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TRUSTWORTHINESS AND TRUTH: THE EPISTEMIC PITFALLS OF INTERNET ACCOUNTABILITY

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  29 October 2013

Abstract

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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Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2013 

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