Dustin Carnahan (Assistant Professor, Department of Communication, Michigan State University)
August 30, 2022
In April 2022, President Barack Obama added his voice to the growing chorus of scholars, analysts, and pundits expressing grave concerns about the nature and structure of our information ecosystem, specifically pointing to the potential for misinformation to inflame “humanity’s worst instincts.” But just how worried should we be? And what can we, as citizens, do about it? This seminar provides historical perspective to the question of misinformation, the societal trends and psychological factors that have led us to our current moment, and a review of the evidence regarding the effectiveness of strategies aimed at addressing the problem of misinformation. The discussion will conclude by exploring the question of how much of a threat misinformation is to democracy and civic society, as well as how the battle against misinformation is likely to evolve into the future. By the end of the webinar, educators will be provided important context into how the issue of misinformation should be understood and evidence-based strategies to promote greater awareness of and resistance to misinformation as we prepare the next generation of civic-minded citizens.