Expertise is expensive, conspiracies aren’t


I’ve been preoccupied again thinking about these:

  • Good journalism costs money, and journalists need to get paid.

  • Conspiracy theories, misinformation lies, and junk science can be (and are) generated and posted for free.

  • Such nonsense is easily manipulated by people with ulterior motives, and is corrosive to the health of our societies and democracies.

  • The primary business model of search engines and social media is to monetise free content.

  • Paywalls are the digital equivalent of buying a newspaper, but they run against the above business model, and therefore isn’t the content that gets organically or algorithmically disseminated.

I was of the firm belief that a technical solution existed for this, waiting to be discovered and implemented. But as with so many things, the real issue is business models, incentives, and structure. Those are meatspace issues.

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