Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login
“Conspiracy Theories” by Cass R. Sunstein and Adrian Vermeule(2008) (uchicago.edu)
1 point by aww_dang 37 days ago | hide | past | favorite | 3 comments

>"What can government do about conspiracy theories? Among the things it can do, what should it do? We can readily imagine a series of possible responses. (1) Government might ban conspiracy theorizing. (2) Government might impose some kind of tax, financial or otherwise, on those who disseminate such theories. (3) Government might itself engage in counterspeech, marshaling arguments to discredit conspiracy theories. (4) Government might formally hire credible private parties to engage in counterspeech. (5) Government might engage in informal communication with such parties, encouraging them to help. Each instrument has a distinctive set of potential effects, or costs and benefits, and each will have a place under imaginable conditions. However, our main policy idea is that government should engage in cognitive infiltration of the groups that produce conspiracy theories, which involves a mix of (3), (4) and (5)."

Oh how quickly the world changes ...

> Whatever the merits of these pragmatic and tactical questions, the availability of censorship gives U.S. officials operating in foreign countries an extra instrument for coping with conspiracy theories, one that is not available in the domestic arena due to both legal and political constraints.

With the maintained assumption that human beings who have the power of government behind them are never in a position to believe in, promote, and reinforce dangerous conspiracy theories.


Guidelines | FAQ | Lists | API | Security | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact