Challenging Disinformation, Deception, and Manipulation
There is clearly more that can be said and done in relation to the challenges described. No one book and no one author can provide all the answers. But find answers we must. In that context, it is hoped that this discussion has contributed in some theoretical as well as tangible practical ways. In summary, this analysis leads to three key propositions that, in turn, require a number of strategies that have been outlined in Chapter 5 and are summarized here.
Three key propositions advanced in this analysis that identify a requirement for and form the basis of the strategies outlined are as follows.
We are all complicit to some extent in fake news, disinformation and the slide towards post-truth.
Understanding of the media and public communication ecosystem as it exists today, and the many players and interests that interact in and shape it, is important to move beyond finger-pointing at a few individuals or groups based on the doctrine of selective depravity and a view of others—not us—as the evildoers.
The conclusions of a 2019 Institute for Public Relations (IPR) report on Disinformation in Society are an exemplar of finger-pointing and ducking responsibility in that they make no mention of public relations (PR), but instead identify “the biggest culprits” responsible for creating disinformation as “fake social media accounts” (55%), “politicians” (45%), “Trump” specifically (40%), and “the Russian Government” (33%).1 As discussed in Chapter 5, the industry leaders and...
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