Finding the TRUTH
in a world of misinformation
The world is swimming in misinformation. Conflicting messages bombard us every day with news on everything from politics and world events to investments and alternative health. The daily paper, nightly news, websites, and social media each compete for our attention and each often insist on a different version of the facts. Inevitably, we have questions:
Who is telling the truth?
How would we know?
How did we get here?
What can we do?
Beyond Fake News answers these and other queries.
hear from the author
Listen to in-depth interviews with Justin on the Fake News epidemic.
I've fallen for fake news. It's likely that you have, too. I wrote this book for ordinary people (not academics!) who want to know why we face this problem and how we can solve it. Beyond Fake News offers a technological and market-based explanation for how our informational environment became so polluted. It shows how purveyors of news often have incentives to mislead us, and how consumers of information often have incentives to be misled. And it chronicles how, as technology improves and the regulatory burdens drop, our information-scape becomes ever more littered with misinformation. I argue that even when we really want the truth, our minds are limited in scope and blind spots mar our view of the world.
But we can do better, both as individuals and as a society. As individuals, we can improve the accuracy of our understanding of the world by recognizing our limitations and figuring out who to trust. And as a society, we can take important steps to reduce the quantity and effects of misinformation in our environment.
If you're a teacher interested in using Beyond Fake News in your class, I built a sample syllabus for a course called News and Knowing. Feel free to adapt it to the needs of your students!
“Justin McBrayer offers a wonderfully engaging account of our current predicament regarding the spread of misinformation, and what we should do about it. This book is a joy to read, and full of insight.”
Distinguished Professor of Philosophy, University of California, Irvine,
and author of Scepticism: A Very Short Introduction