[The summary of this session was written by Erika Perez-Leon, Director of Communications at On Think Tanks.]
The information ecosystem can be perplexing and complicated. As the misinfodemic spreads, let’s talk about why the term ‘fake news’ can be misleading. This workshop, led by Louise Hisayasu from Tactical Tech, dove deeply into the definitions of misinformation and disinformation; using real world examples to explore the difference between the two; and equipping its participants with digital investigation tools to stop the spread of complicated information.
Louise Hisayasu led participants through a workshop on disinformation and misinformation.
Why is information so complicated? The internet has really changed the way we consume information- there is much info available to us, and the way that we consume information has changed due to social media and the 24-hour news cycle.
Humans are emotional creatures so we have an emotional connection to information. Our brains are constantly processing information and making decisions on what to believe and what to leave on the side, and we all have different motivations and perspectives to share different things.
What leads to information disorder?
- Continued influence effect: what happens when we still believe the info we’ve been given even when it’s been proved wrong to us.
- Illusory truth effect: repeated information is more likely to be judged true than novel info bc it has become more familiar
The term fake news is misleading. It is often used as a way of discrediting information, but there is a grey area between what’s true and what’s false. This is why it’s important to understand the terminology:
- Disinformation is information that is intentionally false and designed to cause harm
- Misinformation is information that is false, but spread without the intention of causing harm
Louise then led participants through three games:
- Misinformation or disinformation challenges
- Become an investigator game: identify which capital city images were taken, and what clues are there to identify these
- Social media analysis to see if the information is true or false (using reserve image search)
Finally, Louise shared four tips on sharing with care:
- Recognise your emotions and remember that we respond to information emotionally
- Dig a little deeper, don’t take all information at face value and ask critical questions: why am I seeing this, who’s behind it?
- Talk to people, everyone is vulnerable to sharing misleading information. Try understanding and use non-judgemental language
- Debunk: provide a clear explanation of why that information is false and what is true