The Covid-19 pandemic, which has sparked an unprecedented surge in conspiracy theories, has shown us the real challenges of trying to tackle false narratives in emergency, or “wartime” situations. The sheer number, availability, and complexity of some stories are hard to comprehend. For instance, as Chelgate’s Terence Fane-Saunders pointed out in the latest episode of Opinion Battlegrounds, videos by some 5G conspiracy theorists are receiving hundreds of thousands of views. Moreover, at one stage “46,000 tweets linked to Covid-19 misinformation were published every single day”. With these facts in mind, it’s easy to see social media as a kind of […]Read More..
In late March, as Covid-19 swept through Europe like a medieval plague, throwing country after country into a disarray not seen in almost a century, a strange – but not so surprising – phenomenon occurred. News outlets all over the world, egged on by gushing social media influencers, reported that cities were being reclaimed by wild animals. In Venice, dolphins and swans were spotted swimming through the canals. In India, newly emboldened elephants were photographed drinking corn wine and then sleepily recuperating in a farmer’s field. Soon the Edenic images, which were circulated by millions of people, became a […]Read More..
Like any landscape, social media is full of potential friends, antagonists, and personalities that lie somewhere in-between. Normally there’s nothing to worry about. Posting an article or commenting on a link is like walking along a Hawaiian beach: you might step on a rock or shell, but most of the time you’ll just feel the warmth of the sand beneath your feet. Of course, when it comes to the management of your or your company’s online reputation, things are much more consequential. Given the hyperspeed with which masses of users tend to distort and disseminate information, a rumour, insinuation, […]Read More..
Social media, despite its blessings of connectivity and information-sharing, has also created a never-ending torrent of new problems and issues. Cruising through the rough seas of Twitter and Facebook can sometimes seem like a Sisyphean task. You send out a well-meaning message, only to be shouted down and condemned by angry strangers. You reply to a post and trolls – like hydra heads – rise up to sink in their fangs. Why all the negativity? Is everyone really out for blood or do threads and feeds just bring out our inner werewolf? According to a recent study by University of […]Read More..