Stephen Downes

Knowledge, Learning, Community

Subject matter networks

Feb 12, 2021

To protect yourself from disinformation and fake news you should determine whether the speaker is an authority on the subject. That's what a lot of digital literacy guides say. But it's wrong on two fronts. First, a lot of authorities are wrong, or worse, deceitful. And second, a lot of non-authorities are right. So how do you decide? The answer is to never trust just one source. That's how newspapers do it, or at least, are supposed to do it. As Harold Jarche argues in this post, it's better to rely on a network of voices on a given subject. The question is, how can you know the network is reliable? My response is to refer to the semantic condition for networks: diversity, autonomy, openness, interactivity. A network based on webs, not stars.

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Stephen Downes Stephen Downes, Casselman, Canada

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Last Updated: Dec 08, 2023 8:54 p.m.

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