One of the growing issues of our time, which shows no sign of slowing down and no sign of being resolved is the growing trend of ‘fake news’.

An article this week posted on the BBC website described it as an issue “too important to ignore” and clearly identified three distinct types of fake news:

1)    False information deliberately circulated by those who have scant regard for the truth to further and advance a cause.

2)    False information that is circulated who do not realise the information being circulated is false.

3)    Information that is not fake but is instead dismissed as fake by people who do not wish to acknowledge and wish to silence.

Despite being a staunch supporter of the free press and eternally grateful for our freedom of speech, I too believe this has become an important issue too big to ignore which is slowly defining our generation.

The thirst for 24-hour news cycles combined with the unstoppable force that is social media is making ‘fake news’ the norm and now in my opinion threatens our daily lives, our crucial services and significantly, our values.

The farewell speech delivered by Barack Obama last week, reminded me of my responsibility as an individual to be tolerant of others and to rise above the apathy and chaos groups and individuals continuously look to cause. But it also reminded me that we should not shy away from our problems and that we should be able to continue to enjoy our liberty and confront this important issue at the same time.

While our politicians grapple with what to do and how to deal with this universally acknowledged problem, my answer to any government and anyone effected by ‘fake news’ is not to ignore it but to combat it. For us to combat it, businesses, public services, individuals and campaigns cannot afford to use emotion and threats but should instead be utilising technology, evidence and intelligence to dispel the myths.

The endless cycle of ‘fake news’ will never disappear due to the nature of our culture, media and society but thanks to advanced analytics, capable of processing big data and producing reliable and secure outputs, the big ‘fake news’ stories can be busted long before becoming ‘news’. Fact will always overrule fantasy.

Cloud intelligent solutions from Microsoft could be the difference between a hospital acquiring a reputation for poor care and a hospital maintaining its reputation for being clinically safe; a council accused of negligence, threatened with legal action versus it being recognised for tackling an inefficient workforce stuck to their desk and transforming it into a mobile workforce delivering care in the community; or a Police force increasing council tax and watching the rate of crime rise versus a police force pre-empting criminal activity, coordinating resources and making smarter decisions based on patterns and trends of behaviour.

Spinning all of that around, this piece should also not be lost on those who are underperforming and under delivering for us. The services out there that are failing us, should be harnessing technology and maximising advanced analytics to help shine a light on their problems and start working with a partner like risual to combat the complex and difficult struggles we know are being faced on a day to day, month to month and year to year basis.

I firmly believe this important issue will not go away but cloud solutions from Microsoft and partners like risual can embed technology and utilise it as a solution to help tackle the problem and help safeguard our crucial services and protect our values.