… intermediaries can fix the problem for us, whether they be traditional news media or social media. We need to get creative and build the social infrastructure necessary for people to meaningfully and substantively engage across existing structural lines. This won’t be easy or quick, but if we want to address issues like propaganda, hate speech, fake news, and biased content, we need to focus on the underlying issues at play. No simple band-aid will work.
What would that look like?
Just a guess, but if you want sites to participate (Facebook, twitter, other news sites) — then there has to be a financial incentive… and as you mentioned above, people are distrustful when presented with alternate view points.
There does seem to be an element of addressing the stories we tell about what is reputable and what is not. (Although is that just a mechanism for propaganda?)
Maybe we start with the personal element.
My first reaction may be to think that Trump supporters are stupid and backwards, but I know that doesn’t apply to 61 million people. (Okay, many of those are dedicated republicans, in the same way I’m a dedicated democrat. Many are in the rural communities which haven’t seen a drop of the economic recovery, and they want a different approach. I do believe there are many that have been listening to AM radio and getting the message repeatedly that Obama is their worst nightmare.)
As an initial step, I can see seeking out more stories of those who have “been left behind” in the economic recovery. Because maybe focusing our attention to connect with such groups and develop ways to help lift them up will create new bridges and new opportunities for conversations and shared understanding. Plus, it would have a positive net impact for our country than just shouting louder that “my news is more correct than yours”.
Just an idea.