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Is the internet making us dumber?

John Stupart, newsletters editor at the Daily Maverick, and Keri Leicher, political and country risk senior associate at S-RM, discuss the spread of fake news and its dangers.

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John Stupart, newsletters editor at the Daily Maverick, and Keri Leicher, political and country risk senior associate at S-RM, discuss the spread of fake news and its dangers.

John Stupart (JS): We’re living in the age of information. And with the advent of the internet and mobile devices, we’ve got a virtual treasure trove of information at our fingertips. With a tap of a button or swipe of a screen, you can access the accumulated knowledge of the human race in seconds (often less).

This has ramifications on both sides of the screen. For journalists and writers, it means compressing complicated articles and topics into bite-sized chunks, hitting on hot keywords and coming up with catchy headlines.

On the other side, consumers are attracted to easy-to-find answers and rarely choose to investigate beyond the first page of Google results. Our
pursuit of knowledge seems to be hamstrung by our own apathy.

So much so, that the average internet user doesn’t read beyond the first 300 words of an article.

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