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Tuesday, September 13, 2016

No one gives a shit about your stinkin' facts

From Wired:
DONALD TRUMP DID not oppose the war in Iraq. That’s a fact, established by the cadre of professionals who have taken up the task of determining what’s true. They are the fact-checkers, and their ranks are growing.

Over the last decade, and since the last election especially, weighing the veracity of politicians’ statements has become one of journalism’s hottest cottage industries. Social media lets journalists and ordinary citizens call out politicians’ lies in real time. Accuracy activists have more ways than ever to shine a veracious light on the scourge of misinformation. At the same time, digital platforms provide more efficient vectors than ever for falsehoods to spread. It’s the fact-checkers’ paradox: even as they gain new powers to hold politicians accountable, lies are more persistent than ever.

Fact-checkers must also contend with an irony that would demoralize less tenacious truth-squadders. When presented with facts that contradict their worldview, the most informed partisans may be the ones least likely to change their minds. The facts, it turns out, don’t just reflect the world as it is. People pick and choose among them to define who they are...

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