Sharryl Attkisson has a new story up on her site, called “the Curators.”
The piece examines the recent trend towards big tech companies blocking certain media outlets for being “untrustworthy.” One problem with this is that the curators are oftentimes just as untrustworthy as the news source. Another problem is that by blacklisting the news outlets that they disagree with, the practice simply reinforces mainstream ignorance because it doesn’t allow people to hear thoughts and ideas from outside their own bubble.
We’ve entered a brave, new world in the information age where it can be tough to know what’s real. Now there are movements to help us sort through it all— to teach our kids media literacy, to “curate” our information, and cull out “fake news.” Sounds like a good idea. After all, who doesn’t want their news straight up? But what if some of those efforts are actually attempts to control the narrative?
One guest put it perfectly when he described the danger of curated content:
The very idea that there should be some middlemen curating what ideas we’re exposed to is very dangerous. Even if it were someone who agreed with what our personal opinions were, that would in effect restrict us from being exposed to many different viewpoints and that’s really something that our country doesn’t need, especially among the youth demographic today.
The underlying issue isn’t the fact that there is untrustworthy content out there, that’s always been the case. The issue is that critical thinking has been cast aside as media consumers look for someone to tell them what to believe:
When you talk about media literacy that the people that want to teach that are oftentimes invested in certain kind of legacy media outfits, the New York Times, The Washington Post, the big three networks, CNN, Fox, all of them would love to tell you what to listen to and, and how to listen to it. And I think you can throw in Google and Facebook as well because it’s on the right side and it’s chosen and may be censored and maybe curated, you know, we put quotes around curated.
The point is – pay attention. It’s not where you get your news from necessarily, it’s what you (and your brain) do with this new information.