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to protect against fake 'facts'Amid the slithering mess of problems that emerged in 2017, the one that bothers me most is that people don't seem to know what's true anymore. "Facts" this year got put in quotation marks.Democracy assumes an informed citizenry that argues about solutions – not about facts.Even those superbly professional fact gatherers sometimes have trouble verifying information.The internet giants like Google and Facebook should be tuning their systems to establish the provenance of fact. I'd like to see them using "machine learning" to interrogate supposed facts to establish where they've been – how they first surfaced, and how they were passed from user to user. Google does something similar every time you type a phrase into the search box.People could still base their decisions on dubious, unverified facts, just as a collector can still buy a painting whose provenance is suspect.
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