Author Archive

Chris Barker

Dr Chris Barker is Assistant Professor of Political Science at Southwestern College, Chula Vista, California.

An impressive list of academics, including seven Oxford faculty members, signed a petition in mid-June calling for new strategies to deal with misinformation. It makes very good sense to desire competent opinion as opposed to misinformation, and to argue that democratic legitimacy of the referendum’s outcome in some sense rests upon informed choice. (A specific example of a helpful intervention is this letter from the UK Statistics Authority challenging the “potentially misleading” statement of Nigel Farage about the “independence dividend” of Brexit.) These epistemic interventions need to be given more thought, but they all share the same classic problem: Who shall watch the watchers? While oversight and accountability genuinely help the democratic process, representing the proper style of character and …