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Home » Archive » Fake News, Internet And Metaphors

Oreste Pollicino
Fake News, Internet And Metaphors
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“The internet is a new free marketplace of ideas”. This is the preferred metaphor1 of those who within scholarly and public debate take the view that the issue of fake news need not be addressed (and confronted) by public authorities (and public law). The main idea behind this thesis is that whereas in the world of atoms, as Justice Holmes wrote in 1919, the “best test of truth is the power of the thought to get itself accepted in the competition of the market”2, this is even more true in the world of bits, as the internet is amplifying the free exchange of and competition between ideas and opinions. Consequently, according to the marketplace of ideas paradigm, if it is true that under the First Amendment there is “no such thing as a false idea”3 in the material world, this is even truer in the digital word, thanks to the enhanced opportunity to express thoughts. In other words, public authorities should not have any role in dealing with the ever growing phenomena of fake news on the internet, because web users are (optimistically) supposed to have all the tools they need in order to select the most convincing ideas and true news, disregarding news that is not convincing or fake. This constitutes an expression of complete trust in the capacity for selfcorrection of the market for information.

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