Iconoclasm is back! Angry mobs of puritan zealots are storming the streets of various cities, toppling statues and tearing images apart. No picture is too sacred for their axes, which are set to erase any blasphemy from the face of the earth.
Admittedly, this opening sentence is an overdramatization of recent attacks on statues and monuments in the aftermath of the gruesome killing of African American man George Floyd by a white police officer in Minneapolis, Minnesota in the United States on May 25, 2020. It is, furthermore, inaccurate in its characterization of these acts as a form of iconoclasm, which is—in the strict meaning of the term—the destruction of statues and pictures set up as objects of religious veneration.
Fake news, fake news, fake news! They are everywhere, like swarms of locusts, devouring truth and infecting people’s minds. Mainstream media along with social media platforms are alarmed, mobilizing their resources to contain this epidemic. Numerous online resource centers and information pages have been set up to help people identify fake news and protect their minds from their toxicity. Yesterday, when I opened my Facebook page, I was greeted with a link to a page that lists 10 tips to spot false news. The website of the German news broadcaster tagesschau currently operates a project against fake news called Faktenfinder (Fact Finder) which is a resource center with basic information about hot topics in the form of questions and answers to help people avoid false information being spread about this topic.