Fake News International (FNI) has announced that the organization will develop a formal code of ethics and standards at its annual conference in Macedonia in February. Jack O'Lanterni, the President of FNI, said, “Fake news provides a valuable service to consumers. Like Jack Nicholson said in that movie, A Few Good Jarheads, although people say they want the truth, the truth is that most people can’t handle the truth. What people truly want is news that confirms their beliefs and biases. That’s what people get with fake news and that's why they love it.”
O'Lanterni went on to say, “Unfortunately, fake news providers have recently come under attack from political leaders throughout the world, including Hillary Clinton. She and others claim that fake news is affecting the outcomes of elections and wreaking other forms of havoc on society. Major media establishments, which have been duped time after time by fake news, have also become highly critical of the producers of fake news. It has become clear that in order to avoid losing credibility, creators of fake news must become more accountable and transparent.”
Another item on the agenda for the conference will be the establishment of labels to ensure that readers and viewers of fake news understand what they are consuming. Lanterni said, “When people read a fake news story, sometimes they don’t even realize it. They accept, without question, what’s being presented to them. FNI intends to provide fake news creators with guidelines for clearly labeling stories. Whether an article is satire, propaganda, disinformation, or misinformation, consumers need labels at the top so that they won’t make the mistake of thinking that what they are reading is true.”
Some fake news providers are objecting to the push for ethics. One FNI member, who spoke on condition of anonymity, is organizing a campaign against a code of ethics and standards. “If I wanted to make an honest living, I would have become a journalist or a politician. I make my living by writing interesting and entertaining stories that get people to click on ads,” he said. “It’s not my fault that people are gullible enough to believe what I write. Ethics and labels aren’t going to get people to click on ads, so who needs them? I certainly don’t. There are lots of other fake news creators who feel the same way. If FNI moves forward with this, many of us will not be renewing our memberships.”
This article is an example of satirical fake news.