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CNN: Stop 'Doing Your Own Research'

Published: September 21, 2021
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People "doing their own research" is highly problematic and hurting the government's pandemic response, CNN reports.

From CNN (Archive):

Four little words — "do your own research" — are hurting the US pandemic response, CNN's chief media correspondent Brian Stelter said on "Reliable Sources" Sunday. And it is having real consequences as personalities from Nicki Minaj to Sean Hannity continue to promote the idea.

Minaj helped raise doubts about Covid-19 vaccines on Twitter last week, claiming she would only get the shots once she'd "done enough research." It may seem like a reasonable, even positive, attitude, and it is a favored talking point echoed by many in the right-wing media.

The problem is that most people simply don't know how to do their own research, especially when it comes to understanding the complexities of medical science.

The concept has lately become associated with Covid-19 and QAnon, but the phrase "do your own research" dates back to the 1890s when it was associated with skepticism surrounding the smallpox vaccine [...]

"Nobody's going to the library and looking up authoritative sources to do their own research," Yael Eisenstat, a Future of Democracy fellow at the Berggruen Institute, said.

[...] "Science is a consensus building process," [Renee DiResta, research manager at the Stanford Internet Observatory] said. "Not something where we know the facts immediately, the moment that someone wants to be Googling for them."

Correction: An earlier version of this story misattributed the quote about researching authoritative sources. That statement was made by Yael Eisenstat. The statement regarding consensus building in science was made by Renee DiResta.

The New York Times in February published a similar article stating that "critical thinking" "isn't helping in the fight against misinformation."

The article argued that instead of looking at all sides of an issue and thinking critically about it for one's self, everyone should just look up stuff on Wikipedia and take whatever the biased leftists who run the site say as gospel.

USA Today in April issued a warning against browsing for books, insisting it can lead people down an "extremist rabbit hole."

Last year, Forbes ran an article titled, "You Must Not 'Do Your Own Research' When It Comes to Science," which Stelter appears to have just cribbed.

A recent MIT study found that purebloods are actually "highly informed," "scientifically literate" and "sophisticated."

The issue came up during the FDA's recent hearing on booster shots:

In contrast, the average CNN watcher is a complete moron.

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