1. What is it that they believe?

Learning Goal: I’m working on a communications question and need support to help me learn.

We hear a good deal about misinformation and related buzz word cousin “Fake News.”

In these conversations we often get the hot take that what we need is to teach people “digital literacy” people just need to be taught how to “critically think about the messages they receive.” Or we get the take that social media platforms are manipulating us into believing false things for clicks, this is kinda where the documentary we watched at the beginning of class lands. Of course as should be obvious by now, my take is always that hot takes are bad and that you want a more nuanced approach to the problem. So lets try to get one.

Read:Start with this article on Qanon. “QAnon shows that the age of alternative facts will not end with Trump.” Links to an external site.Keep in mind this is written before the November election or the January insurrection. But regardless it is a good explanation of the world of Qanon.

Next read this piece, “Lizard People in the Library.” Links to an external site.This is a dense read for a web article so schedule time accordingly, although not long you will want to read it twice. At the core of Fister’s argument is the idea of an “epistemological rift” you want to make sure you understand what she means by this.

To do:

First the facts: Vaccines are effective and safe. There is no debate about this. There have been established clinical trials and real world use that confirms this.

Yet, people still believe a lot of not true things about vaccines and are thus hesitant to get vaccinated.

Your task here is to both explain what people who are vaccine hesitant or anti-vaxxers believe. No need to dictate everything in fact you are better served by finding one specific objection people have to getting vaccinated. Then answer the following:

1. What is it that they believe?

2. What makes them believe this?

3. Find something online that backs up this viewpoint, screenshot the article, or link to it and post it here.

Okay so misinformation is clearly a problem, I mean from a public health standpoint this vaccine mis-information is a nightmare and will literally kill people, and QAnon and the Insurrection led to deaths at the capital.

Think of a solution to this misinformation problem. You might want to consider technical solutions (like what the platforms could do), legal ones, or social ones. Everything is fair game here, just make it a serious solution that you think would help solve this problem. Make a case for why this solution would be a good one, explain how it would help. And then, argue the reverse, explain why that solution wouldn’t work. (If you have trouble with the second half of this question you can do some research online and see what concerns people have about your chosen solution.)

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