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2021-11-29

The Misinformation Supply Chain

Doowan Lee

In our episode with Doowan Lee, we look at how fake news and misinformation campaigns affect different societies, and we can use AI to combat this. We’ve already seen how fake news campaigns have concerned the right wing’s power position in many democracies across the globe – how can we stop misinformation from taking over?

Interview with Doowan Lee, Senior Advisor at the Institute for Security and Technology & CEO/Cofounder of VAT (Veracity Authentication Systems Technology). You can follow Doowan on LinkedIn: https://bit.ly/3DRGmxO.

In our interview, Doowan makes a clear distinction between disinformation and misinformation. Disinformation is misleading information with a precise aim – for example. Disinformation aims to dismantle a government. On the other hand, misinformation is misleading information that does not intend to cause harm but does so anyway.

Doowan sees information as an industry:

  1. The information is produced
  2. It goes through a distribution network
  3. It is transferred to clients

Information, therefore, is like a supply chain: social media distributes information to users.

Doowan compares this information to nuclear waste — it has a long life cycle and doesn’t go away quickly. So if someone has a conspiracy theory in their mind, it probably isn’t going to affect many people. However, social media provides a platform for it to be shared, affecting more people.

But, how can we combat disinformation?

Doowan shares some existing strategies to combat disinformation

  1. Awareness or ‘digital literacy

Even though we have much more literacy than before, misinformation still exists. However, education is an entity — ideologies of governments will affect educational curriculums.

  1. Content-control

This refers to removing content from social media platforms. However, Doowan argues that this is a quick shortcut to censorship.

  1. Deep platforming

This refers to removing certain accounts from social media accounts. However, this doesn’t work either, as the user will go to another platform. This might be a good PR strategy for social media companies, but users will just go underground.

  1. Fact-checking

Ensuring that content is correct.

  1. Identity authentication

If you want to create an online account, you’d need to confirm you are a real person. Doowan argues that this has potential but might not apply universally.

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