The Internet has revolutionized the information ecosystem, for consumers and producers alike. With barriers to entry near zero, anyone can be a publisher and aspire to a national or global audience. As consumers, we have 24/7 access to a vastly expanded menu of fact, speculation, fabrication and opinion.
In most ways, this has been an enormous boon to our political life. It has also brought the challenges of fake news and the fragmentation of readers inside competing “filter bubbles” that feed them only news that supports their world views. Powerful forces, not least our new president, are deliberately eroding our fundamental belief that there are such things as facts or truths that stand on their own.
What is “fake news,” exactly? Does the term mean only one thing? Who gets to decide? How could it be combated? Should goverments or the private gatekeepers of the Internet even try?
This conversation will parse those questions with a focus on practical steps for the common good. We will be working through principles and methods to guide people of good faith—journalists and readers alike—in discovering, distinguishing, verifying and defending truthful accounts of the world as it is – and not as self-interested forces wish us to believe.
Stick around afterwards for wine, cheese, and mingling!
- Samuel Adler-Bell, Policy Associate, The Century Foundation
- Clio Chang, Staff Writer, The New Republic
- Barton Gellman, Senior Fellow, The Century Foundation
About this series:
Think. Drink. Mingle. is back for its third year! This summer, The Century Foundation will host a three-part panel series aimed at bringing together young professionals working in NYC. This year our events focus on what it means to be an everyday activist in today’s political climate. Each event will explore the role that everyday citizens can play in making change a reality, even if they’re not full-time activists.