This book is about how we can build back truth online. It provides solutions so that we can repair our existing social media platforms and build better ones that prioritize value over profit, strengthen community ties and promote access to trustworthy information.
This book explains the problem of misinformation within the larger context of “information disorder.” It provides a road map with six paths forward to understand how platforms are designed to exploit us, learn to embrace agency in our interactions with digital spaces, build tools to reduce harmful practices, require platform companies to prioritize the public good, repair journalism and strengthen curation to promote trusted content and create new healthier digital public squares.
This book presents a comprehensive and connected strategy on how we can reduce misinformation and build back truth. New, experimental models that are ethically designed to build community and promote trustworthy content are having some early successes. We know that human social networks -- online and off-- magnify whatever they are seeded with. They are not neutral. We also know that to repair our systems we need to repair their design.
We are being joined in the fight by some of the best and brightest minds of our current generation as they flee big tech companies in search of vocations that value integrity and public values. The problem of misinformation is not insurmountable. We can fix this.
Leslie F. Stebbins is an independent researcher and the Director of Research4Ed where her clients include Harvard University, the U.S. Department of Education, Tufts University, and the Gates Foundation. Previously, she worked for twenty years as a research and instructional design librarian at Brandeis University. She has an M.Ed. from the Technology Innovation & Education Program at the Harvard Graduate School of Education and an M.S. in Information Science from Simmons College. She lives in Lexington, Massachusetts