Use the Internet, don’t blame it.

China’s government fears an Internet that exposes people to political truths. Today some in Congress fear an Internet that exposes people to political lies.

There have always been lies in American politics — and well before the Internet and with great consequence. In a 1964 equivalent of one giant post of a giant lie, every US newspaper reported LBJ’s untruthful version of the Gulf of Tonkin incident that he used as an excuse to expand US involvement in Vietnam, leading to the deaths of 50,000 American soldiers and millions of Vietnamese.

Today many Americans repost, like or retweet content they’ve never researched. Then they move on to the next repost, like, or retweet. It’s like one giant example of community ADD.

If you want truth, do your own research — which the Internet makes easier than ever. For example, if you want to know what California spends per K-12 student, don’t just type “how much does California spend per K-12 student” in your browser. Go to the source: see page 23 of the Governor’s Budget.

Stop blaming the Internet for spreading lies. Start using it to find truth.

Written by

Lecturer at Stanford University and president of Govern For California

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