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Speaking Freely

A visit with Christina Wells, Professor of Law

By LuAnne Roth
Published: - Topics: civil liberties fear and prejudice government decision-making secrecy constitutional law

The internet’s role in shaping public opinion

Topics: public opinion internet

The internet is still an unknown quantity, says Wells, and it needs to be studied. “Some have argued that people have great access to information because of the internet, and to some extent that’s true,” she observes. But many people, in fact, experience information overload. However, Wells cautions, “getting information and knowing whether it is true can be very difficult.” Moreover, people tend to search the internet with preconceived notions and, predictably, wind up reinforcing their existing beliefs rather than nuancing, challenging, or debunking them.