Going deep: is the internet breaking our grasp on reality? The 20 November Guardian Weekly | Facebook

One of the many worrying aspects of 2020 has been a rise in online conspiracy theories, with supporters of some of the wildest – such as QAnon – even rising to elected office. Others have documented losing their loved ones down the conspiracy rabbit hole. In the first of a new Guardian series on how big tech has thrived during the pandemic, Alex Hern investigates why people are losing their grip on reality online and what Facebook, and others, are doing to stem the flow.

The spread of online disinformation may even be influencing the man still sitting in the Oval Office in his refusal to concede. More than two weeks after election day in the US, Donald Trump has continued to proclaim his “victory” on social media and to delay the transition to the incoming Biden administration. As Simon Tisdall writes, this mess doesn’t just have implications for Americans but is giving cover to enemies of democracy elsewhere to play out their worst impulses while Trump causes a distraction. Also in the US, we look at what a mixed performance in the elections means for the Democrats – can Joe Biden keep his own party united, let alone a whole nation? We also look at the five intrinsic flaws that are causing democracy in the US to wobble.

Britain is about to enter an absolutely vital few weeks when it comes to finalising post-Brexit trade terms – not to mention its Covid response. So it’s perhaps not surprising that last week No 10 was preoccupied by a toxic war between staff that culminated in the dramatic departure of Boris Johnson’s top aide, Dominic Cummings, and the PM finding himself back in Covid self-isolation … We look back at a wild week. What does it mean for the future of the government?

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