Disinformation wants to be free

'Information wants to be free'1 is a glib lie with horrible consequences. Let's take the example of journalism.

Journalists need to make a living. Since what they produce is information, in the form of journalism, they need to get paid for the production of it, somehow. The information they create is, in fact, not free to create, and when people refuse to pay for it this means that the journalists don't get paid for what they do.

Well, perhaps they can get paid some other way? Perhaps, for instance, someone will pay them to create material which suits the purposes of the person paying them. For instance perhaps large fossil fuel companies could pay them to produce material which suits their interests? Or maybe other groups with very deep pockets – other large corporations, well-funded politicians, the arms industry, or anyone else who has a need for material which represents their interests – could fund the production of such material?

How's that working out?

Information, in fact, wants to be paid for by the people who benefit from it. Disinformation is what wants to be free.

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