Information is fundamental to our existence. Without it, we cannot understand or effectively respond to the events that shape our world. Throughout history, campaigns to deliberately spread false information to influence public opinion or obscure the truth have been launched by individuals, organizations, and governments. But today, we’re living in a new age of information facilitated primarily by digital technology. These advancements offer us extraordinary access to facts and data but also allow for harmful, inaccurate, and manipulated information to be created and disseminated at an unprecedented speed, scope, and scale. Falsehoods are pitted against facts in competition for our attention and technology is used to exploit our cognitive functioning without repercussion. In what is being called the post-truth era, the distortion of our information landscape is eroding our trust in institutions, political systems, the media, and each other.
SFU Public Square’s 7th Community Summit considers how the proliferation of disinformation is impacting society and challenging our capacity to make informed decisions about our economic, social, and political lives. Together, we co-create strategies to ensure stronger and healthier information ecosystems and stimulate more connected and resilient communities.
Today, in what many are calling the “post-truth” era, we’re witnessing an epidemic of disinformation. How did we get here? Leading thinkers David Frum, Sue Gardner and Christopher Wylie discuss how information is being co-opted, monetized, and polluted in our current context and the impacts on our society.