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The internet’s role in shaping public opinion

From an interview with Christina Wells, Professor of Law

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.