Jon Simonds 

We Now Hold Truth to Be Self-Evident

The only real truth left in America is what a majority of people believe to be true, whether it is true or not. Fact is now fiction and fiction is now fact. There once was a time when fiction was merely a story of imaginary people and imaginary events. Non-fiction was a story of true events depicting real people. The tragedy of Sandy Hook serves as a prime example of how America has lost sight of the difference between the two. Traditional media, such as your evening news, radio, magazines and newspapers, reported on a deranged individual entering the elementary school and opening fire, killing 20 children and six adults. Traditional media is bound by laws limiting freedom of the press and free speech.

A newspaper, or newscaster, could not present a story naming you, (he or she reading this) as an individual involved in child pornography simply because said reporter, or newscaster, didn't like you and wanted to trigger an investigation. Newscasters and professionally trained journalists understand this. There are no constitutional challenges to these laws. The constitution was designed in the best interests of the nation, not in the interest of exploitation.

There is, however, a new form of mass media flying under the radar of these laws. It's called the internet with its countless websites disguised as news outlets spewing more fiction than fact for social media to share and sadly mistake as the truth. For example; the same tragic Sandy Hook shooting was reported on Infowars and spread across social media platforms as a democratic plot designed to mobilize the country to create laws banning citizen ownership of weapons. The entire tragedy of Sandy Hook was just a portrayal of actors with no participant actually harmed. Many Americans took this as the truth, regardless of the facts of the matter, many families in mourning over the loss of their children were harassed and forced to relocate on several occasions, for their failure to come clean about the "Sandy Hook hoax."

Infowars is not alone in blending fact and fiction. The internet has run amok with Q and 4chan, Tik-Tok and Twitter. Every state in the union has a named examiner (e.g., The Maine Examiner), designed to look like an online newspaper, but lacking accredited journalists and ignoring the laws governing traditional media. The worst of these official looking new sites don't even originate in America. They are owned and operated by persons in countries like Pakistan, Russia, Iran. They are designed to divide a nation, because a nation divided is easily conquered and done so in such a way, our enemies don't have to fire a shot.

It may be time for government to step in and not censor the internet but redefine the web address to better reflect the content. If you need to go to a government agency, the web address usually ends with .gov. Why not have dot dating for those who's interest is in meeting others. Social media should end in dot social media. Accredited newspapers, magazines deserve dot news and should be monitored closely by the FCC for adherence to the laws governing traditional media. On the other side of the coin, conspiracy websites should fall into a categorically representative web address. Who cares if The Simpsons get it right every time? It's still a cartoon!

Finally, do they teach the importance of liability and the consequences of false allegations as early as middle school, anymore? And are there any flat-Earthers out there because I found this website offering evidence of the round earth hoax perpetuated upon us all and I have to tell you it makes for some pretty interesting fiction!

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Jon's previous stories:

Social Media
You Can't Always Get Want You Want
Old Friends
Dear Mr. President
Are You an American?