Analysis & Opinions - The Washington Post

How to Protect Against Fake 'Facts'

| Nov. 23, 2017

Amid the slithering mess of problems that emerged in 2017, the one that bothers me most is that people don’t seem to know what’s true anymore. “Facts” this year got put in quotation marks.

All the other political difficulties of the Donald Trump era are subsumed in this one. If we aren’t sure what’s true, how can we act to make things better? If we don’t know where we are on the map, how do we know which way to move? Democracy assumes a well-informed citizenry that argues about solutions — not about facts.

We can all choose our favorite examples of America’s increasing difficulty in agreeing about evidence: the disdain for science among climate-change skeptics; the refusal to believe allegations about people we like, and the overeagerness to denounce those we don’t like; the way in which political polarization has spread into every area of our common life — including sports.

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For Academic Citation: Ignatius, David.“How to Protect Against Fake 'Facts'.” The Washington Post, November 23, 2017.

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