Samantha North shares her insights in how to spot groups that share certain messages. Well worth a read, especially during election times.
Previously I wrote about Seema Yasmin on pre-bunking information. Another great interview I listened to recently that deals with the same topic is the episode of On the Edge in which Samantha North talks about dissecting disinformation.
She gives an informed advise (she researches the topic) on how to deal with disinformation spread by people.
- Keep factchecking and debunking, perhaps even more. There could be a backfire effect though. Conspiracy theorists will think it’s yet another tool of the establishment;
- There is a huge responsibility for big platforms such as Youtube and Facebook to deplatform certain people and certain groups. The much heard argument is that blocking people from using these platforms denies them freedom of speech. North argues that deplatforming people only deprives them of ‘freedom of reach’. They are still able to say what they want to say in their homes and on other websites (think of self-hosted blogs), but you have to deny them the amplification social media platforms give them;
- Ignore inflammatory messages. It is very tempting to respond, but the dopamine rush from engagement is what people spreading disinformation is exactly what they want.
The entire interview is worth listening to. Samantha North comes up with some great examples on how disinformation spreads and why people do it in the first place.