By George Cook
A paper, which throughout history, has been the subject of great controversy and debate; yet the Daily Mail still has one of widest and biggest readerships in the country. Second only to the Sun, the Daily Mail has arguably impacted the lives of British people extensively through a number of means and by often reporting untruths and elaborated ‘facts’ that almost anyone would question. Through its support of fascism in its sympathetic stance towards the Nazi Party, Oswald Mosely and the British Union of Fascists, the Daily Mail has never been afraid to put itself at the heart of the debate and ensue deep seated feelings of emotion among the general public, whether that be anger or agreement. Surely, it is hardly surprising that Wikipedia has taken the decision to label it ‘an unreliable source’.
Whether it be stories about Ralph Miliband, father of then Labour leader Ed, hating Britain or those about refugees ‘swamping and posing terrorist threats to Britain, the recently much used label of ‘FAKE NEWS’ has surely never been more applicable to a print publication? Those who, themselves, would readily identify as liberal, such as Gary Lineker, have found themselves on the receiving end of vicious and frankly untrue news items printed in the Daily Mail. This highlights the right wing nature of a paper that, somehow, has the capability to impact the opinions of people who are almost brainwashed into believing the repetitive drivel that is scribbled onto its pages.
Wikipedia has taken a step that few would’ve done before. How can it be that an online encyclopaedia that allows anyone to edit posts can deem one source, almost entirely, unreliable? I sense the reasoning lies somewhat in the feelings of hatred, fear and division that the Daily Mail readily purports about the most vulnerable people in the world, yet aimed at the most vulnerable people in this country that causes a sense of suspicion among the two groups. Hopefully, the measures Wikipedia have taken will prevent such ‘facts’ becoming as readily available and accessible on the internet thus making the effect of what the Daily Mail reports much less widespread.
However, more needs to be done. The Daily Mail is not the only newspaper or source that publishes ‘fake news’ with such ease and minimal consideration for the most vulnerable and those affected. Campaigns, such as Stop Funding Hate, have had widespread success with companies who have stopped advertising in a number of newspapers like the Daily Mail and the Sun; and many more should follow this lead as it will limit the influence and purchasing power of publications that state expletive and inflammatory remarks. Breibart, Fox News and the Daily Express are only a few similar publications that also divulge information that is inflammatory and, some would even argue, a threat to peace and democracy around the world.
Wikipedia has been brave but not bullish; fierce but not fearful and selfless not selfish. It has begun to shine a light on the practices of publications who wish to pin the views of the majority and wealthy against those of the minority and vulnerable. But Wikipedia has shown that, in the 21st century, an era of such tolerance and diversity, that those actions shall be treated with distrust, dislike and utter discontent.