Why fake news exists: Because you like it




Two foggy problems: Too much information and our own bias

In 1900, your only source of information was a newspaper or a magazine.

In 1920, the first public radio broadcast was added to the mix.

Then broadcast television came along, in 1948, with four channels.

Even as a kid in the 1970s, my TV had just two channels. Even families with cable had perhaps a dozen.

Now? Thousands of channels + the web + multiple devices. It all equals a torrent of video, news and opinion. Some of it is great, some bad; all of it is too much.  

That's one fog-creating problem, data overload.

Here's the other reason we often lack clarity: Our own bias. 

Example: In the 1930s, the New York Times reported how Ukraine was just fine, no Stalin-imposed famine here, because its reporter saw what he wanted: nothing. 

Or in our era, we read and watch only those with whom we agree. They flatter us and make us feel smart and even morally superior. But it's a dead-end, closed loop that feeds ignorance. 

Problem: Data overload and bias - 'theirs' and ours. Both are why fake news is rife. 

Big Sky Clarity: The choices

To pierce the fog of fake news to reach reality, the first steps are:

  • Cut down the data flow. More information is often fog creation, not fog control. 
  • Be honest about our own bias; there are strategies for this. 
  • Use honest language. (This is harder than you think.)

This keynote's reality check process: Frankness, history, stories

This keynote is a blend: Questions to explore the audience's own information overload and frankness to meet fakery. History is also used to show how misleading agendas and deceptive personalities have been in play since at least ancient Greece.

The benefit? A fun, smart romp through the deliberately created jungle mist. 'Aha' moments show up as audience members uncover their own and others' biases. Professions and personality types most likely to offer fake news, including crafty pitches to your organization, are also identified.  

This keynote allows everyone to grasp concepts and strategies helpful in spotting the fake, phony and fraudulent, be it for work or in our personal lives and through our screens.