Pelle G. Hansen, Vincent F. Hendricks, Rasmus K. Rendsvig


Volume 44, Issue 3, pages 301–326, April 2013

DOI: 10.1111/meta.12028


It has become a truism that we live in so-called information societies where new information technologies have made information abundant. At the same time, information science has made us aware of many phenomena tied to the way we process information. This article explores a series of socio-epistemic information phenomena resulting from processes that track truth imperfectly: pluralistic ignorance, informational cascades, and belief polarization. It then couples these phenomena with the hypothesis that modern information technologies may lead to their amplification so as to give rise to what are called “infostorms.” This points to the need for studying further the exact relations between information technologies and such infostorms, as well as the ways we may design technologies to avoid being misled away from what we have good reasons to believe.