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May 25, 2018

Elon Musk thinks you can crowdsource truth, but that’s not how the internet works

In the beginning, the reason for the internet’s existence was to connect people as vastly and as easily as possible. Its fatal flaw, perhaps, is that nobody thought about the horrible things people might do once those walls were broken down. One of the most disconcerting trends of the modern internet is the specific, reflexive ways that bad actors have learned to manipulate and dismiss inconvenient truths by using the culture, systems, and mechanics of the internet. In the four decades since the internet expanded beyond its military origins, a clear playbook has emerged for denying reality — and it’s one that is insidiously easy to use. That hasn’t been good for discourse or truth. Elon Musk, the tech mogul and Tesla CEO, might be about...

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