does it matter to you?
Your News vs. Their News
In light of what is now a dazzling array of both real and fake news, real and fake science, real and fake Facebook friends, real and fake Internet trolls, real and fake people, real and fake pharmaceutical drugs, real and fake food, real and fake TV, we must re-calibrate what information we use to make decisions, and what we use to determine the “truth”.
In my view, the way to find truth is to recognize that the only news that should matter to you is YOUR news. “Your news” is the news you experience directly in your waking (or sleeping) life. What you see with your own eyes is vastly superior in terms of quality, realness, and truth than ANY news reported by ANYONE else. The only way to know the whole story is if it happened directly to you, which makes it YOUR news.
The real battle is not between real news and fake news, the real battle is between YOUR news and THEIR news. Your news is based on your direct experience (it happens within YOUR reality bubble), and THEIR news is every other type of news (events that didn’t happen within in your reality bubble). “Your news” is always the whole and true story, their news never is.
Inner Vs Outer News
As we become inundated with information, it is also an important time to go inward and recognize the “inner news” that comes from within ourselves. Inner news is real news or what we might even call “higher news”. Inner news comes to us in the form of personal realizations, sudden insights, or creative ideas. It is amazing how much inner news we can generate through our own insights and inspiration when we are not soaking up somebody else’s news.
Observing nature is also an excellent source of “truth” or “real news”. Natural news that we can observe directly with our own senses — the rain is falling, the flowers are blooming, the tomatoes are ripe — that is “real news” — and that is news that actually matters.
News To Be Grateful For
What we observe happening around us as we take our next breath is the type of news we must be exceptionally grateful to hear. When we turn off their news and tune into our own news we are likely to discover and appreciate life on a deeper level.