Fears of backfire effects are overblown, and advice to listen and interact still stands.
By Lee McIntyre, 5 August 2021
I was at the March for Science in Boston, Massachusetts, on 22 April 2017, as were many scientists.
About 70,000 of us descended on the Boston Common, a famous park in the city. We were there to stand up for facts and truth. Where are the crowds of scientists now?
Since then, harms from science denial have only increased: global suffering has grown owing to inaction on climate change, and COVID-19 infections have risen along with the scourge of vaccine scepticism.
I’ve been out there — I talked to flat-earthers at a convention in Denver, Colorado, and went to rural Pennsylvania to talk to coal miners about climate change — and I’ve asked my scientist friends to come with me.
No dice. “Those people just aren’t worth talking to,” they’ll say. “I wouldn’t make a difference anyway.”
That’s wrong, both factually and morally. Those people can and do change their minds, although it requires someone to put in the time to overcome distrust.
In a new Brookings Essay, Politico editor Susan Glasser chronicles how political reporting has changed over the course of her career and reflects on the state of independent journalism after the 2016 election.
Wonderful idea, whose time is perhaps just right (though I wish we’d had this *before* the election).. hopefully, this can be cloned and re-coded for all the major browsers…
Photo illustration by Slate. Photo by Medioimages/Photodisc.
“How It Works
Once you install the extension, as you scroll through your Facebook feed, stories that Slate has identified as fake news will be flagged with a red banner over the preview image, informing you that they’ve been debunked. What differentiates This Is Fake from some other, earlier experiments in fake-news prevention is that the banner links directly to an article from a reputable source that debunks the story in question, and it prompts the user to share the debunking as a comment on the offending post.”
You must be logged in to post a comment.