Fake information will pervade mature economies in the next few years, a new study has noted.
By 2022, most people in mature economies will consume more false information than true information, according to the study from research firm Gartner.
This trend will be fueled, in part, by “confirmation bias,” that “leads all people to seek out, select and value information that parallels what they believe and expect to be proven true,” the study's authors, Magnus Revang and Whit Andrews, found.
And even improved artificial intelligence (AI), which companies like Facebook and Google are working on, won’t be able to stop it, a separate study by Gartner found. "Counterfeit reality" or fake content, will “outpace AI's ability to detect it."
Generating false information will always cost less than the cost of detecting it. “False information will consequently outpace true information where there is economic or political interest to purvey it,” Revang and Andrews wrote.
Fake information and fake news is an extremely complicated topic that is often painted with a broad brush that belies its complexity, Paula Bolyard, Supervising Editor at PJ Media, told Fox News via email.
“It's true that ‘fake news’ is easier and less costly to produce than factual news reporting," Bolyard said. "A separate, parallel, issue is the demand for instant reactions to newsworthy events.”
Bolyard added, “Original reporting is labor intensive and the 24-hour news cycle creates a sense of urgency that values speed over accuracy. As a result, sometimes even legitimate news sources get stories wrong in the rush to be first.”
President Trump's pet peeve
President Trump has revisited the fake news theme regularly. This week, he lashed out a report from NBC that claimed Secretary of State Rex Tillerson considered resigning over the summer amid disagreements with the White House.
“The @NBCNews story has just been totally refuted by Sec. Tillerson and @VP Pence. It is #FakeNews. They should issue an apology to AMERICA!” – Trump tweeted on Wednesday.
The President has also cited CNN's constant spotlighting of the administration's alleged "Russia collusion" as fake news.
Issues with fake news
The issue is, the term "fake news" is used liberally by both the left and right.
“A major theme for 2017 in politics and media worldwide has been the issue of the creation of ‘fake news,’” the Gartner analysts said in the study. The indiscriminate use of the of the term has “many stops along a spectrum” from discrediting “true information to its proper use to describe wholly false information,” they added.
But Bolyard argues that despite the mainstreaming of fake news in countries like Russia, it's not as bad as we may be led to believe.
“I don't think the situation is quite as dire as the study predicts," she said. "While fake news will continue to be a problem, I think perhaps we're reaching a tipping point where people are becoming more skeptical and more discerning with their media choices."