Wednesday, November 15, 2023

Death of the Experts?

(Image created by A.I. DALL-E/Bing)

We've designed the internet to spread misinformation as we've prioritized "views" over "facts". The lifeblood of an influencer is in "views" which means that they may not necessarily fact-check everything they promote. They are likely to make decisions based on views more so than anything else.

Experts are people that have acquired expertise via credible sources while influencers are people that exert an expertise they may not have. Influencers builds trust with their audiences which allows them to be more believable in their message than an unknown expert.

"Why would I believe you, an expert that I don't know, when mamajojo on youtube, whom I've watched for years, is saying something different?"

We need to fix this problem on multiple fronts:
  • We need a change in the internet algorithm to minimize the spread of misinformation.
    • While free speech doesn't allow us to censor misinformation, do we really need to put it on the front page?
  • We need influencers to fact-check their messages.
  • We need viewers to understand that what they see online isn't necessarily true and may just exist for the sake of generating views.
  • We need everyone to prioritize facts over sensationalism. 
Misinformation isn't an easy problem to fix as facts tend to be boring. When a journalist writes something, he'll put things in his work to shock the audience as this is what generates money. We need to find a balance and right now it feels like the scale is too much on the side of misinformation.

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