Have you ever yourself asked the question: Do I trust the media?

Like many of us I use a range of media outlets, from watching Channel 9 News to scrolling through Facebook and checking Snapchat ‘stories’. However with the increase of #Fakenews this consumption of content can be perceived as being manipulated or having a bias viewpoint, as a result of its media ownership. With this in mind I take information and so called “facts” with a grain of salt, and conduct my own research to compare multiple media outlets for correct and reliable information and avoid being deceived or lied to.

“Millions of Facebook users have no idea theyโ€™re using the internet.”

By Leo Mirani February 9, 2015

This blog post from Leo Mirani illustrates the case of users unknowing that using social media platforms, is actually being a part of the internet paradigm. His post refers to the idea that users are gaining news and information through only one source – Facebook – which opens the individual to receive and consume fake information, and in turn falsely changes ones perception of the world and its events. Below is a bar graph from the same post, that shows that 5% of the US population – over 16 million people! – believe that Facebook is not the internet.

Blog Post: Leo Mirani February 9, 2015

We can further explore this by asking: Who owns the media that you consume? And, do they change or manipulate your feed or the content you see or read about? Below outlines the owners of some of the world’s major media platforms:

Sydney Morning Herald: Fairfax

Facebook: Mark Zuckerberg

Snapchat: Snap Inc.

Google: Alphabet Inc.

A great way to show the ethical misuse of information by media owners, would be to explore the Facebook and Cambridge Analytica scandal. Millions of innocent user’s data was mined and analysed for political propaganda reasons and financial gain. Naturally resulting in mistrust from the public eye and bringing questionable thoughts to users contributing to the platform, making them think twice before posting about their private life as they consider what Facebook will do with the gathered information.

As a result of researching further into this topic, it was illustrated to me that most of our news channels, media owners and social media owners use their mediums to showcase information, in a way where the targeted audience can perceive their ideal ‘truth’. These owners however have the power to thrive through hiding what is true, as well real ownership to our privacy in the online space.

My point for this blog was to communicate the fact that not everything you see or read should be believed, and that people should seek their own truth through fact checking and consuming the same ‘story’ through multiple reliable sources, before committing to a viewpoint or opinion.

So the question still remains: Do you trust the media?

References:

https://qz.com/333313/milliions-of-facebook-users-have-no-idea-theyre-using-the-internet/

https://guardian.ng/news/nigeria/national/news-literacy-fact-checking-critical-to-curbing-fake-news/

https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2019/mar/17/the-cambridge-analytica-scandal-changed-the-world-but-it-didnt-change-facebook