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Right now there are 400,000 bots creating around 20% of all Internet chatter. How are we meant to determine the authority of the online content we read if there are now robots and non-humans generating such a large percent of it? In Episode 8, Howard Rheingold—critic, writer, teacher, and one of the earliest pioneers of the Internet—and Tom Serres discuss Fake News and the Real Politics of Technology. Howard has always been ten-years ahead of everyone else, and was writing about social media way back in the 90s. He has written various books on the cultural, social, and political implications of modern communication media, cementing his status as a leading thinker in social media. In this episode we look at the issues of fake news and Internet literacy. There are various things that have an effect on the way we experience tech, from the type of political environment we are into our own individual knowledge of certain technology. So the best way we can currently improve our use of tech and the Internet is to ensure we have the best fact-checking tools and sites at our disposal. But then, who’s fact-checking the fact-checking sites? Howard also discusses the need to control our own attention. As the web was created by people, the way we think of it affects how it evolves. If we only use the web as an echo chamber, we only reinforce our own opinions, which makes it incredibly difficult for people to look beyond what they believe. For the Internet to continue being valuable, we need to figure out how to give people the tools and desire to fact-check.

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