Fake news is not a new phenomenon. The soldiers who were guarding the tomb could not withstand God’s power of resurrection. In fact, they fell aside before the risen Son of God. Hapless guards went and reported this to the Chief Priests of Judaism. These religious leaders were scared about resurrection and truth. Before the truth could be known, they decided to fabricate fake news. “And when they had assembled with the elders and taken counsel, they gave a sufficient sum of money to the soldiers and said, “Tell people, ‘His disciples came by night and stole him away while we were asleep.’ And if this comes to the governor’s ears, we will satisfy him and keep you out of trouble.” So, they took the money and did as they were directed. And this story has been spread among the Jews to this day.” (Matthew 28:12-15)
1) Vested interests: Those who produce fake news like the Chief priests and their friends have vested interests. In this incident, they wanted to retain their religious, political and social power, prestige and privileges.
2) Corruption: The power-hungry leaders paid a sufficient sum to create fake news.
3) Paid News: Probably, fake news to suppress the truth of resurrection was the first paid news.
4) Influence and protection: The vested interests can protect the fake news producers by using their influence if there are any political or legal implications. The Chief Priests guaranteed the fake news communicators protection or immunity from prosecuting authorities.
5) Fake news partners: Like forwarding troll brigade in social media, the soldiers took money and spread lies in the community. These guards valued money more than truth. It is no wonder, the media today could produce an infinite number of Fake news and stories.
In this context, the responsibility of discerning what is true lies with the hearers. It is no use to blame the Fake News creators, producers and directors. We must be watchful and alert.
Do I have the capacity to determine, detect and discern what is true?