After last week’s events, social media companies made another attempt at saving humanity. Twitter booted Trump and a few similar-minded fellows, Google and Apple did the same with Parler. But is censorship the right way to stem the swell of disinformation, postfactualism, dislocation from reality? I think not. Here’s a better solution. And it’s even compatible with financial trading.
Our politics and media are controlled by elites who worship Satan and run a child sex ring. According to a recent poll, 17% of Americans agree to this statement, 46% disagree, 37% say they don’t know. The 17% believers are not surprising. You’ll find 17 crackpots in almost any group of 100 people. But how is it possible that 37% “don’t know”?
You normally match such a narrative with your model of reality. You might ask yourself: How plausible is it? If it were true, how could it work? How many had to be involved? How could it be hidden? Is the source trustworthy? Has the source interest in spreading this theory? Have I interest in believing it? If half of the US population either wants to believe, or just doesn’t know whether their country is run by a satan worshipping, child abusing cabal, we have a problem.
The Bear Test
In the far past, alternative facts tended to correct themselves. You could develop the theory that cave bears won’t harm you. And even gather followers. Sooner or later they’d all be eaten by a bear. Reality check at work. But if you today believe in QAnon, chemtrails, or China funded election stealing conspiracies, reality will not reach out and slap you in the face. Your belief won’t put you at an immediate disadvantage. But nevertheless it will have consequences.
Representative democracies compete with other forms of government. The United States, with their economical and military power, could be the natural leader in that competition. Instead, they became the global laughingstock. Leadership by bragging and alternative facts is not well suited for confrontations with reality, such as dealing with dictators or fighting a pandemic. And as US voters decided in November 2020 to terminate that debacle, they were unaware that the worst was yet to come.
Establishing a Fact Market
All attempts by Twitter and other companies to shield users from the flood of misinformation seem futile. You cannot censor the Internet – and if you could, like China, it would be a questionable achievement. But you can correct wrong views of reality in a different way. Not with bears, but with money. An example:
One would normally assume that not the legislators had spoken, but the people, and that Pennsylvania was not going to Trump. But instead of the lame “Election officials have certified bla bla bla…”, or even worse, censoring the nice lady – dear Twitter, how about this?
Misinformation spreads only by readers agreeing to it. So if you’re in fact buying Christina’s brilliant analysis, just click [Buy] and invest one dollar in that post. Then you can like or retweet it. If you’re not buying it, click [Sell] and short the post for 1 $. After a previously defined time, Twitter will evaluate the Pennsylvania outcome and distribute the stakes to the buyers or sellers, whoever were right.
There are already some platforms that show how this works. Check out https://polymarket.com/, or https://ftx.com/trade/TRUMPGO/USD. But this is only a niche market at the moment. It deserves much more attention in the interest of the common good. Major contenders, such as Twitter or Facebook, should enter that business.
A sound fact-based world view can produce some extra income in this way. Admittedly, conspiration believers and Trump devotees would have to pay the price – but hey: It’s a sacrifice for your faith. And if you lost too much money, you could be motivated to check facts before buying them. This can only improve your grip on reality. And will end up, maybe, with better leadership of your country. It’s a win-win situation.
That’s my comment to last week’s events, and my today’s tip for getting rich, or even richer if you’re Twitter or Google. Establish more fact brokerages, let more people bet on facts, and let the truth win!