A grain of truth in a sandstorm of distortions

My attempts to engage with the idea that facts are determined by one’s world view and show that world view as well as perspective can indeed bias us in what facts we look at and which ones we set aside were upended with the onslaught of so-called fake news. The NYT had a long article on the topic, which Facebook, Twitter, and others are now concerned about due to claims that such distortions and outright lies may have affected the election’s outcome. My own foray into this involved the question of the extent of voter fraud. It took my correspondent a few seconds to come up with organizations which laid out a case for enough voter fraud to trigger drastic efforts of suppression. What actually resulted was voter suppression, but in addition to that, what struck me was my correspondent’s assurance that any site he went to that said there was indeed a good deal of voter fraud to worry about absolved him of responsibility to examine what I foolishly call facts, like counting the case of actual voter fraud, breaking them down into categories like in-person voter fraud versus errors on mail-in ballots, and so forth.
In the face of millions of people tweeting and retweeting nonsense, a lonely voice asking for facts is shouted down.

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