As a preliminary matter, one really has to have a disturbed mind to compare fake news (in French, it is called an “infox”), with art. Fake news is presented as an objective truth, an external view of the world. Fake news is an attempt to make a public opinion believe that an inaccurate fact is true, while serving a political cause. For example, in order to help a candidate in an election, or to harm a side in a referendum; or to question a scientific truth, for the greater benefit of a Church or a party. Therefore, fake news are the cancers of democracy, the enemies of progress and knowledge; and they bring misfortune to all people who believe in it.
In contrast, art does not claim to represent the truth. It rather provides a subjective vision of the world, starting with the point of view of an artist or an author, who is generally identified, or at least claimed to be anonymous; unlike fake news, which can only be credible if, precisely, it can appear as a fact, without an author, and not a creation of the mind. Finally, unlike fake news, the purpose of art is not to deceive, divert, trigger the anger of those who observe it, but to elevate, or at least distract.
Additionally, in order to distinguish fake news from art, it is first necessary to find out whether it claims to be an objective manifestation of the truth; if so, it is not art. Then we have to look and see if we can find its author; if someone claims its authorship, it is neither information nor fake news.
However, fake news and art also have a lot in common: they both tell the story of the world, in a subjective way, by imitating it closely enough without being confused with it. Moreover, a work of art, like fake news, is always, in a certain sense, a lie and a travesty of reality. Even when she wants to be hyper realistic. And in some cases, a fake news can also be considered a work of art.
Thus, for example, the radio show announcing in the greatest detail the arrival of the Martians in the streets of New York, which was broadcasted live in the United States on October 30, 1938, was fake news, because it came out entirely from the imagination of HG Wells, the author of the novel “The War of the Worlds,” and that of Orson Welles, the author of, among other masterpieces, “Citizen Kane.” Today, this show is unanimously considered as an exceptional work of art, both by the terrifying account of the invasion and by the performance it represented, once the authors had admitted that what they were telling was not a manifestation of the truth. This program was even a double fake news because the print media claimed that it had triggered a panic and suicides, which was not true, but to discredit this new media that was competing with them. Fake news in the fake news…
If any work of art is by nature fake news, then any fake news can hope to become a work of art, if it assumes itself as such, if it ceases to claim to be information, if its purpose is not to deceive or to do harm, but to make people think, be entertained or at least make them laugh.
Unless the title sentence of this article is itself fake news and that, in this shifting world, where no one dares to clearly tell the truth anymore, placing fake news in the abyss is the best way to get rid of it.