Internet of Lies

By Raymond Gao

The internet is saturated with information and misinformation. Because of the way it is designed, anyone can create a public website, customize it, and post whatever they want; regardless of its accuracy. Nobody is there to check if it is true and only end users will really see it. As a result, it isn’t hard to design a website that places misinformation that seems perfectly normal to its users. The amount of misinformation in circulation is uncertain, as it would be very hard to scan and fact check a large portion of the data, and new material is dumped onto the internet much faster than anyone really can look at. Thus, a large portion of misinformation stays on the internet, since nobody has the time to take it down. 

Traditionally, every possible source of information has by necessity, had some amount of bias infused in, since anyone trying to write a information report will have a bias. Today, it isn’t different. Complicated issues where many different opinions or points of view are possible, when reported anywhere, will come with a bias, and someone who wants to investigate an issue themselves using only secondary sources will have to deal with a bias. If this has always been the way things are, then it seems like there should not be reasons to be concerned with internet misinformation. But there are. 

While there are biased opinions and articles available online, there are other threats. In the modern day, more people than ever before have access to posting their stuff on a single massive database. Certainly, while most people try to make sure that what they say is not misleading. Also certainly, some people will not. And once a article of fake news is out though, although a false publication does not really mean people will be harmed by it, if it is accepted, it becomes dangerous. It is hard to know if most users know that what they see online is mostly completely unmoderated. That said, it could be said an unhealthy amount of trust can be distilled in everything online. Not hard if online sites are relied on for most data. Why would there be some individual or organization that wants to spread inaccurate information? While many of the inaccuracies on the internet can be traced to errors and mistakes, there are actual reasons some parties might want to fool people. Therefore, the internet is filled with lies.