How to seek truth in the era of fake news | Christiane Amanpour

How to seek truth in the era of fake news | Christiane Amanpour

Chris Anderson: Christiane,
great to have you here. So you’ve had this amazing viewpoint, and perhaps it’s fair to say
that in the last few years, there have been some alarming
developments that you’re seeing. What’s alarmed you most? Christiane Amanpour: Well, just listening
to the earlier speakers, I can frame it
in what they’ve been saying: climate change, for instance —
cities, the threat to our environment and our lives. It basically also boils down to
understanding the truth and to be able to get to the truth
of what we’re talking about in order to really be able to solve it. So if 99.9 percent
of the science on climate is empirical, scientific evidence, but it’s competing almost equally
with a handful of deniers, that is not the truth; that is the epitome of fake news. And so for me, the last few years —
certainly this last year — has crystallized the notion of fake news
in a way that’s truly alarming and not just some slogan
to be thrown around. Because when you can’t distinguish
between the truth and fake news, you have a very much more
difficult time trying to solve some of the great issues that we face. CA: Well, you’ve been involved
in this question of, what is balance, what is truth,
what is impartiality, for a long time. You were on the front lines
reporting the Balkan Wars 25 years ago. And back then, you famously said, by calling out human right abuses, you said, “Look, there are some situations
one simply cannot be neutral about, because when you’re neutral, you are an accomplice.” So, do you feel that today’s journalists
aren’t heeding that advice about balance? CA: Well, look, I think for journalists,
objectivity is the golden rule. But I think sometimes we don’t understand
what objectivity means. And I actually learned this very,
very young in my career, which was during the Balkan Wars. I was young then. It was about 25 years ago. And what we faced was the wholesale
violation, not just of human rights, but all the way to ethnic
cleansing and genocide, and that has been adjudicated
in the highest war crimes court in the world. So, we know what we were seeing. Trying to tell the world
what we were seeing brought us accusations of bias, of siding with one side, of not seeing the whole side, and just, you know,
trying to tell one story. I particularly and personally
was accused of siding with, for instance, the citizens of Sarajevo — “siding with the Muslims,” because they were the minority
who were being attacked by Christians on the Serb side in this area. And it worried me. It worried me that I was being
accused of this. I thought maybe I was wrong, maybe I’d forgotten what objectivity was. But then I started to understand
that what people wanted was actually not to do anything — not to step in, not to change the situation, not to find a solution. And so, their fake news at that time, their lie at that time — including our government’s,
our democratically elected government’s, with values and principles
of human rights — their lie was to say
that all sides are equally guilty, that this has been centuries
of ethnic hatred, whereas we knew that wasn’t true, that one side had decided to kill,
slaughter and ethnically cleanse another side. So that is where, for me, I understood that objectivity means
giving all sides an equal hearing and talking to all sides, but not treating all sides equally, not creating a forced moral equivalence
or a factual equivalence. And when you come up against
that crisis point in situations of grave violations
of international and humanitarian law, if you don’t understand
what you’re seeing, if you don’t understand the truth and if you get trapped
in the fake news paradigm, then you are an accomplice. And I refuse to be
an accomplice to genocide. (Applause) CH: So there have always been
these propaganda battles, and you were courageous in taking
the stand you took back then. Today, there’s a whole new way, though, in which news seems to be becoming fake. How would you characterize that? CA: Well, look — I am really alarmed. And everywhere I look, you know, we’re buffeted by it. Obviously, when the leader
of the free world, when the most powerful person
in the entire world, which is the president
of the United States — this is the most important, most powerful
country in the whole world, economically, militarily, politically
in every which way — and it seeks to, obviously, promote
its values and power around the world. So we journalists,
who only seek the truth — I mean, that is our mission — we go around the world
looking for the truth in order to be everybody’s eyes and ears, people who can’t go out
in various parts of the world to figure out what’s going on
about things that are vitally important to everybody’s health and security. So when you have a major world leader
accusing you of fake news, it has an exponential ripple effect. And what it does is,
it starts to chip away at not just our credibility, but at people’s minds — people who look at us,
and maybe they’re thinking, “Well, if the president
of the United States says that, maybe somewhere there’s a truth in there.” CH: Presidents have always
been critical of the media — CA: Not in this way. CH: So, to what extent — (Laughter) (Applause) CH: I mean, someone a couple years ago
looking at the avalanche of information pouring through Twitter
and Facebook and so forth, might have said, “Look, our democracies are healthier
than they’ve ever been. There’s more news than ever. Of course presidents
will say what they’ll say, but everyone else can say
what they will say. What’s not to like?
How is there an extra danger?” CA: So, I wish that was true. I wish that the proliferation of platforms
upon which we get our information meant that there was a proliferation
of truth and transparency and depth and accuracy. But I think the opposite has happened. You know, I’m a little bit of a Luddite, I will confess. Even when we started to talk about
the information superhighway, which was a long time ago, before social media, Twitter
and all the rest of it, I was actually really afraid that that would put people
into certain lanes and tunnels and have them just focusing
on areas of their own interest instead of seeing the broad picture. And I’m afraid to say
that with algorithms, with logarithms, with whatever the “-ithms” are that direct us into all these particular
channels of information, that seems to be happening right now. I mean, people have written
about this phenomenon. People have said that yes,
the internet came, its promise was to exponentially explode
our access to more democracy, more information, less bias, more varied information. And, in fact, the opposite has happened. And so that, for me,
is incredibly dangerous. And again, when you are the president
of this country and you say things, it also gives leaders in other
undemocratic countries the cover to affront us even worse, and to really whack us —
and their own journalists — with this bludgeon of fake news. CH: To what extent
is what happened, though, in part, just an unintended consequence, that the traditional
media that you worked in had this curation-mediation role, where certain norms were observed, certain stories would be rejected
because they weren’t credible, but now that the standard
for publication and for amplification is just interest, attention,
excitement, click, “Did it get clicked on?” “Send it out there!” and that’s what’s —
is that part of what’s caused the problem? CA: I think it’s a big problem,
and we saw this in the election of 2016, where the idea of “clickbait”
was very sexy and very attractive, and so all these fake news sites
and fake news items were not just haphazardly
and by happenstance being put out there, there’s been a whole industry
in the creation of fake news in parts of Eastern Europe, wherever, and you know, it’s planted
in real space and in cyberspace. So I think that, also, the ability of our technology
to proliferate this stuff at the speed of sound
or light, just about — we’ve never faced that before. And we’ve never faced
such a massive amount of information which is not curated by those whose profession
leads them to abide by the truth, to fact-check and to maintain a code of conduct
and a code of professional ethics. CH: Many people here may know
people who work at Facebook or Twitter and Google and so on. They all seem like great people
with good intention — let’s assume that. If you could speak with the leaders
of those companies, what would you say to them? CA: Well, you know what — I’m sure they are
incredibly well-intentioned, and they certainly developed
an unbelievable, game-changing system, where everybody’s connected
on this thing called Facebook. And they’ve created a massive
economy for themselves and an amazing amount of income. I would just say, “Guys, you know, it’s time
to wake up and smell the coffee and look at what’s happening
to us right now.” Mark Zuckerberg wants to create
a global community. I want to know: What is that global
community going to look like? I want to know where the codes
of conduct actually are. Mark Zuckerberg said — and I don’t blame him,
he probably believed this — that it was crazy to think that the Russians or anybody else
could be tinkering and messing around with this avenue. And what have we just learned
in the last few weeks? That, actually, there has been
a major problem in that regard, and now they’re having to investigate it
and figure it out. Yes, they’re trying to do
what they can now to prevent the rise of fake news, but, you know, it went pretty unrestricted
for a long, long time. So I guess I would say, you know, you guys are brilliant at technology; let’s figure out another algorithm. Can we not? CH: An algorithm that includes
journalistic investigation — CA: I don’t really know how they do it,
but somehow, you know — filter out the crap! (Laughter) And not just the unintentional — (Applause) but the deliberate lies that are planted by people who’ve been doing this
as a matter of warfare for decades. The Soviets, the Russians — they are the masters of war
by other means, of hybrid warfare. And this is a — this is what they’ve decided to do. It worked in the United States, it didn’t work in France, it hasn’t worked in Germany. During the elections there,
where they’ve tried to interfere, the president of France
right now, Emmanuel Macron, took a very tough stand
and confronted it head on, as did Angela Merkel. CH: There’s some hope to be had
from some of this, isn’t there? That the world learns. We get fooled once, maybe we get fooled again, but maybe not the third time. Is that true? CA: I mean, let’s hope. But I think in this regard that so much
of it is also about technology, that the technology has to also be given
some kind of moral compass. I know I’m talking nonsense,
but you know what I mean. CH: We need a filter-the-crap algorithm
with a moral compass — CA: There you go. CH: I think that’s good. CA: No — “moral technology.” We all have moral compasses —
moral technology. CH: I think that’s a great challenge.
CA: You know what I mean. CH: Talk just a minute about leadership. You’ve had a chance to speak
with so many people across the world. I think for some of us — I speak for myself,
I don’t know if others feel this — there’s kind of been a disappointment of: Where are the leaders? So many of us have been disappointed — Aung San Suu Kyi,
what’s happened recently, it’s like, “No! Another one
bites the dust.” You know, it’s heartbreaking. (Laughter) Who have you met who you have been
impressed by, inspired by? CA: Well, you talk about
the world in crisis, which is absolutely true, and those of us who spend our whole lives
immersed in this crisis — I mean, we’re all on the verge
of a nervous breakdown. So it’s pretty stressful right now. And you’re right — there is this perceived and actual
vacuum of leadership, and it’s not me saying it,
I ask all these — whoever I’m talking to,
I ask about leadership. I was speaking to the outgoing
president of Liberia today, [Ellen Johnson Sirleaf,] who — (Applause) in three weeks’ time, will be one of the very rare
heads of an African country who actually abides by the constitution and gives up power
after her prescribed term. She has said she wants
to do that as a lesson. But when I asked her about leadership, and I gave a quick-fire round
of certain names, I presented her with the name
of the new French president, Emmanuel Macron. And she said — I said, “So what do you think
when I say his name?” And she said, “Shaping up potentially to be a leader to fill our current
leadership vacuum.” I thought that was really interesting. Yesterday, I happened to have
an interview with him. I’m very proud to say, I got his first international interview.
It was great. It was yesterday. And I was really impressed. I don’t know whether I should be
saying that in an open forum, but I was really impressed. (Laughter) And it could be just because
it was his first interview, but — I asked questions,
and you know what? He answered them! (Laughter) (Applause) There was no spin, there was no wiggle and waggle, there was no spend-five-minutes-
to-come-back-to-the-point. I didn’t have to keep interrupting, which I’ve become rather
renowned for doing, because I want people
to answer the question. And he answered me, and it was pretty interesting. And he said — CH: Tell me what he said. CA: No, no, you go ahead. CH: You’re the interrupter,
I’m the listener. CA: No, no, go ahead. CH: What’d he say? CA: OK. You’ve talked about
nationalism and tribalism here today. I asked him, “How did you have the guts
to confront the prevailing winds of anti-globalization,
nationalism, populism when you can see what happened in Brexit, when you could see what happened
in the United States and what might have happened
in many European elections at the beginning of 2017?” And he said, “For me, nationalism means war. We have seen it before, we have lived through it before
on my continent, and I am very clear about that.” So he was not going to,
just for political expediency, embrace the, kind of, lowest
common denominator that had been embraced
in other political elections. And he stood against Marine Le Pen,
who is a very dangerous woman. CH: Last question for you, Christiane. TED is about ideas worth spreading. If you could plant one idea
into the minds of everyone here, what would that be? CA: I would say really be careful
where you get your information from; really take responsibility
for what you read, listen to and watch; make sure that you go to the trusted
brands to get your main information, no matter whether you have
a wide, eclectic intake, really stick with the brand
names that you know, because in this world right now,
at this moment right now, our crises, our challenges,
our problems are so severe, that unless we are all engaged
as global citizens who appreciate the truth, who understand science,
empirical evidence and facts, then we are just simply
going to be wandering along to a potential catastrophe. So I would say, the truth, and then I would come back
to Emmanuel Macron and talk about love. I would say that there’s not
enough love going around. And I asked him to tell me about love. I said, “You know, your marriage
is the subject of global obsession.” (Laughter) “Can you tell me about love? What does it mean to you?” I’ve never asked a president
or an elected leader about love. I thought I’d try it. And he said — you know,
he actually answered it. And he said, “I love my wife,
she is part of me, we’ve been together for decades.” But here’s where it really counted, what really stuck with me. He said, “It is so important for me
to have somebody at home who tells me the truth.” So you see, I brought it home.
It’s all about the truth. (Laughter) CH: So there you go. Truth and love.
Ideas worth spreading. Christiane Amanpour, thank you
so much. That was great. (Applause) CA: Thank you.
CH: That was really lovely. (Applause) CA: Thank you.

100 thoughts on “How to seek truth in the era of fake news | Christiane Amanpour

  1. This woman is not courageous, she's a well paid propagandist. When the picture came out of Omran, the little boy covered in dust in Syria, she had an interview with Sergei Lavrov where she basically blames Russia and Syria for the bombing without a shred of evidence. But months later when the boys father came out publicly speaking of the bombing, he said it was not the Russians or the Syrian Arab Army who were responsible for the attack, it was the western supported terrorist mercenaries. The boy Omran was safe and happy still living in Aleppo, as the video showed. But not a word or follow up was given by Mrs Amanpour, because all she is is a mouthpiece for the US military industrial complex, and if she ever did tell the truth, she wouldn't have a job.

  2. Shame on you Ted Talk.

    This was an obvious propaganda talk.

    Only trust Main Media. What B.S.

    Even the world most renoun so called non-biased for the people run by the people BBC, was known to cover up Jimmy Savile pedephile.
    Whether you like him or hate him, Donald Trump was not given the same media exposure as the corrupt Crooked Hillary. Hillary was given a free ride by the media for all the obvious reasons.
    And for the Russian scandal. What about the Clinton obvious illegal election scandals.

    And as for the Casting couch scandals? As if the reporters have not known about this for years. They have been complisit and is but of the problem.

    And you wonder why Fake media is gaining momentum.

    After watching this Christiane Amanpour and Ted Talks is part of this Fake News.

  3. I used to have such respect for her but she has lost a huge of that right here & now. Is she claiming that CNN is actually fact checking and not spreading propaganda to the highest bidder?? What about the CNN whistleblower? Amber Lyon? You know the young woman who did an entire report on what was going on over in Bahrain in 2011….the one that the Bahrain govt along with the Obama administration buried in some deep hole??? Oh no. Because u had ethics 25 years ago means we should listen to you today. Just freaking sad & truly disgusting.

    I wonder if she is interested in what George Soros’ globalist world will look like when he’s done toppling Democracies. Oh I better be quiet. We don’t talk about the Puppetmaster do we??

  4. planet is run by aliens and thats the truth..illumiati masons skull&bones are satanic demon worshiping elit of this world

  5. Nice talk by christiane amanpour. Proliferation of fake news is also a problem in our country (the philippines) and the saddest thing is, it is being spread "by a blogger" of the government.

  6. Instead of filtering fake news through a censorign filter, we have to use a quoting-function in every Social Media System, so that every comment that claims anything has to reveal its sources!

  7. The media is now considered open relative to 20 years ago. This new media presents various amounts of information from different sources to the consumer. It now remains for the consumer to decide, for better or for ill, which information to home in on. There is no true oracle in the sense of the word. There never has. I feel the state of the media is simply a reflection of the human condition — namely confounding contradictions and contrasts all bound into one.

  8. Fake news has been around since the time people started to communicate, if you think fake news is something new i feel sorry for you 🙂

  9. TED lives in the future, not in the past as many sad grumpy old white people in the US do. Calling the mainstream media names does not change the fact that it reports the facts, although some of those facts will be irritating to old, grumpy white people 🙂

  10. Again, russians are everywhere trying to break down global US hegemony …It's better to find the enemy in your own country…

  11. It really is kind of bizarre to hear the Amanpour interviewed about fake news! Why not invite Pinocchio itself?

  12. Not sure if I want to trust Christiane Amanpour either. If she survived three decades there must be a reason, the powers want her to pass on their message or fake news.

  13. Well all started well, but somewhere in the middle of the interview, clear message was sent that eastern countries and Russia are masters of evil fake news and misinformation. Well, so much for not being bias as a regarded professional. Definitely CNN government sponsored station school. The truth is that unless public gets proper historical information about the issues it will be hard to find the truth. Good thing to remember is that victors rewrite the history as it fits their needs. This goes back to ancient Egypt and it is very true today. My advice is to listen to different sides to the story from different sources. Stay away from government sponsored media platform stations. Truth lies somewhere in the middle. Worth noting is that we really do not have a democracy anymore anywhere. Everything is sold, bought, planned ahead by corporate world which controls average person's opinion. We all need to start thinking for ourselves, start using our minds and stay away from distractions.

  14. "…we journalists, who only seek the truth, I mean, that is our mission, we go around the world looking for the truth in prder to be everybody's eyes ans ears…" She makes some pretty astonishkng assumptions here. She talks as though there is no bias in the media. Both right and left media are massively biased and that is how we get fake news on both sides of a story.

  15. That's why I go into science, it has to be proven, has to be recreated in my own laboratory. Truth is always the same, a century ago and now, in USA or in Indonesia, wherever and whenever it is, science has to be proven. Once it fails, it's no longer science.

  16. Reading these comments the Fox news trolls and the russian troll farms are out. All haters can do is hate. Have a good time. It's your sad pathetic life

  17. The opposite side of the President's position it amazes me that she is taking this stance The internet is not helping and is in fact hurting us come now!

  18. Almost all of Mainstream Media show news which are selective and much of the reality never reaches the consumer as they are either Funded/Bribed/Auctioned/Sold by/to the Political Parties/Syndicates/Faulters/Mafia which are affected by the news in any way or which have vested interest in manipulating it in some way.

  19. Oh My God. Unbelievable! Who is here to speak about fake news and objectivity??

    Your channel just lost all credibility.

  20. To think of it.. she actually might be brilliant at what she does and thus believes everything she says.
    However it's quite ironic to hear this somebody speak out about fake information while spreading it herself.
    Here's a lesson- no matter in what regard you hold a person, one is always swayed towards their own beliefs, which is confirmation bias.

  21. Asking journalists about fake news. The very people who allign with views of the private donors, politicians and personal agendas of the companies they work for. And this is unbiased view?

  22. "the technology has to also be given some kind of moral compass, I know I'm talking nonsense, but you know what I mean" I don't know what she means, unless she means having censorship and someone deciding what speech is and is not acceptable. Who decides what is and isn't fake news?

  23. Sounds like she’s fine with fake news. She’s just offended that someone’s finally calling them out on it. Well, that sure says allot about her character.

  24. I think we need to seek truth out, reflect on it, and apply it.

  25. They are with the truth :)). This is journalism… What you are doing.. What you are doing in my country. They are the CNN with the apple of truth 🙂

  26. Yeah. This is not the TED Talk I was hoping for. Bummer. I shut it off at 4 minutes. Just because there is a consensus does not make something truth. Sorry. Truth goes much deeper than that. Just like Jack Nicolson said in A Few Good Men , "you can't handle the truth!" We as humans avoid the real truth because we cannot handle it.

  27. Amanpout – does the media misrepresent TrumP ?   could you be honest about that?I believe there are some media personalities who give fake news!!!!

  28. you will never convince me that the media is liberal and does create fake news. News medias will put spin on a news article.

  29. Amanpour -for 6 months be a conservative and only watch Fox news, but not Hannity.  Then go back to CNN, CBS, and ABS on cable.  Of course you would have to honestly change to a conservative for this to work.

  30. Once the only voice was that of the powerful which was the fake news of their choice. The ones doing OK in that system now feel very uncomfortable. The country that has interfered in the elections of more countries than any other in history is now getting some of their own medicine. Kama

  31. Christian Amanpour was my favorite journalist but after interview with RT journalist Annisa then the truth about her revealed also she must explain her story about Aleppo boy…check the videos of those 2 example. Both news are fake news created by her..

  32. Where were you, Christiane Amanpour, when "the world's most powerful" (as you say) USA & NATO bombarded the innocent handful of Serbian people on Balkans in 1999 , the war crime shamefully referred to as "The Angel of Mercy" by NATO – have you CNN people been objective back then and NOT fake too??! Really…this is ridiculous. Both Serbs and Bosnian Muslims are purposefully targeted as victims, and fed with hatred for years and years back before it all happened. And why?! Geographically they are in the way of someone "more important and powerful". They like it when there is chaos in Balkan. That's why the terrorist organization KLA created an artificial state of Kosovo, which is really just an excuse for their government to manipulate with citizens, and perform their crimes like selling drug, prostitution and trading ( with abducted Serbian) body organs! Those "powerful countries" you speak of are responsible for the genocide, not smaller nations. CNN and its "objectivity"!! LMAOO

  33. Someone who kill and hijack the true and bring the lie into the market talking about true!!!!
    Someone who is not serving free and independent media who is working for certain people for certain amount of money talking about true. Shameful! !!!!

  34. And thank you for that Amanpour, it motivates me more to contradict those tyrants. It's a really mind torturing, devastating and it's a battle (seriously, TOUGH, VERY TOUGH)of ME vs TECHNOLOGY VS HUMANOID, to be fair enough for the ACCOMPLICES, I'VE LEARNED A LOT, even to the point I been cat calling as CRAZY one, coz of out of nowhere opinion, and eventually I used it as my username, am sorry guys but I think 007 is a MISSION that can be POSSIBLY ACCOMPLISH. Shoutout to TO THIS TWO HANDSOME MR. BONDS, LETS TRY TO PASS YOUR TITLE, FOR NOW TRY GIRL POWER, JESSICA ALBA IS THE BEST TO BE THE FIRST MRS. BOND. Hehehe.. Peace!

    P.S. I'll try to share my references, still gathering and doing some notes. ☺☺☺

  35. Because news usually reflect an opinion and not a fact. Thus news then wouldnt it always be 'fake' then. If we consider only facts as real then wouldnt almost all news be fake since they always reflect an opinion be it from the journalist or the news agency it comes from.

    However when it boils down to authenticity, who then can challenge Amanpour's authenticity but Amanpour herself. It is her opinion and her ideas and her experience. It is true to herself so who then can challenge her unless u know and understand her opinions better than herself.

    I an not defending her but simply stating my opinion. My opinion isnt a fact. Its an opinion just as how most news articles are, whwther obvious or not they always perpetuate the subtle if not obvious opinion of the writer.

  36. I am routinely astonished at the arrogance of journalists who seem to think we are all stupid beyond belief. No, it is not Donald Trump which erodes my faith in mainstream media. Donald Trump is an obvious con artist. What erodes my trust in media is the incessant stream of lies and misleading framing.

  37. Fake news and propaganda has existed for thousands of years, well before the existence of the internet. So I don't think Christiane Amanpour should be pointing the finger at social media. Look at many of the books and newspaper articles dating back throughout history that have told blatant lies or distorted the truth to support one side or another. Unfortunately journalists are as guilty as anyone else when it comes to spreading fake news.

  38. she is disgusting. i watched her show on pbs and just in five minutes i shocked by the brazen lies. she is totally dishonest and without credibility. she truly is the descendants of low character and backward thinker. pbs is not good by promoting and airing. i will never support pbs again as long as this Benedict Arnold is getting air time. maybe one day she will move back Egypt the land of no food or water or integrity.

  39. Coward woman high jacking the term 'Fake News' for her own liberal call for censorship cause. Listening to her in 2019 she is very wrong about 'Cuckholded' Emanula Macron…. Also, She is also saying go to your MSM for your main news source. Passage of time has painted this woman a FOOL!

  40. People have always know the media lies and spews propaganda. Thankfully Trump was finally the only one who had the guts to convince the people of that fact. So Journalists and pundits need to be truthful because they lie way too often. Finally the people are sick of it.

  41. Leadership! Turning a country around when the rest of the government and 1% fight himthe whole way. That is leadership. Intestinal fortitude Ya'll

  42. You are the lying talking head for the real elite liars and powers in a FASCIST nation and world.
    The mass media is ALL LIES for an agenda.
    Building 7 on 911 let's do a special news hour on how it fell. All 4 incidents on that day are questionable. You LIE for the drug called MONEY. 911 was and still is fake news.

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