Fake News And Knowledge Is Power Essay

  • Length: 2 pages
  • Sources: 2
  • Subject: Philosophy
  • Type: Essay
  • Paper: #31415590

Excerpt from Essay :

Fake News: Knowledge Is Power



With the election of Donald Trump, it seems that power might come from the absence of knowledge. As Barton points out, fake news was once a fringe effect but has now become a "a strategy for consolidating executive power," (1). Anti-intellectualism and the dumbing down of American, which Richard Hofstadter describes in his 1964 Pulitzer Prize-winning book Anti-Intellectualism in American Life, highlights the problem of when a lack of knowledge becomes the key to political power when in fact knowledge should be the key to power given the potency of truth in eliminating superstition, bigotry, and misinformation. As problematic and troubling as the anti-science agenda of Trump presidency might be, the only way to take back power from demagogues and anti-intellectuals is through an affirmation and promotion of knowledge. As Swinton points out, "We have the power to kick fake news to the side and bring knowledge to the forefront again. We just have to utilize it." Knowledge is power for the individual and for the society.

For individuals, knowledge constitutes real power in helping with self-connection between knowledge and power makes itself known even in the most mundane circumstances. A person who is armed with knowledge about a company is more likely to impress an interviewer with that knowledge and receive a job offer. Knowledge of a partner's illicit affair empowers the person to extricate themselves from the relationship or choose to forgive. Self-awareness is also a distinct type of power that enhances one's psychological health and encourages wellbeing through control over one's irrational thoughts and emotions.

Social media has an ironic and complex influence on the creation and dissemination of knowledge via the spreading of fake news. Interestingly, the proliferation of fake news can inspire citizens to become more media literate. The results of the 2016 presidential election in the United States are partly blamed on a lack of knowledge generated by social media and the spreading of propaganda through digital channels (Alcott and Gentzkow). To combat fake news, those who possess knowledge have the power to spread truth and accurate information, facts and data. However, power is only effective if it is used to combat misinformation and "alternative facts."

The real application of the knowledge-power connection is in the realm of public life, where knowledge needs…

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