Lefty Yglesias Says Internet-Driven ‘Misinformation Crisis’ Is Fake

Maybe there isn’t a misinformation crisis after all. 

Even lefty journalist Matthew Yglesias, a columnist at Bloomberg, wrote on his “Slow Boring” blog that there is no “misinformation crisis” on the internet.

Yglesias wrote that while there is “misinformation” on the internet, allegations that there is a crisis of “misinformation” are overblown.

“People are often misinformed about things,” he wrote. “Sometimes they obtain that bad information from false or misleading media coverage; sometimes that media coverage is deliberately false. And there’s a fine line between media coverage that seeks to frame issues appropriately and coverage that’s propagandistic.”

Yglesias stated that the internet allowed people to become more knowledgeable about current affairs and science.

“I do not think there is much evidence that misinformation has become more widespread, that this increase in misinformation is due to technological change, or that it is at the root of the political trends liberals are most angry about. If anything, people seem to be better-informed than in the past — which is what you would expect because our information technology has gotten better — and it is very hard to think of any cure for misinformation that would not be worse than the disease.”

Yglesias stated that there are no anti-vaccine sentiments and referred to the moment on TV when Elvis Presley got the polio vaccine. To encourage Americans to get the vaccine, he said.

“[I]n terms of the media, I think it’s much more likely that people are seeking out anti-vax content than that they are being brainwashed,” he wrote. “There is fundamentally no way anyone could be unaware that the bulk of public health and medical professionals say the vaccines are safe and effective. The anti-vax stance isn’t misinformed about this reality; it simply asserts that public health and medical professionals are bad and you shouldn’t listen to them.”

Yglesias shared worries that claims about a fake “misinformation” crisis could make it harder to discern the truth in the future.

 “I worry that misinformation panic could, over time, make discerning the actual truth harder.”

He ended by stating that people can be polarized because They are generally more educated than they were before, and not because of it.

“Polarization, in other words, is largely a question of people becoming more sophisticated about American politics…This creates a lot of very real problems for a political system that is not built to operate with highly organized, highly ideological political parties. But misinformation doesn’t seem to be a significant contributor to it. If anything, things are getting harder because information has gotten better.”

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