Ira Hyman contemplates the assault on truth and suggests that the medium does indeed have some responsibility for the message. Here’s an excerpt (emphasis added):
When most news was presented to the public through TV news programs and traditional papers, editors and journalists followed ethical standards that helped the news adhere to the truth. When errors occurred, ethical journalists acknowledged and corrected. But today there are so many promoters of “news.” I’ve put news in quotes because some of what is promoted is known to be false. And this matters.
When social media platforms become the source of news for many people, they may have the same ethical obligations as newspapers and journalists. Social media platforms can’t hide behind claims of being neutral. Being neutral with respect to true information and misinformation isn’t neutrality. Instead, this promotes the misinformation by treating it the same as the truth. Similarly when news and opinion shows present people peddling snake oil, misinformation, and conspiracy theories, they have ethical obligations. Giving air time to people who deny climate change, for example, promotes that misinformation – even when the peddlers of false information are asked hard questions.
Methinks he has a point.