Since “Fake News” Is All The Rage

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Yesterday I was listening to “All Things Considered” on the way to something more interesting.

The subject was “what are we doing to combat the kind of fake news that, we are told, affected the 2016 election”.

The guest – one Paul Barrett, an adjunct professor at NYU who lectures about election security for some reason or another – said that one thing that could help might be for social media companies (and, one might suppose, media companies in general) to “act more aggressively against provably false information”.

I couldn’t agree more, although I suspect that’s not the kind of cynical deception they’re thinking about.

Let’s start with sanctioning people who passed on Dakota County Attorney Jim Backstrom’s provably false claims about gun rights issues, especially proposals to reform self-defense laws – a trail of lies that continues today.

Professor Barrett also says individuals need to be more skeptical about what they read and see online. This is something no conservative in the Strib’s coverage area needs to be reminded about.