Fake news is “killing people’s minds”, Tim Cook, the head of Apple, has said. The technology boss said firms such as his own needed to create tools that would help stem the spread of falsehoods, without impinging on freedom of speech.I still have enough of an undead mind to be skeptical of the benevolence and honesty of the head of a big corporation looking to sell a product the whole purpose of which is to gum up the flow of speech, a product wrapped in a promise not to restrict speech.
Cook also called for governments to lead information campaigns to crack down on fake news in an interview with a British national newspaper.I'd like to crack down on the structure of that sentence. It unwitting locates the "fake news" in the interview. Unwittingly and falsely... unless it stumbled into telling the truth.
Anyway, how do "information campaigns" crack down on "fake news"? A crackdown would be some kind of censorship, some very real stemming of the spread of "fake news." And now my still-undead mind — It's alive! — is skeptical of every word I'm reading in this stew of Cook + Guardian words.
The scourge of falsehoods in mainstream political discourse came to the fore during recent campaigns, during which supporters of each side were accused of promoting misinformation for political gain.Well, if it came to the fore, then our minds are not dying. They are getting better. Rallying. There have always been "falsehoods in mainstream political discourse," so if they seem more obvious now, our minds are the opposite of dying. A lie doesn't kill a mind when the mind sees it as a lie.
But to rely on Apple "tools" and government "information campaigns" is to swallow some dangerous medicine.
“It has to be ingrained in the schools, it has to be ingrained in the public. There has to be a massive campaign. We have to think through every demographic... It’s almost as if a new course is required for the modern kid, for the digital kid. In some ways kids will be the easiest to educate. At least before a certain age, they are very much in listen and understand [mode], and they then push their parents to act. We saw this with environmental issues: kids learning at school and coming home and saying why do you have this plastic bottle? Why are you throwing it away?”And with the arrival of the little children, I throw the topic over to your undead mind.