Disinformation aka false news appears historically in 1939. Note the date. As a branch of intelligence, false news was deliberately spun to confuse, disconcert and disorientate the enemy. When practiced as an arm of government policy, in every aspect of statecraft or politics, across the civic realm, it’s fair to ask: who is the enemy? Answer: the entire population.
If no news is good news, and false news is no news, who has ears to hear any kind of news at all? It comes down to Pilate’s question: what is truth?
News is not rumour, conspiracy theory, or urban myth. Not propaganda, relations public, or celebrity puff. Generally there’s an event involved. News isn’t opinion, reflection, ideological comment or indeed suppression.
Can we cast away the works of darkness, like the baptismal child rejecting Satan through its sponsor’s voice? How much do we have to know? How much can we know? How much do we dare to know, and through whom?
A little knowledge, in St. Paul’s view, is not only dangerous, but beside the point. ‘Repent, and believe the good news’ not the false news, says Mark’s Gospel. Verify the event. Without love, we are nothing.