Shaping and curling my moustache gives me a subtle, yet intoxicating air of intelligence.
That's what I think. That's my opinion.
The fact is that I shape and curl my moustache.
My wife thinks that I look like a complete tit when I groom my tache. That's her opinion. The fact hasn't changed - I'm still doing it.
Yet, if I was so inclined, I could claim (wrongly) that my wife was peddling fake news. I could be up in arms about the injustice of her incorrect statement. I look fabulous with my freshly coiffured lip hair, and anyone claiming otherwise is sewing filthy lies.
Today I read a fascinating article on how one of the most politically balanced news outlets, AP, is in fact the greatest provider of news on Facebook - a platform that has been dragged across the coals for being a hotbed of fake news.
What AP does is provide the backbone of the story. The facts, the figures and the sensible reporting. What thousands of other news outlets, bloggers and commentators then do is take this backbone and add whatever flesh to the bones they see fit. They dress up the story in a way that suits their beliefs, their opinions.
It's not fake news, it's rhetoric, it's bias, it's opinion.
It's useful to see that the news machine behind Facebook is as excellent an organisation as the Associated Press.
What we need now is a level of intelligence amongst audiences to know how to determine fact vs opinion.
Like fine facial hair management, it's a skill, I'm pretty sure, we used to have and needs resurrecting.
Headlines have never been as important as they are now in this mobile-first media era, and every client of the AP can create its own alluring title for the same agency article. Thus a piece on a new book about millennials that carried the original AP headline “New book urges parents to reorder life for the sake of the kids” was repositioned by the Miami Herald publisher, McClatchy Group, to the more judgmental “Why kids today are out of shape, disrespectful – and in charge.” The revised headline was a viral hit, earning 330,000 social interactions across McClatchy’s portfolio of titles.