But these concerns are largely tertiary to the disinformation question. Americans have become so focused on how tech companies handle voices we find distasteful, repugnant or dangerous. My sense is that this has happened because social media largely serves up a world of entertainment, news and sports. It also allows its users to believe that they are participating in activism by posting about everything from police brutality to the Oscars, especially when their sentiments are part of a groundswell of opinion. As a result, online outrage will almost always be about things that are consumed online, like Rogan’s podcast, actors and comedians who say something offensive and some supposedly salacious books that are being dubiously canceled by the online right.
The ecosystem is closed and, at this point, almost entirely self-referential. News media, entertainment and sports go in; outrage over news media, entertainment and sports comes out.
Within these parameters, does the fight over disinformation simply mark the limit of what we are willing to do in the name of change? Do we care deeply because we really believe that people are being led astray?