Brands / Digital / Media / Regulations / The Internet

Fake News; More Than Just a Problem

fake-news-1There has been a lot of press recently given to the amount of “fake news” stories in relation to the recent U.S. election, with the internet serving as a breeding ground for such stories and their possible impact in the eventual outcome.

It went from the ridiculous to the sublime.  Examples are Sarah Palin refusing Muslims from engaging with her daughter, The Khan family being bought off, Ireland accepting Americans escaping the U.S. on a Trump Victory, and Obama outlawing the “Pledge of Allegiance”.

Let me promise you, Grace Century has been screaming about this from the rafters for years. We wrote about it in September 2015 with a blog about hoaxes, we wrote about the internet’s ability to aid in harassment, under the flag of free speech and its effect on businesses (especially new businesses) along with scams in December 2014, and we equated the internet and it’s social media outlets to the “Wild West”.

It’s bad enough that people will believe just about anything they read, but when, according to a recent study demonstrating that most Americans get their news from the internet – meaning the inmates are effectively running the prison – it is downright scary. The Pew Research Centre is an organization that researches issues and trends affecting America and the World. It surveyed 4,654 people in January and February. Pew researchers found 62 percent of the group got their news from social media websites like Facebook, Twitter and Reddit.

“People”… let me help you with something: NO ONE monitors or validates these outlets, and it is done with no accountability or responsibility, and in many cases; no tracking of the poster.

More Than Just Validity

fake-new-2Over 2 years ago, the World Economic Forum ranked “misinformation on the internet” in the top ten issues the world faces – check this article from The Guardian goo.gl/it4Mlo

What is the effect on Individuals and companies? What happens to businesses that are impacted by disgruntled employees? What happens when people can post anything? Cyber bullying done by the President- elect and demonized by the First lady to be.  (“Blow-back”?) Just ask anyone who has texted an ex after a few cocktails at 3am!

Google

Ever do a search in Google for the keyword “Apple” and see an Ad at the top for “Samsung”? Trademarking a brand name with Google – while doing this prevents a competitor from using the trademarked brand term on their advert copy, it does not prevent the competitor using the trademarked brand term to bid on – so Ford can buy the brand term “Toyota” and appear at the top of Google rankings when someone searches for Ford, even if the term “Ford” is trademarked with Google. This is especially problematic if the other party bidding does so for malicious reasons, which is something that happened to Grace Century. Here is a related article – http://www.ppchero.com/overcoming-adwords-trademark-and-disapproval-issues/

Cloud Technology and Security

The world is going to the cloud, this is evident. In light of our discussion here, what threats or problems are we in store for? There has already been an increasing number of data breaches in recent years, such as incidents of celebrities private pictures being leaked .This is pretty much due to the fact that storing data via cloud technology is less secure than the old-fashioned way of storing data via CD’s or other optical media –  The issue is that it is not always clear who is liable for the data breach, it is not automatically the responsibility of the cloud technology provider and the legal picture is often confused .

In conclusion, the internet is something incredible. No one in today’s modern world could live without it. However, like so many inventions in the last 100 years, it must be regulated. Imagine drivers without road rules or Airplanes without regulation. We have to do this now, as the wheels are already coming off this race car.

 

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