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Ways to help your audience stay informed this election

US Election 2020 Soundcheck Toolkit

As a podcaster, your voice is very influential.

That’s why the people who try to spread disinformation want to use it. You have the audience and the voice they lack — so you’re an ideal host for them to piggyback onto.

So why do people spread disinformation?

Three main reasons to keep in mind:

Photo by Priscilla Du Preez

Take a beat before sharing

Emotions can sway us. When we feel a strong emotional reaction to a piece of news or an article we’ve just read — fear, anger or joy — we’re more likely to share that content with others. Sometimes before we’ve really had time to process whether the content is factual and who the authors were.

How to talk about conspiracy theories (or not)

Wild conspiracy theories can spread rapidly online. Sometimes they’re even shared by your friends and family. So how do we deal with it?‍

Photo by Ravi Sharma

There’s more than just fake news

Fake news is used to describe pretty much any content that someone thinks is deceptive. But there’s a big range of ways that content can be manipulated to trick people — and it isn’t always obviously ‘fake’. In fact, online information often lies on a spectrum between ‘false’ and ‘true’.

Photo by Priscilla Du Preez

Be a disinformation detective

Here are a few ways to verify something you’ve seen. The more of these you’re able to dig into, the more sure you can be about the content.

You can really help your listeners understand what they’re going to encounter in the run up to November 3.

Talk to them about the types of misinformation they’re likely to see before they see it — so when they do see rumors they’re less likely to be fooled. Your listeners will thank you for helping them get to grips with the election, and you’ll ultimately empower them to express their voice at the ballot box this fall.

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