Misinformation is the symptom, not the disease

The new merchants of affirmation

We are more conscious than ever of the harms of misinformation for the common good. This concern is driven by a widespread understanding of misinformation as a public disease in need of an urgent cure. Against this picture, philosopher Daniel Williams argues that misinformation is often a symptom of a deeper public malaise -- and that debunking and censorship won't be the magic bullet that we're hoping for.


Since the United Kingdom’s Brexit vote and the election of Donald Trump in 2016, we have been living through an unprecedented societal panic about misinformation. Poll after poll demonstrates that the general public is highly fearful of fake news and misleading c

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