Let’s Clean Up the Toxic Internet – The New York Times

Let’s Clean Up the Toxic Internet – The New York Times

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Sometimes the online cesspool makes me want to scream my head off. Like right now.

Millions of people have watched an online video that recycled discredited health conspiracies into what looked like a slick documentary about the coronavirus and vaccines.

The success of the video, part of a documentary called “Plandemic,” has crystallized everything terrible about the internet. People pushing a baseless conspiracy used extreme online savvy to unleash a misinformation goulash, the internet companies couldn’t do enough to prevent its spread, and we ate it up.

This happens again and again. But we can help stop it.

All of us need to understand that misinformation spreads with the sophistication of a blockbuster-movie marketing campaign. Authority figures must learn to play the game of online popularity like a Kardashian. And the online hangouts need to coordinate effectively against the garbage-peddling showmen.

First, there is power in understanding the mechanics that made the “Plandemic” scene go wild.

My colleague Davey Alba described how
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