Tag Archives: misinformation

Vaccine ‘space race’

The media reported today that French-speaking ‘influencers’ on social networks have been approached by a dubious PR agency to promote negative messages about the Comirnaty (Pfizer) vaccine (I saw it on Twitter and then it was reported here). In this episode, Eva and I talk to experts who have been collecting data about how false claims about vaccines link to the pro-Kremlin media apparatus — and what’s at stake. Continue reading

Misinformation and disinformation: what’s in it for spreaders?

Since my colleague Eva and I started our project on anti-vaccination movements, reading about the topic has often led us to academic and media articles on misinformation or disinformation. The distinction between the two is not always clear, but it is based on intent. Disinformation is defined as intentional efforts to mislead people in order to sow distrust and chaos. And just like the general population was flooded with public health terminology (R number, exponential curve and so on) after the COVID-19 pandemic spread around the world, our readers, too are increasingly introduced to the typology of misleading claims on various fact-checking websites, social networks, and the media. Eva and I are working on more podcast episodes to explain these distinctions.

You can find some useful resources from First Draft here and here. It is important to note that misinformation and disinformation make use of real facts, but frame them to guide their audience towards misleading conclusions. In data visualisation, using a truncated Y axis is an example of a manipulation that can lead people to misinterpret correct data. Continue reading

Vaccine conversation tips from international reporters

Laura Oliver talked to numerous international reporters to glean suggestions for reporting on vaccines. But our podcast episode is not just for reporters – as we discuss visuals, fact-checks and tone when engaging in a politically charged conversations about vaccines, I think everyone who is having these conversations with their family and friends will find useful tips. Listen and subscribe! Continue reading

The Inoculation: This man had infiltrated a misinformation website – he’s now helping a ministry

Jakub Goda is a social media maverick from Slovakia, and he is very concerned with the damage of misinformation. He has tried his hand in activism on social networks and even infiltrated a misinformation-spreading website to see how it works. As the pandemic rages, Jakub works for Slovakia’s ministry of health, where he tries to preempt misinformation and respond to the most prominent attacks against public health measures. Have a listen, and better yet, subscribe to our podcast! Continue reading

False news, world literature maps, and why not anything goes for small countries

Culture reporting is every bit as serious as war reporting.
– My friend Alexandra Belopolsky, a culture reporter

Several of my Facebook friends shared this map, which claims to represent each country’s favorite book. How does one measure that, the creators did not bother to explain too much. A reddit list became the primary venue to crowdsource this information, but clearly the author came up with the list out of the blue and did not quite respond to comments. Some of my friends were pleased to find respectable works of literature representing their ancestral or adoptive homelands. Lithuanians, it seems, were left puzzled. Continue reading