According to the newly released Edelman Trust Barometer, the U.S. is currently in the grips of an epic “trust”crisis.
The sobering report suggests that while Americans crave facts now more than ever, they simply don’t know what to believe anymore. As a result, they have a deep and accelerating distrust of almost everything, including leaders across every area of their lives. But nowhere is this absence of trust more apparent than in traditional media:
In the past week, you may have heard some fuss about a company called GameStop and the crisis it’s causing on Wall Street. And you may have tuned it all out because you’re not interested in financial markets. But I encourage you to try to understand what’s happening — not just because this drama highlights who our broken financial System really serves, but because it’s yet another sign of how technology may be used in the future to silence anyone who threatens that System.
Here’s a quick rundown of what happened:
Wall Street routinely places bets against struggling companies by…
“My lips are moving and the sound’s coming out
The words are audible but I have my doubts
That you realize what has been said
You look at me as if you’re in a daze
It’s like the feeling at the end of the page
When you realize you don’t know what you just read.”
— Missing Persons, “Words”
For the past year or so, my partner has been begging me to limit my Facebook posts to family photos and recipes. Long before The Social Dilemma blew the whistle on twisted algorithms that addict us to screens and draw us…
“It is much easier to fool people than to convince them that they have been fooled.”
In the wake of the January 6 Capitol riot, Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms have launched a purge of Orwellian scope— taking down websites, removing channels, and closing user accounts en masse. It’s a warp-level acceleration of a crackdown that’s become part of our “new normal.”
Until now, many of us have tried to ignore the suppression that has slowly ratcheted up each year. …
“[Martin] spoke out sharply for all the poor in all their hues, for he knew if color made them different, misery and oppression made them the same.”
— Coretta Scott King
I wrote this article last year in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday. I could see then that America was fast approaching a dangerous precipice in race relations, and I felt MLK’s message could offer a path towards unity. I never imagined that four months later cities across the country would burn from unrest following the horrific death of George Floyd. …
According to the The Washington Post, nearly half of Americans today embrace at least one political or medical conspiracy theory. And there’s no shortage of theories to choose from.
Not long after the Coronavirus pandemic erupted, rumors surfaced that the virus was developed in a lab. Many even speculated that vaccine guru Bill Gates was using the pandemic to control the population. When Black Lives Matter protests gained momentum this summer, billionaire George Soros was blamed for instigating unrest in his quest for world domination.
While it’s obviously crazy to believe that conspiracies lurk around every corner, it’s probably just…
Election 2020 may (or may not?) be over, and it’s been unlike anything we’ve ever seen. Recounts and litigation have spanned multiple states, and for the first time in U.S. history a sitting president has refused to concede as a President-Elect anxiously awaits a transition to the Oval Office.
There have been allegations of dead people voting, food trucks packed with bins of ballots arriving at precincts on election night, counties where the number of votes cast exceed the number of registered voters, and votes that were electronically “flipped” from one candidate to another.
This is the kind of sordid…
If this election season were a movie, it would look a lot like one we rented four years ago.
Once again, experts have given a litany of reasons why Donald Trump can’t possibly win the White House: shifting state demographics; suburban white women fed up with his sexist antics; people of color fed up with his racist antics; his botched handling of the pandemic; and an economy thrashed by lockdowns.
Once again, Trump started off double digits behind in the polls with a seemingly impossible chance of closing the gap. …
Once upon a time in America, it was okay to be misinformed. People weren’t hassled for believing the “wrong” thing or buying into a crazy conspiracy theory — because everyone had the right to be wrong or crazy. It’s what gave us an edge over people living under authoritarian governments who were forced to think in lock-step with everyone else.
But those days are gone.
Today, we have the freedom to believe whatever we want — as long as what we believe is “right.” Being misinformed is no longer an option and sharing the “wrong” information can even be dangerous.
America is in panic mode.
The desperate pleas are almost impossible to avoid. They’re in posts, headlines, and everyday chatter: Donald Trump is a clear and present danger to democracy. He’s delegitimized the electoral process, stifled civil liberties, and threatens to drag the country into fascism. If the man isn’t evicted from the White House on November 3, it’s game-over for America.
We’ve been warned by Hillary Clinton on Twitter: “Trump isn’t running against @ JoeBiden. He’s running against our democracy. Recognize this threat. Call it what it is.”
We’ve been warned by academics in The New York Times: “I…