The Digital Conversationalist

Andrea T Edwards

#172 Weekend reads – misinformation, disinformation, authoritarianism, we need to get a handle on it

Our theme on The Know Show this week was about the enormous challenges we face with misinformation and disinformation. Raised in the World Economic Forum’s Global Risks Report 2024, it stated misinformation and disinformation are the biggest risks humanity faces this year. Climate risks take up most of the remaining top 10.

This is so important, because in 2024 more voters than ever in history, representing a combined total of about 49% of people in the world, are planning to hold national elections, and whatever the results, it will impact our lives for years to come.

One of the biggest threats is the rise of authoritarians and far right groups, with Euronews reporting Right-wing populists could gain control of EU Parliament for first time as voters swing right.

Whenever a move to the far right happens, you can guarantee a terrible outcome for the environment, as these groups tend to back out of pledges on action and right now, this is a very real possibility. If you know what’s going on in our natural world, you’ll know this is not the time to step back on action, in fact, we need to be escalating action everywhere.

Here’s another example: POLITICO ‘Reversed and scrubbed.’ How a second Trump term could gut climate research.

We can’t underestimate how much we must get a handle on the risk misinformation and disinformation poses to all of us, as well as what a far right shift will result in, and it means we need to educate people about it, especially with AI in the mix, which makes it an even bigger threat!

How do we help ourselves navigate these risks?

Here’s four thoughts, but listen to The Know Show for more (I’ll make a short version of this section when I have time)

  1. Personal responsibility is critical, and we all need to commit to reading/watching/listening to media across multiple platforms, rather than a single news source. This is good practice regardless, but in the age of misinformation and disinformation it’s critical. No one wants to share false information, so let’s work harder to make sure we don’t
  2. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is, so go deeper and do a search. If it only appears in one place, that’s a sign something is afoot. Verified news will quickly populate multiple online news sites, whether you’re left or right leaning
  3. If you’re into conspiracy theories, I don’t think anything anyone says matters and any narrative that supports your views will be accepted without question. However, we must remember this is a small (but loud) percentage of the global population, so while we know many are caught up in these theories, there are also those not fully committed, so perhaps we can help them see the light? Regardless, we just need to have louder voices, so show up where it counts
  4. And finally, are you an expert on misinformation and disinformation? Are you an expert on the risk of authoritarianism? If you are, please speak up, share knowledge, help educate people, highlight issues, share examples, talk to your family and community, etc… Do all you can to help, because we need those who know to speak up and help everyone navigate this time – for all our sakes 

Joe Augustin also made a really great point on the Know Show yesterday. Let’s all commit to having conversations with people we disagree with, without it turning into a screaming match. We need to hear each other, even when we don’t agree with each other. The divide is becoming too wide and that’s dangerous for all of us. Let’s commit to fixing it and coming back together.

Want to read some conspiracy madness? Then check out this article – Far-Right Snowflakes Are Terrified of the Super Bowl and Taylor Swift – (I couldn’t put it in the Weekend Reads so just sharing here) and let’s just say, it’s a wild ride through the conspiracy universe and if you’re looking for entertainment, you’ll certainly find it, but it’s also desperately sad. Then again, maybe people will start to see this craziness for what it is?

The article finishes with: this is a fight that the paranoid right would be wise not to pick. But, of course, they will. They have. This is what they do. “Haters gonna hate.” Indeed!

Do click through to the reads, so much going on, and a reminder, The Know Show is back, see the link below. Come and join us every fortnight to get the lowdown on what’s going on around the world.

But before you leave, don’t leave me hanging – let me know what caught your attention? Or share with me what has your attention at the moment? There’s a lot going on, none of us can cover everything. Besides, it’s always great to get feedback so I know I’m delivering something of value.



Uncommon Courage, an invitation

Uncommon Courage is an invitation to be your courageous best self every day. It’s also an antidote to the overwhelm, fear, and rage rolling around the world. But it’s more than a book; it’s an invitation to join an inclusive community that wants to better understand humanities challenges – both global and personal – in order to take courageous action and create a better world for everyone. If Covid19 gave us the time and space to reflect, Uncommon Courage gives us the nudge we need to create lasting change.

You can buy it on AmazonApple BooksBarnes & Noble, Book DepositoryBooktopia, SmashwordsKobo, Gardners, Odilo, Indie Bound, BookShop by BookTrib and Scribd.

Better yet, order it from your local bookstore, so you can #SupportLocal.

You can read the reviews, including a new five-star review on Book Commentary, another five-star review on ReaderViews, a review on BookTrib, and three more on Booklife, another on Book Commentary and Blue Ink Reviews. I’m also collating reviews on my Website too. Have a look and grateful to everyone who has written or recorded one.

Come and join the conversation in my Facebook Group Uncommon Courage.

Listen in to the Uncommon Courage, the podcast on Apple, Spotify and everywhere podcasts are published.

The Know Show

Check out The Know Show. It’s a fortnightly wrap up of the news and we started again for 2024.

Climate Courage

A fortnightly conversation on issues that matter to you and I, focusing on the actions we can all take. I am yet to confirm the return date for this, but it’s coming.

18 Steps to an All-Star LinkedIn Profile 

Listed by Book Authority in the 100 Best LinkedIn Books of All Time and 22 Best New LinkedIn eBooks To Read In 2021 and 2022 categories. Grab it today if you want to take your professional presence to the next level! When it comes to LinkedIn, it really is time to ask — can you really afford not to have this book in the hands of every employee?

Are you a Social CEO? The Social CEO: How Social Media Can Make You A Stronger Leader. 

Want to claim your stage? Unleash Your Voice – Powerful Public Speaking for Every Woman 


Have I done a great job for you? Can you write a reference on my LinkedIn profile or on my Google Business page? If not for me, why not write one for someone else who inspires you or has helped you? Join the #GivingEconomy.

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