Once a quarter, the award-winning journalists at Inside Edition Digital are digging into a specific topic, going deeper than the daily news cycle allows to bring you "The Issue," a series of articles and videos on a specific subject.
It's hard to know if you're talking about misinformation responsibly. When a wrong idea makes its way out into the world and spreads, when people believe and share untruths — or push them for nefarious reasons — you don't want to inadvertently be part of the spread. And when you have a large platform, which we do, you don't want to become a superspreader of misinformation.
But it feels like we're living in misinformed times. Misinformation and its malicious subset disinformation, where falsehoods are spread purposefully, take hold on social media and are amplified by politicians and public figures. Ignoring it won't make it go away, and ignoring it can also contribute to the spread.
And that's what The Issue 2 is about: what it's like to live in the modern-day misinformation landscape, how we got here, and what impacts popular lies and falsehoods have had in the past.
We can't imagine that if you believe in a conspiracy theory that saying this will have much impact, but to be clear: climate change is real, vaccines are very safe, QAnon is a hoax, the moon landings happened, and the Earth is round.
It can feel like there are reasons to believe the opposite of the above, but the fact that the government has lied does not mean they lied about the moon landing. The fact that Jeffrey Epstein got a plea deal does not mean QAnon is accurate. The fact that jobs were shipped overseas does not mean climate change is a global hoax.
We're going to talk about all these things over the next few weeks. We’re going to share what we found when we talked to people impacted by these ideas and as we examined the systems that allow them to flourish. We're going to tell the truth. And we're going to hope we don't do more harm than good.
- The Editors