What is the impact of fake news?

Apr 17 • Letters to the EditorNo Comments on What is the impact of fake news?

Sir: President Donald Trump has emphasized the ill effects of fake news, but I was shocked to see a recent factual TV program hosted by Dr. Mehmet Oz. He said he had been bothered by all this talk about fake news and had discussed this with a colleague, neuropsychiatrist Dr. Daniel Amen, asking an unusual question.

Could the human brain be hacked by fake news?

The doctor made several tests, the basis of which are befuddling to me, but he proved that three subjects whom he tested revealed differences attributable to the impact of fake news on their baseline beliefs.

I think it is very important that members of the public follow this advice and check very carefully the sources from which they collect their information.

Maybe we should ignore Mark Twain, once a reporter with a Virginia City, Nevada, newspaper. Later he said a writer should: “get your facts first and then you can distort ’em as much as you please.” Twain, who was friendly with Rudyard Kipling, later wrote about the great British author: “Between us, we cover all knowledge; he covers all that can be known and I cover the rest.”

I would love to read Kipling’s response!

Stephen Beecroft

Chatham

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