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Fake news is a threat to humanity, but scientists may have a solution

Posted on December 27th, 2017 at 18:23 by John Sinteur in category: News -- Write a comment


We now have influential partisan media outlets that help people believe what they want to believe, irrespective of factual accuracy. Inconvenient facts are labeled “fake news” and disregarded. In a nutshell, we no longer inhabit a shared reality, and as a result, major problems are going unaddressed because a segment of Americans rejects inconvenient truths.


However, in their follow-up paper addressing and summarizing the 9 responses to their original study, the authors note that technocognition faces one additional major obstacle:

This obstacle is the gorilla in the room: Policy making in the United States is largely independent of the public’s wishes but serves the interests of economic elites.

To illustrate this point, they plot data from a 2014 study by Martin Gilens and Benjamin Page. The study concluded:

When a majority of citizens disagrees with economic elites and/or with organized interests, they generally lose. Moreover, because of the strong status quo bias built into the U.S. political system, even when fairly large majorities of Americans favor policy change, they generally do not get it…we believe that if policymaking is dominated by powerful business organizations and a small number of affluent Americans, then America’s claims to being a democratic society are seriously threatened.

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