A week and a half ago I said we seem to be getting to the point where we should question so-called “facts” that we see in the news and I used some errors in the reporting of the Toronto van attack in its immediate aftermath along with just about anything on Fox News as examples. Now we see that Ontario Conservative candidate for Premier, Doug Ford, is using a tactic in his campaign that has a new twist. There are so-called “news” stories on Facebook that at first glance appear to be legitimate featuring on-location reporters but in reality the reporter is, for example, Ford’s campaign assistant and of course the “news” is all positive for and about Ford. These manufactured stories that have the look and feel of legitimate media reporting do fool some people into believing they are real and from a legitimate media outlet, and they get shared. This is the problem with social media. We are all so busy that it’s hard to fact-check everything we see, hear and read. I just hope this campaign tactic doesn’t catch on and spread west so that in our next provincial election it’s difficult to tell fact from fiction as we try to keep up with what’s happening. You know what they say: the truth is out there. However, crafty campaign advisors and consultants along with technology make it ever harder to find it.
That’s Coffeetalk. I’m Vic Dubois.