Maybe it’s part of our genetic makeup to put everything into a category of some sort. Even the government requires certain products, food is a good example, to have nutritional labels and a list of content. That information may not stop you from smoking cigarettes or eating a dozen bags of chips, but at least you are forewarned.
Websites need such nutritional labels to prevent fake news and opinion from being disguised as news and valid, useful information.
As life is today in the 21st century far too many people do not understand the differences or cannot tell real news apart from opinion, and they use the resulting hype and misinformation to make decisions that impact their lives in negative ways. How else do you explain the 2016 general election result?
I submit that every website with a headline be required to preface the headline with a category monicker. How about a few examples:
- Opinion: Tim Cook Is a Failure at Operations
- Fake: Mac Sales Drop
- Perspective: Smartphones Are In A Mid-Life Crisis
- Fact: Apple’s 2018 iPad Pro Is $100 Off At Best Buy
See how that works? Cool, right? Let’s see how it works elsewhere. Remember, every website with an article hardline must apply the category first:
- News: Mass Overdose In California Kills 1, Injures 12
- News: Paris Bakery Explosion Death Toll Rises
- Opinion: Where The Government Shutdown Hits Hardest
- Information: Next Generation Cereals
- Fact: Adam Vinatieri Misses 23-Yarder, Extra Point
- Dream: Trump Wants Credit For Staying At The White House
Nutritional labels for website headlines. Every article has one. Every headline needs a label so the unsuspecting, who have a tendency to believe anything they read or hear, have the simplest of guidelines to be forwarned.
Great idea, right?
So, what’s wrong with it? First, someone has to come up with the labels. That may take awhile but limiting all labels in total to less than a dozen should suffice. If small is beautiful and simple is better, a 12 label limit seems like a good idea.
Second, who is going to oversee the label creation and turn it into law? Congress? Uh huh. Sure. That’ll work. Senator Ted Cruz came up with a proposed constitutional amendment for term limits. Good idea. Maybe Cruz will sponsor the nutritional label for website headlines idea but carry it to a natural conclusion and apply it to include all media. Fox News, CNN, MSNBC, WSJ, TWP, NYT, USAToday, and every media outlet– broadcast included– would be required to preface their information with a category heading.
- Sports: New England Patriots vs. Kansas City Chiefs
- Entertainment: Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked
- Fiction: People Magazine Investigates
- Fake: The Great British Baking Show
- Ludicrous: Miss Congeniality 2: Armed & Fabulous
- Ridiculous: Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation
- History: The Golden Girls
- Political: Last Man Standing
This could be fun. Finally, we’ll get some real news about Apple instead of all the fiction we see in headlines today.
Websites needs nutritional labels by government edict because we cannot trust the websites to be accurate and writers tend to twist facts in ways that support a perspective which is displayed as fact. Extending the edict to all media is only a natural extension of the idea.
I want to be one of the monitors.