The Mass Transportation era began when we went from horse and buggy to automobiles. It gave us new freedom. And it gave us something rather less welcome: a huge increase in deadly traffic accidents.
The Mass Information age is now upon us. It likewise opens up new realms. It likewise brings us "information accidents".
Of course, popular misconceptions of the physical world did not wait for the invention of the Internet to come into existence. Nor did conspiracy theories. Or propaganda. All have robust histories.
But as with fast cars and fatalities, fast-flowing information is increasing the incidence and intensity of each of these information pile-ups. Like it or not, mass propaganda is not just for the history books. We are in fact seeing its historical resurgence. You thought goofy conspiracy theories were also a thing of the past? Hah! Hardly. Flat-earthers? Still around, in seemingly infinite varieties, and now equipped with worldwide reach.
Curtailing free speech is out of the question.
With this in mind, what are the solutions?
The link below is to an effort by the Knight Foundation to answer this question. Offer your thoughts! Who knows where the answers lie...
...after all, on a mile-per-mile basis automobile safety has been improving steadily since the days of the Model-T as the result of many small measures: agreeing to drive on one side of the road was among the most significant! But even this, so sensible in hindsight, met deep resistance and took years to implement. Are we missing the equivalent to sticking to one side of the road for the Mass Information era?
It is a humbling thought, no?
[Above word count: 272]