‘Virtual Unreality’ chronicles dangers of digital deception
Reality and the virtual world “can no longer be completely disentangled,” argues Seife. A science journalism professor at New York University, he documents how this entanglement is altering what we know — or think we know. It’s an unsettling read, all the more because he gives concrete examples of how unscrupulous people can exert undue influence on the public, politics and the economy.
The Internet makes it easy to hide an author’s identity. It can also mask the source of information presented as fact. Take Wikipedia and its crowdsourced “knowledge.” Wikipedia attempts to shield the sources of its entries. Yet one New Yorker investigation turned up a 24-year-old who wrote or edited 16,000 Wikipedia entries — but lacked the credentials and expertise he had claimed. Wikipedia&r
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