Ethical Dilemmas: What Happened to the Truth?

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“Once the grammar has been learned, writing is simply talking on paper and in time learning what not to say.”
– Beryl Bainbridge

Hello everyone! Today we are going to veer away from writing this week and talk about ethics. This is important for a writer, even though you may not consider it at first, whether you write fiction or non-fiction. The main point I want to discuss is the internet and how it has affected writers and how it has affected the truth.

Sometimes I have the urge to write something that is non-fiction, I want to teach the world something, but I find that I can’t get it across because everyone has claimed that anything can be faked. Now a days, the internet is where most writers do their research, but lately I have been noticing a problem. Where has the truth gone? Where have our ethics gone? Where have we gone?

The internet has provided us with many things, including an outlet to report true things, such as news stories and crimes (remember Shawshank Redemption?). The media use to be a place where the truth would come to light, but now it has been flipped backwards and there is no power in proof. We as writers are faced with an ethical dilemma: who do we trust and how do we write with proof? We must be careful to write the truth when it comes down to it and know what is fake.

“The most essential gift for a good writer is a built-in, shock-proof, shit-detector.”
– Ernest Hemingway

As a writer, I am always concerned with my writing. If I do not make sure that I fact check and write the truth, then, ethically, how can I sit here and say that I am right? We as writers must be aware that the power of proof is changing. Nothing is solid anymore. We as writers must make sure, to the fullest extent, that our writing is sound and is not weaving a web of lies.

This is an ongoing problem and we as writers need to be pure in our intentions and know (to the best of our fact checking abilities) that we have written the truth. We must do no harm.

“A writer is unfair to himself when he is unable to be hard on himself.”
– Marianne Moore

Want to Explore This Topic More? Check These Out!

Shannon Vallor – On Designing a More Ethical Internet
How the Internet Is Loosening Our Grip on the Truth
The Ethics of Fiction Writing

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