Posted on May 30, 2019 at 2:00 PM by Sadye Scott-Hainchek
If Terry Pratchett were alive, we bet he’d be sorry about how true one of his predictions has become.
In July 1995, while interviewing Microsoft founder Bill Gates for GQ magazine, Pratchett asked him about the Internet’s ability to spread false information and present it as being on equal footing to actual facts, using Holocaust deniers as an example.
Gates argued that electronic fact-checking would in fact be more sophisticated than its print version. (The Guardian notes that he made other, more accurate predictions.)
This tidbit was uncovered by Marc Burrows while he researched a biography of Pratchett, which will be published in August.
Burrows tweeted about the interview discovery earlier this week and, he observed to the Guardian with some amusement, that “hardly anyone has asked if a quote about the dangers of spreading fake news on the internet is actually real.”
Categories: Today in Books