Once upon a time, information purveyors had an economic incentive to make sure the information they purveyed was correct. From Paul Rosenberg at freemansperspective.com:
Humanity is informed as never before; nothing in the historical record compares. This, unfortunately, is not a particularly good thing.
The provision of information, if it is to bless mankind, must have quality control built into it… it must have a feedback mechanism with teeth. Barring that, it can spiral out of control, as, indeed, it has.
Consider that almost everyone in the modern world is flooded with information. Even the poorest people walk around with phones beeping at them a dozen times per day, delivering little packets of it. And for active people the info-delivery is far greater. Even the delivery devices themselves, smart phones, have become status symbols.
But who is providing all that information, and what price do they pay for delivering bad information?
The previous era of information delivery was dominated by newspapers; they provided most of the information for daily living. And that system, problematic though it could be, had effective feedback mechanisms. Newspaper readers paid for the information they received. And so, if they made bad decisions because of bad information, the newspaper would have a problem on their hands.
We want information, information, information
Who are you?
The new number two
Who is number one?
You are number six
I am not a number, I am a free man!
The Prisoner, 1967.
Sampled by Iron Maiden for The Prisoner, 1982.