Protecting Your Company from Becoming Part of the Disinformation Ecosystem

The work of bad actors is no longer a curiosity for journalists and communication leaders.  This toxic brew of security, public health and privacy risks demand the development of a discipline within PR and better models for journalism.

Here are trends and ideas that I shared during a keynote for The National Press Foundation to bolster this point.

Trust is Evolving, not Decreasing – It is only partially correct to state that trust is plummeting for businesses or government or other institutions.  Trust is simultaneously increasing for social media influencers.  The majority of the world receives information via social channels and search.

With attention spans of just 1-3 seconds, we become fixated on certain people within certain channels, leading to an Instagram, YouTube or TikTok influencer having more weight in our minds than a traditional media outlet.  We develop trust with those whom we interact with daily.

Disinformation is a Highly Disciplined Effort – It’s time to stop thinking disinformation is someone else’s problem.  It is increasingly sophisticated.  In fact, we like to say the best disinformation looks like information and takes many forms.

For example, I worry the most about software that can create stories in seconds; it’s 95 percent accurate and a bad actor just changes one quote or fact.


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