Most of all, Dr. Nyhan rejects two overly simplistic ideas: that the average person is susceptible to falling for any kooky thing that they read online, and that those kooky things online pose little risk. “We need to focus more on how platforms can enable an extremist minority to foment harm and not on how the average person might be brainwashed by a piece of content they viewed a few times,” Dr. Nyhan said. “We should be thinking about the people who consume a large amount of hateful or extremist content on YouTube, or the anti-vaccine groups that don’t reach a lot of people but could do a lot of harm to the people they do reach.” Not all things we’re curious about or are questioning are misinformation. Can’t we just, you know, talk about stuff on the internet? Won’t it be fine? Dr. Nyhan’s answer is basically, yes, it will probably be fine for most of us — but we have to think about the margins. And on rare occasions that might mean sacrificing the ability to immediately say absolutely anything online in order to protect us all.