The existential crisis plaguing online extremism researchers

Other approaches, like media literacy programs, may be ineffective, and place too much responsibility on users. Both sets of tactics ignore messier, less quantifiable parts of the problem, like the polarized digital economy where success is predicated on attracting the most eyeballs, how rejecting 'mainstream' truths has become a form of social identity, or the challenges of determining the impact of disinformation. 'It's not that one of our systems is broken; it's not even that all of our systems are broken,' says Phillips. 'It's that all of our systems are working ... toward thespread of polluted information and theundermining of democratic participation.'

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