Epistemic Paternalism Online

In Guy Axtell & Amiel Bernal (eds.), Epistemic Paternalism. London: Rowman & Littlefield. pp. 29-44 (2020)
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New media (highly interactive digital technology for creating, sharing, and consuming information) affords users a great deal of control over their informational diets. As a result, many users of new media unwittingly encapsulate themselves in epistemic bubbles (epistemic structures, such as highly personalized news feeds, that leave relevant sources of information out (Nguyen forthcoming)). Epistemically paternalistic alterations to new media technologies could be made to pop at least some epistemic bubbles. We examine one such alteration that Facebook has made in an effort to fight fake news and conclude that it is morally permissible. We further argue that many epistemically paternalistic policies can (and should) be a perennial part of the internet information environment.
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