By Jerry Roker
for Bahamas Press
Throughout recorded history there have always been situations where the truth has been smothered by those who seek to misguide others by trying to give an inaccurate version of an event because the true picture is not what they are willing to accept.
Nothing really new about this. And history books are crowded with stories where it has always taken extreme research and study to get even close to what really happened, when conflicting views become shrouded in doubt and confusion.
Many decades ago, when information moved at a slower pace, it took a little longer to gather sufficient information to make a proper assessment on any controversial event.
Today, the problem of misinformation getting to the vulnerable is far greater because of social media, which embodies the world of tweets, texting and instant flashing of pictures of events, regardless of whether innocent people could be hurt in the process.
In our Bahamas, particularly during the immediately preceding year, the situation has worsened with a dangerous trend where those opposed to Prime Minister Christie and his PLP government are putting out stories that are totally false for sensational purpose.
When the vulnerable consume a fake news story without question, the result can be someone deciding to act on gross misinformation without checking for accuracy.
The use of fake news stories to benefit or damage the image of a candidate, or a particular political party is a very vulgar act and those who perpetuate it ought to be considered enemies of the people.
It appears as though most media houses are very cooperative in the dissemination of fake news targeting Prime Minister Christie and his government.
Good journalists would rather be second and right, instead of first and wrong.
Fake news has the enormous potential to create serious conflict
When emotions slip out of control, the potential for conflicting versions of what happened is extremely high. It is common for two people to witness an incident and give different descriptions of what happened.
This is why it is crucial for everyone to step back and take a deep breath — and that includes all of our leaders, irrespective of political allegiance — and await the results of a proper investigation into what went wrong. The overall objective should be that nothing such as that should occur again.
The Bahamas needs to move forward with positive attitudes from everyone who believes that truth, decency and respect will keep negativity from gaining a foothold.