We believe that we all remember how, in early 2020, the massive misinformation and disinformation targeted campaigns were intensified with the rise of the new COVID-19 pandemic. We also remember those hilarious conspiracy theories correlating 5G and climate change to the pandemic.
At that time, fact-checking sections and tools were not yet a common practice, and only a few fact-checking organizations were known to the public. This being the case, as communication professionals, we felt the need to dedicate our knowledge and expertise to counterattack false information and campaign for the facts. As such, we launched ReclaimThefacts blog in May 2020 with a mission to promote fact-checking organizations, content, and tools to a wider community.
Our work started by exposing the various myths, sources, and techniques including the Kremlin’s strategies to destabilize Western democracies by spreading fake news and causing doubts and mistrust in institutions and the traditional media about COVID-19, vaccination, 5G and climate change. E.g. The article published in 2020: Russia is Weaponizing Conspiracy Theories
Today, this has changed. First, misinformation and now disinformation is a recurring topic in the media and the public is aware of the fact that you can’t really trust what you read and what you see, unless it comes from a really reliable source.
However, as much as we can celebrate this success, being dependent on hopefully trustworthy gatekeepers still leaves the public vulnerable to misinformation to a certain extent. What if ownership of trustworthy source changes and misinformation finds its way through the new owner?
The conclusion is that it’s vital today to educate the public on the various manipulation techniques & strategies so that they can easily discover when they are themselves exposed to propaganda and disinformation. It’s not only crucial for the public to know how to evaluate the trustworthiness of any new piece of information but also to learn and understand the techniques used against them.
This is simply our next mission, ReclaimTheFacts 2.0
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