To start this year, I’ll play back an interaction I had with my son last weekend.
- My son: Dad, what’s green and has wheels?
- Me: I don’t know. What’s green and has wheels?
- My son: Grass…I lied about the wheels.
This simple riddle got me thinking, as it can easily be applied to the business of misinformation. Just as my son had me guessing objects such as green wagons and garbage trucks, there’s a huge amount of media purposely misleading us every day. The wheels were — and are — never there.
Whether the sleight of hand happens through sensationalized headlines, the removal of facts to make an argument, or flat out half- or whole-truths: The wheels were — are — never there.
The recent Netflix movie “Don’t Look Up” draws attention to climate change by… adding wheels. Just like the riddle above, director Adam McKay adds fictional wheels to the highly politicized climate change story we’ve been warned about for decades. Through his use of a fictional comet hurtling towards earth to spell inevitable doom, we can finally have a discussion about something that is real — climate change.
- Truck yeah: Which major American company is releasing their first electric truck in 2022? (answer below)
Strongly held beliefs staked in media misinformation are preventing us from engaging in respectful conversations about real-world topics impacting us globally. The grass is greener anyway, we should all stay there. This year, I’m resolving to help us understand when the wheels aren’t there. So we can be better informed and have a more respectful dialogue. I hope you’ll join me.
WHAT I’M READING
Heading into another election year, the seeds that grew the misinformation of 2020 are still here. Yet there’s hope for the future. Professionals weigh in on how tech companies and regulations can get ahead of misinformation. CNET — January 3, 2022 — The misinformation pandemic is out of control, but there’s a fix
Here’s something that’s real: the power of social media. No matter which media outlet you prefer, the bipartisan consensus is that more proactive measures must be taken to combat the addictive algorithms of leading social platforms. Time —…