Blogging and political information: truth or truthiness?
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Does the blogosphere generate truth, or what Stephen Colbert calls ‘truthiness,’ facts or concepts one only wishes or believes were true? Bloggers and the mainstream media face the same difficulties if they wish to rely on the blogosphere as a generator of truth. First, both bloggers and media converge on a small number of key blogs as sources of information. But the proprietors of these elite blogs are likely to resist information that doesn’t conform to their existing attitudes and beliefs, precisely because they are already highly aware of politics. Second, blogs and blog readers are likely to separate themselves into smaller networks according to their particular tastes. However, under some circumstances the blogosphere may still approximate a parallel processing statistical estimator of the truth with ‘nice’ properties. The key to this outcome is that judgments are independent, and that problems of polarization are mitigated.
KeywordsTruth Truthiness Blogs US politics Hayek
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