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October Reflection

They fed me with nonsense 
To contaminate my Soul
To confuse my mind
To plant the seed of doubt
To break my thought process
And wage a war of lies among my children

They uprooted my spirit of truthfulness
And transplanted my discerning mind
So that I can listen to their lies
So that I can partake in their evil schemes
So that I can poison my children
So that I can drink from their dirty hands

They exposed my eyes to their lies
And wrapped my heart in doubt
Starting a war of doubt in my thoughts
I was vulnerable to their evil ideas
I was disabled by their lies

They brought me a plate full of fake news
And forced me to dine and wine
with their lies

To celebrate the birth of a deadly serpent
To give my heart away to the devil
To throw my Soul into the abyss

I am thirsty for the truth
I don't want any more lies
I am fed up with their evil propaganda
I am now ready to fight a Holy war
A war born out of goodness
A Love war 

Kenneth Maswabi

Fake News

"Fake news", named 2017's word of the year, was almost unheard of  until a couple of years ago but is now seen as one of the greatest threats to democracy, free debate and the Western order.

As well as being a favourite term of Donald Trump, it risks raising. tensions between nations, and may lead to regulation of social media.

As I write the BBC ‘Today’ programme carried an interview about the hurt caused to American parents who lost children in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting by Twitter refusing to remove the story that the shooting story was a hoax, and didn’t happen. We have perhaps become used to politicians and others making promises of what actions they intend to take – but never manage to implement. However the deliberate spreading of misinformation of hoaxes by traditional print and broadcast news media, or online social media is increasingly worrying and can do immense damage.

There is also an increasing tendency to refer to anything which is contrary to your particular view or which you simply dislike – be it personal or corporate – to be labelled ‘fake news’. BBC Radio 4’s popular current affairs programme was recently brought to book for allowing a well-known former Chancellor of the Exchequer being interviewed about climate change to make a number of totally inaccurate statements maintaining for instance, that  ‘all the experts say there has been no increase in extreme weather events’ and that ‘far from rising, global temperatures are declining’. In stark contrast to Lord Lawson’s claim, the global surface temperature over this period has risen, with the three hottest years on record occurring in 2014, 2015 and 2016. The entire transcript of this interview can be accessed on line and is a good example of someone intent on pushing a particular personal agenda by making statements which would are inconsistent with known facts. We are drifting into a world where we can, and should no longer believe that the item we are looking for on eBay or other advertising sites actually exists or that the email stating that the Minister from Mickleton Methodist Church has had her handbag stolen whilst in Spain and desperately needs money for to get home. Fortunately the payment from the generous lady who decided to respond to this plea for help was spotted by the bank and stopped.

It is said that the pen is mightier than the sword, but what do we do when the enemy camp picks up the pen as well, and their words seem to have a far more persuasive effect? Guardian blogger Jenny Rohn believes like many others, that we are living through a dangerous era of untruth, one that will be recognised in the history books as a dark blight on our civilisation.

In the good old King James Version of the Bible the text reads: ‘ But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil’. In May this year Pope Francis tweeted (yes – even Popes tweet!) that the theme for World Communications Day 2018 will be ‘the truth will set you free’. The Church too wishes to offer a contribution,” to the discussion of fake news, the Vatican wrote, “proposing a reflection on the causes, the logic and the consequences of disinformation in the media, and helping to promote professional journalism, which always seeks the truth, and therefore a journalism of peace that promotes understanding between people.”

Surely that is something we would all agree with and should support.

 

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