Trustworthiness and truth: The epistemic pitfalls of internet accountability

Episteme 11 (1):63-81 (2014)
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Since anonymous agents can spread misinformation with impunity, many people advocate for greater accountability for internet speech. This paper provides a veritistic argument that accountability mechanisms can cause significant epistemic problems for internet encyclopedias and social media communities. I show that accountability mechanisms can undermine both the dissemination of true beliefs and the detection of error. Drawing on social psychology and behavioral economics, I suggest alternative mechanisms for increasing the trustworthiness of internet communication

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Karen Frost-Arnold
Hobart and William Smith Colleges