Future Tense newsletter: When is news actually fake?

Future Tense Newsletter: When Is News Actually Fake?

Future Tense Newsletter: When Is News Actually Fake?

Future Tense
The Citizen's Guide to the Future
Dec. 7 2016 1:00 PM

Future Tense Newsletter: When Is News Actually Fake?

There's a good reason to give Jill Stein her recounts.

Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Greetings, Future Tensers,

Jill Stein’s recount effort isn’t going to change the results of the presidential election, but Frank Pasquale argues that it’s still a good idea. Voting machines in the U.S. are rife with vulnerabilities, Pasquale writes, and re-examining the vote could help make sure that future elections are secure and reliable. It’s better to find and fix problems now instead of waiting till 2020.


Though there is no evidence foreign actors interfered with the vote, it’s almost certain that Russia hacked the computers of U.S. officials and used its findings to sway the election. Maria Farrell examines why Russia has such a fraught relationship with Western countries when it comes to the internet. And while we’re talking about the election and its fallout: Will Oremus argues that we should be careful about how we use the term fake news. (But guess who else is worried about fake news? Russia.)

Some other stories we read this week while thinking that an abandoned moon colony sounds pretty good right about now:

  • Facebook: Ellen P. Goodman suggests Facebook should begin subsidizing and supporting local news, which has been damaged by the rise of social media.
  • Military technology: Brad Allenby explains why it’s surprisingly difficult to define “military artificial intelligence”—and why that’s important.
  • Law and order: I recapped our recent Future Tense event in Washington, D.C., in which experts discussed the potential for technology to prevent crime and improve the relationship between law enforcement agencies and the communities they serve. You can watch the full event on New America’s website.

Upcoming events:

  • Join Future Tense in New York the evening of Wednesday, Dec. 14, for a happy hour conversation with Tim Wu and New York Times writer (and Slate alumna) Amanda Hess to discuss the impact of advertisement and consequences we might face for leading more artificially moderated lives. For more information and to RSVP, visit the New America website.
  • RESCHEDULED: Will the internet always be American? On Tuesday, Jan. 24, Future Tense will host a live event in Washington, D.C., to explore the internet’s nationality, and the extent to which it’s an expression of American culture, and how that may be changing. You can RSVP to attend in person or watch online here.

Packing for the moon,
Emily Fritcke
for Future Tense

Future Tense is a partnership of Slate, New America, and Arizona State University.

Future Tense is a partnership of SlateNew America, and Arizona State University.

Emily Fritcke is a research associate for Future Tense.