Issue: How can we know what is true when it is difficult to tell fact from lies, when social media replicate unverified assertions and imagined truths a thousand-fold, when lies interfere with decision making, when popular opinion and democratic voting lead to answers that are unappealing or demonstrably wrong? History shows that propaganda can be based on lies masquerading as facts. Social media provide a new way to disseminate stories and amplify them, whether true or false. Confirmation bias is a quirk of human thinking that tends to make us more readily accept stories that confirm beliefs we already hold and reject those that challenge those beliefs. The consequences as we have seen can be catastrophic.
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