Oct 19, 2017

The future of Fake News

Noah Berger / AP

Experts are evenly split over whether the problem of fake news will get better or worse in the future, according to a new Pew Research survey of more than 1,100 experts. One thing they tend to agree on: investing in good journalism and teaching the public how to decipher false information is an important part of overcoming the problem.

Why it matters: "There's a sense that there's an arms race between the good and bad in this situation," Lee Raine, one of the lead researchers, told Axios. He pointed out that those who believe that human nature tends to be evil were more skeptical of technology and humans overcoming fake news, while those who are more optimistic about human nature saw technology as a means for enabling the good of humanity.

There were 5 major themes among the answers Pew Research received:

  1. Human beings will always find ways to use technology for their own malicious agendas.
  2. New technology will just present its own, new problems that will have to be resolved and won't solve the fake news dilemma.
  3. Technology will help label, filter or ban fake news, which will alert the public to the danger.
  4. Humans have always rallied to find a solution to problems like this, and they will again.
  5. We need good journalism to be prioritized.

Read quotes from the experts in the full report, here.

Go deeper

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 5 p.m. ET: 652,079 — Total deaths: 30,438 — Total recoveries: 137,319.
  2. U.S.: Leads the world in cases. Total confirmed cases as of 4 p.m. ET: 116,505 — Total deaths: 1,925 — Total recoveries: 921.
  3. Federal government latest: President Trump is considering a quarantine on New York, parts of New Jersey and Connecticut. He signed a $2 trillion stimulus bill to give businesses and U.S. workers financial relief.
  4. State updates: Alaska is latest state to issue a stay-at-home order — New York is trying to nearly triple its hospital capacity in less than a month and has moved its presidential primary to June 23. Some Midwestern swing voters that supported Trump's handling of the virus less than two weeks ago are now balking at his call for the U.S. to be "opened up" by Easter.
  5. World updates: In Spain, over 1,400 people were confirmed dead between Thursday to Saturday.
  6. 🚀 Space updates: OneWeb filed for bankruptcy amid the novel coronavirus pandemic.
  7. Hollywood: Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson have returned to U.S. after being treated for coronavirus.
  8. What should I do? Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk
  9. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

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