Gresham’s Law and social media for sale
Acton Institute Powerblog

Gresham’s Law and social media for sale

In his latest column for Forbes, Alejandro Chafuen, the managing director of Acton’s international activities, has a ranking of free-market think tanks measured by social media impact, and discusses Gresham’s Law as it relates to social media:

The current discussions about the manipulation of social media for political purposes and the commercial interests of social-media giants has raised important questions about its impact and deserves much further analysis. In his surprising announcement that he was going to retire in 16 months, Arthur C. Brooks, the talented leader of the American Enterprise Institute, lamented that social media was creating a type of Gresham’s law, where well-promoted, bad ideas were crowding out good research. Nevertheless, early in the year, in a piece in the Harvard Business Review, Brooks mentioned subscribers to events and original video programming on AEI’s YouTube channel as a valid metric. Although running far behind PragerU, AEI, with close to 150,000 subscribers, ranks first among think tanks. “Gresham’s law” that bad money drives out good money only applies when there is some kind of force involved (a fixed rate between gold and silver money or, in currencies, between worn out bills and new bills). Brookings, the top-ranked think tank, and Heritage Foundation, rank very well as research and policy-focused think tanks, and also in social media.

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Joe Carter

Joe Carter is a Senior Editor at the Acton Institute. Joe also serves as an editor at the The Gospel Coalition, a communications specialist for the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, and as an adjunct professor of journalism at Patrick Henry College. He is the editor of the NIV Lifehacks Bible and co-author of How to Argue like Jesus: Learning Persuasion from History's Greatest Communicator (Crossway).