Matters of Life and Death

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Coronavirus: Misinformation

Microchips. Bill Gates. The mark of the beast. 5G cell towers. False positive rates. Big pharma. DNA alteration. It’s been hard to avoid the swirling morass of misinformation and conspiracy theories around the pandemic. And this confusion and fear have surged in recent weeks as the first covid vaccines have begun to be rolled out. But why have so many people, including many in the church, fallen for untruths about coronavirus? Where has all our trust – in government, in science, even in doctors – gone? How can we steer a clear path through the toxic brew of lies and misinformation swamping the internet and social media? 


Read the World Health Organisation's guide to navigating the 'infodemic' and verifying online information here: who.int/news-room/spotlight/let-s-flatten-the-infodemic-curve


More Episodes

1/22/2021

Social media and free speech: Fake news, Facebook's 'Supreme Court', the Capitol riot and YouTube algorithms

In today’s episode we’re taking a sideways step from the covid pandemic and instead are discussing social media and free speech.The banning of Donald Trump from every social media platform following the deadly riot earlier this month at the US Capitol building has prompted fierce debates, not only about free speech and censorship online, but also the role of social media in fostering hate and lies. Why is it that so much horrendous stuff accumulates and spills out of social media, from deranged conspiracy theories about coronavirus all the way up to the violent and often racist political rhetoric which inspired the Capitol insurrection? Do we need more regulation and moderation of what people are saying online, or less? What are the implications of unaccountable tech CEOs barring anyone they choose from the world’s dominant communications networks? And how should we, as Christians, think about the ethics of free speech and censorship in our always online 21st century world?Our previous episode on conspiracy theories and misinformation online about coronavirus - https://shows.acast.com/matters-of-life-and-death/episodes/coronavirus-misinformationResearch on the spread of false and true news online, published in Science - https://science.sciencemag.org/content/359/6380/1146'Information Overload Helps Fake News Spread, and Social Media Knows It', published in Scientific American - https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/information-overload-helps-fake-news-spread-and-social-media-knows-it/