Information Disorder: Toward an interdisciplinary framework for research and policy making

Claire Wardle, Hossein Derakhshan, Shorenstein Center, Nov 05, 2017
Commentary by Stephen Downes
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In view of the epistemic crisis in the U.S. today this report on informaation disorders (109 page PDF) is a timely contribution. But I fear it does little better than identify the problem; the solutions are stale, sterile, and would be ineffective. The analysis is interesting: it proposes that media are being used not for the transmission of information, but rather the conduct of a ritual. "A ritual view of communication does not consider the act of reading a newspaper to be driven by the need for new information. Rather, it likens it to attending a church service. It’s a performance in which nothing is learned, but a particular view of the world is portrayed and confirmed." Or as McLuhan said of newspapers, "You get into them, like a warm bath." But the solutions they propose show no recognition of the consequenses of this analysis. Media collaboration, fatc-checking, metadata sharing, etc., will have no impact on the phenomenon. Via Michael Caulfield.

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