The American citizen currently enjoys greater access to information than any average person in human history. But you wouldn’t know that from reading The New York Times, Buzzfeed or any other of the many outlets busying themselves calling for the administration, in concert with corporations, to censor fake news stories.
The problem, they say, is that with this real and dramatically increased access to information, we have seen a real and dramatic uptick in access to false information. This much, we can all agree on. But then, many say, this uptick in false information requires a regime of corporate or government censorship they had not before trumpeted. That is where we disagree.
Because they have identified an ancient problem — misinformation — and claimed that in the modern day we are susceptible to this more than before, despite the exact opposite being the case.
“Over the last week, two of the world’s biggest internet companies have faced mounting criticism over how fake news on their sites may have influenced the presidential election’s outcome,” The New York Times reported just a week after the election, ginning up pressure to ban news deemed fake.
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