An early example of government propaganda. Wikipedia.

MisinfoCon: You Can Fight Propaganda

With less than three weeks until MisinfoCon, we’ve got our work cut of for us. And because it’s only a weekend — not really that much time when you think about it — we want to get everyone who attends and participates up to speed and on the same page as quickly as possible. We’re going to use Medium to do that, and we’re going to ask for your pre-event participation in a variety of ways in the coming days.

The first way we’re going to do that is by posting a regular, curated, reading list of what we believe to be important thinking on the topic of misinformation and disinformation. The first list is below, along with a bit of history, to get the conversation started.

To help us with the next edition: just email misinfocon+tips@gmail.com or tweet out links with the #misinfocon hashtag on twitter.

Misinformation reading list

If you haven’t read it yet, Nick Bilton’s piece in Vanity Fair paints a vivid image of a dystopian future filled with sci-fi disinformation the likes of which we have not witnessed yet.

Hitting closer to home is this tale of the human cost of misinformation, through the eyes of the victims of Sandy Hook massacre.

Over the weekend, Internet rumours of deportation checkpoints spread and were debunked by the local police department which encouraged people to “fact check things you read or hear.”

Conservative radio talk show host, Charles J. Sykes, frames many of the challenges ahead for media, both mainstream and conservative.

Two engineers are trying to create the Snopes of India by fighting the viral hoaxes proliferating on WhatsApp.

The Columbia Journalism Review talks about going from “alternative facts” to alternative realities.

And John Biggs explains that information has become so plentiful that it became disposable

Historical context

Misinformation is nothing new, and here’s just one more example: In 1972, Hunter S. Thompson was credited with starting a rumour that presidential candidate Edmund Muskie was addicted to ibogaine, a powerful hallucinogenic, “in part to test the gullibility of his fellow members of the press.”


P.S. You can help us with the next edition: just email misinfocon+tips@gmail.com or tweet out links with the #misinfocon hashtag on twitter.