The credibility of news, and people’s willingness to learn from it and act on it as if it were true, has emerged as a major issue in contemporary American and world society. The willingness of some individuals or groups to accept as credible information that others reject as propaganda or disinformation is emerging as a significant barrier to the governance of nations, including the United States. This lack of uniformity suggests a problem with media literacy and to some extent cultural and institutional discontinuities that have badly divided politics and the larger society in the age of social media.

This manifests in the rapid spread of so-called fake news that is written with the intent to deceive, the inability of some to tell the difference between ...

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