The Future of Information And Influence

Colleague Kevin Benedict recently started researching the future of information and influence. It should be readily apparent that misinformation and its associated erosion of trust is a big societal challenge. Some of us are more susceptible to misinformation than others. In a new Blog Post where he describes his research, Kevin points to a recent study:

“In a recent study it was found those age 65 and older shared over six times more fake news articles than did the youngest user groups in the study.  This older group simply doesn’t seem to understand that influence campaigns are being deployed to impact their thinking, and that they are being unwitting participants in it.  Please make sure you are not one of these.”

Source: Unsplash

He offers good advice to all of us that consume information in our various echo chambers: If you find yourself agitated, angry or motivated to share an opinion or article with others on social media, first ask yourself where did this information originate from, who are the sponsors of it, and what are their motivations for stirring you up?  Who benefits from this agitation?  What are the outcomes the original authors are hoping for? He also shares a survey that indicates a growing recognition of the problem. A survey conducted by The Leadership IQ, consisting of 3,272 business leaders reveals the following:

  • 59% are concerned about ‘fake news’ in the workplace 
  • 24% rising to the level of ‘very concerned’ 
  • 64% are concerned about ‘alternative facts’ in the workplace 
  • 27% rising to the level of ‘very concerned’
  • 58% believe that nowadays it is easier for people to get away with lying

In closing his post, Kevin describes a misinformation playbook. This is a particularly important discussion given the current climate. I highly recommend the read.

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