In today’s world of 24-hour news and instant access to information, where someone gets their news and information determines their viewpoint of what they believe to be true. While no media is free from bias, political cable and radio personalities, social media websites, along with apps and podcasts, help to spread lies and misinformation.

Politically leaning cable news and radio personalities voice their opinion that may not agree with the facts or reality but is in lockstep with what their audience wants to hear. Because the goal of these individuals is to attract as large an audience as possible, not to necessarily tell the truth.

Internet platforms and apps help to distort the truth much like the tabloids found at the checkout counters of stores. They give a microphone to individuals to voice their alternative facts, conspiracy theories and utter nonsense, such as the Holocaust, the Sandy Hook and Marjory Stoneman Douglas School Massacres never happened.

Social Media like Facebook and Twitter are not news sources, but they help to distribute misinformation and disinformation because generally, the information found there is never supported by any creditable source. They are platforms for voicing one’s opinion and where people who share the same views and opinions, gather to support one another. People knowingly or unknowingly post false information on their account and all their friends and followers see it and repost or retweet the same information. Minister of Propaganda, Joseph Goebbels is infamously credited with saying, "If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it."

The Constitution protects everyone’s freedom of speech, but it does not protect that person’s version of the truth or facts. Both foreign and domestic individuals and groups purposely put out false information for the sole purpose of confusing the facts and dividing us as a nation.

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After the events of January 6, 2021, those that blindly repost, like or believe what they read or hear from these sources, will continue to aid those individuals and groups who oppose our democracy and long for its destruction.

Lynn Rahn

Willmar