For the most part, pessimism about the likely effectiveness of regulation or counteroffensives—not to mention their feasibility—leads to one consistent, repeated recommendation: Let’s make voters more resistant to disinformation by strengthening digital literacy…But building strong critical thinking skills and smarter citizens is a long-term project—one that is hardly likely to enjoy continued support from governments who are elected on the basis of public ignorance. Democracy is on fire now. Fake news is a problem we can’t wait a generation to fix.
How can we address fake news vulnerability now? I delve into the latest research on misinformation and social media contagion in my latest Digital Voyage column for JSTOR Daily.