Fascism and conspiracy theories: The symptoms of broken communication

The lost practice of face-to-face communication has made the world a more extreme place.

  • The world was saner when we spoke face-to-face, argues John Cameron Mitchell. Not looking someone in the eye when you talk to them raises the potential for miscommunication and conflict.
  • Social media has been an incredible force for activism and human rights, but it's also negatively affected our relationship with the media. We are now bombarded 24/7 with news that either drives us to anger or apathy.
  • Sitting behind a screen makes polarization worse, and polarization is fertile ground for conspiracy theories and fascism, which Cameron describes as irrationally blaming someone else for your problems.
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Want to squelch fake news? Let the readers take charge

Study finds that readers are still the best judge of fake news and misinformation.

Would you like to rid the internet of false political news stories and misinformation? Then consider using — yes — crowdsourcing.

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Politics & Current Affairs

Opinion journalism keeps the lights on. But at what cost?

Opinion is more compelling than fact. That's tearing society apart.

  • Basic facts are up for debate, especially in the realm of science and politics. So which facts can you trust? Start by looking at trusted sources like Wikipedia, Snopes, and factcheck.org.
  • "If people with money don't start supporting fact-checking systems then fact-checking systems will become increasingly rarer," says Dreger.
  • Digital audiences are in the habit of sharing and reposting op-eds that agree with their existing opinions, rather than seeking out factual reporting. Opinion journalism makes money. Factual reporting makes less. That's a problem.
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  • A huge segment of America's population — the Baby Boom generation — is aging and will live longer than any American generation in history.
  • The story we read about in the news? Their drain on social services like Social Security and Medicare.
  • But increased longevity is a cause for celebration, says Ashton Applewhite, not doom and gloom.


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I invested in Facebook. By 2016, I couldn’t stay silent.

Why an early Facebook investor is now Facebook's biggest critic.

  • Investor Roger McNamee joined Facebook as an early investor when the company was just two years old.
  • In this video, he explains why he went from Facebook supporter to public critic, and why he came to write the book "Zucked: Waking Up to the Facebook Catastrophe".
  • The next billion dollars Facebook makes means nothing if it doesn't reform its practices, says McNamee.
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