• Vikram Kamboj

How do we fight misinformation?

If you haven't watched The Social Dilemma on Netflix, we highly recommend it. Although there were no huge revelations, hearing from the very people who created social media as we know it today paints a fairly scary image of the place we're heading.

On the same note, this week a new report by Avira revealed that only 24 per cent of Americans have confidence that the upcoming presidential elections will be 'free and fair', and 17 per cent of people surveyed think the US 2020 elections will be 'rigged'.

Interestingly, half of Americans surveyed see misinformation on social media as the main interference in upcoming elections. And yet, very few believe they play a role in spreading misinformation. Approximately 51 per cent of Americans disagree they have shared what turned out to be fake news, and just 12 per cent entirely agree that they shared 'fake' news in the past.

But as this interesting article from BBC.com points out, "Misinformation doesn't just come from the dark corners of the internet." It comes from scammers, politicians, conspiracy theorists, celebrities and even everyday people.

"We are grappling with information pollution whose aim is to sow mistrust by playing on racial, ethnic, gender and religious differences," noted Tore Bergsaker of Norwegian fact-checking organisation Faktisk. "The easy response is to regulate, but it is not the solution. Fact checking is only part of the solution – the real tool is to increase media literacy and raise [the] critical thinking [of readers].”

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