strredwolf: (Huh?)
[personal profile] strredwolf
2016 came and had numerous problems. A disenchanted population picked a radical candidate for President... and slowly it's biting into people's butts.

One of the reasons why is the concept of "fake news," or reports with little or no proof to back them up. In other words, if they were pulled into the courts, the writers and "news organizations" would be liable for damages. It would be parody or opinion, but without all the indicators that it was.

And there's already a court case to test that theory, Mann v. CEI and National Review. It's about climate research and two columnists efforts to discredit it despite tons of verification about the research (namely, that temperatures that were steady in centuries before has risen drastically in the last century, aka the 1900's). It's going to go to trial, because of one question: The article were written as fact, but are they really true? The appeals court thinks no, but wants a ruling in a trial that would probe the articles first.

That's how you would attach the fake news problem: Fact check the articles of fake news, verify that there's no obvious disclaimer, and then sue them for fraud. The more evidence you have that says the article is fake means the writers have to present their sources... or pay up.

Will this pass the 1st Amendment? Well, since Pizzagate turned into real gunfire at a DC area pizza shop, there is considerable interest by the government to tap it down. But this means ethical reporters have to keep their sources on hand, in case the lawyers come knocking. It's going to take time and several court cases to create a compromise.

The kicker? You don't need to government to even legislate this. A few well funded groups may be able to pull together a class action lawsuit that'll take care of the mess... and may even make a profit. Can you say "Put your money where your mouth is?"


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