You Are Entitled to Your Own Opinions, but Not Your Own Facts

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You Are Entitled to Your Own Opinions, but Not Your Own Facts
You Are Entitled to Your Own Opinions, but Not Your Own Facts
Now that #fakenews is a part of our lives, the return to normalcy is taking much longer than it did in the past.

Hashtag fakenews.

We all know it. We have probably even used it in daily speech. It has become a part of our lives because it’s a thing.

Here’s the problem with fake news: well, it’s fake.

One of my biggest issues with the current presidency (not going political) is that the return to normalcy has taken much longer than in the past. Perhaps we can blame this on Facebook or on technology itself, but normalcy has not returned.

When I was growing up, I remember different political signs in front of the homes on my block. Some Democrat, some Republican, some a mixture. The neighbors would campaign for or support the campaign of their choice, and when all was said and done, the signs came down and you returned to being neighbors. No fights. No end of friendships. Normalcy returned. Opinions were okay and there was no #meannews.

Today, though, fake news, and opinions that lack data, have driven us toward hate. If you put a Trump sign in front of your home and your neighbor put out a Hilary sign, chances are the relationship is still contentious. A Trump supporter loses a loved one, and a Hillary supporter doesn’t join the meal train. This is new.

Fake facts have leaked into the competitive world, too. I can see it with my own two eyes in the world I live in. My competition uses false facts all the time – so much so that I think they actually believe their false facts are now factual. In a competitive world, opinions are justified and they are yours to own, but false facts do nothing but complicate the truth. Healthy competition is good; mean competition is just bad business.

Algorithms don’t help either. In today’s content world, the second you show favoritism to something, the content around you continues to push that journey. Even if that’s fake facts, like Bobby Riggs throwing the match against Billie Jean King, more content about that fake fact hits you in the face until you completely believe it.

And, it’s going to continue to get worse. When Wikipedia is the trusted source, there’s potential for trouble, as we will now have the ability to write history the way we want to remember it. Unless it is edited, generations from now may call the truth something different than it was.

In life, opinions are yours. You are entitled to them. When you make up facts, simply put, you are lying. If our mothers have taught us anything, it’s that lying never wins.