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Fact-checking may be important, but it won't help Americans learn to disagree better

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By Taylor Dotson

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This is better than most articles on this subject.

If the internet has been around in previous centuries, governments would have forced social media outlets to ban Martin Luther, Galileo, Baron d'Holbach, Charles Darwin and Rachel Carson for spreading misinformation. The #MeToo movement would have been stopped in its tracks, and every provocative thinker and dissident politician would have been kicked offline.

The idea that the state can determine what is true and false, and silence discussion and debate accordingly, is an enabler for dictatorship, imposing stasis on society with an iron fist. Unfortunately, impending EU laws are planning to do just that.

Politicians might like to stop and think what a demand for truth would mean for their campaigning. Or maybe not, as they would just give themselves a free pass to lie with impunity, before pulling on their jackboots to police everyone else. And they wonder why we don't trust them.

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Politicians might like to stop and think what a demand for truth would mean for their campaigning. Or maybe not, as they would just give themselves a free pass to lie with impunity, before pulling on their jackboots to police everyone else. 

I generally agree with what you posted. But I think many politicians, rather than getting their jackboots on, are just working out how to secure the next election. And that often involves simplistic statements for the media - e.g. vaccines good versus vaccines bad.

The "disagreement checks" idea in the article is interesting. But I'm not sure how it would work. I'd be more interested in something like an "uncertainty check". Serious scientific studies always point out the limitations of the research. Nothing is certain. But it seems many of the public like to be certain of things. I think it would be good to promote the idea of uncertainty more. Not sure, but the data indicates... etc. So anyone promoting any idea with absolute certainty would be doubted immediately.

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