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Misinformation and Disinformation Worry Congress

There is no single solution to the information problems we are facing.

Who do you trust for good information that is accurate? I told a former neighbor that I read the New York Times and the Washington Post and she poo-pooed those as untrustworthy. I suppose liberal bastions tainted by ... writers interpreting everything with a bias.

Well, if she thinks those are bad, how about what we are seeing happen in social media these days! There is this article from Government Technology:* “As Midterms Loom, Congress Fears Domestic Disinformation.”

In the article there was a link to the agenda for the meeting. There were also links to written testimony from the hearing.

The people being hoodwinked by misinformation and disinformation have their own echo chambers of information where they get their news.

I heard a recent radio report on the ratings of various media outlets. Fox News and MSNBC were both held in “low regard” as to mixing commentary with news. People are not good at sorting out what is being presented to them as hard news and then interpretation of news that becomes commentary.

I personally mix them all the time in this blog, usually providing some news based on a report or information and then adding my commentary on what was written or said. However, I’m not a news site, I’m a blogger who like someone writing an opinion piece (op-ed) in the newspaper is not providing news, but commentary. I just looked up the definition of a blog: “A blog is a discussion or informational website published on the World Wide Web consisting of discrete, often informal diary-style text entries (posts).”

All of us need to understand the difference and realize the changes in news sources that are happening right before our eyes.

I hear major news organizations, ABC, NBC, CBS criticizing the Biden administration all the time. Does that make them a right wing organizations out to denigrate the president? No! Generally, I see them trying to provide both sides of a story. That is what good reporters do.

The ability to technologically manipulate images and people’s speech is something I'm very fearful of. The technology is there today to make an unsuspecting information consumer believe what they see and hear. It is going to get a whole lot worse before it ever gets better — if it ever gets better.

*Government Technology is a publication of e.Republic, Emergency Management’s parent company.
Eric Holdeman is a contributing writer for Emergency Management magazine and is the former director of the King County, Wash., Office of Emergency Management.