Most folks are aware at this point of a video on youtube that went viral this past week. We saw this video quite early and were working on a strategy on how to respond.
As the Plandemic movie made the rounds, we started compiling our own point by point response to the video. This is quite a time consuming process and therefore you start at a major disadvantage because time is of the essence.
We were able to identify a few responses that were already moving faster and therefore I think it’s instructive to evaluate them and see how effective these strategies are in their messaging.
- The reddit thread below was the most upvoted (liked) response on reddit. It is a detailed refutation of the accusations. From my point of view the tone is a bit hyperbolic but seems to be effective. High level of
- Folks on the thread below have collaborated and created a minute by minute rebuttal. I think this is the approach that I would personally pursue. I have reached out to the lead author and discussed collaboration on future releases of the film. Where I think there is a big opportunity is on the formatting of the information into a better digestible format. My goal is to repost the response here on the discussion board and get some feedback from the community.
- This thread is sympathetic to the video and criticizing the actions of social media companies that are censoring it. Interestingly the video is available for download on the plandemic movie’s own website but everyone seems to disregard this fact and point to new streams. Could have to do with the desire to view on mobile.
- Even on a thread in the conspiracy subreddit it seems people are pushing back:
- This pdf again does a full on analysis. The challenge as I see it is one of format again. Will the same number of people that watch a well produced video, sit and read a pdf document with no images?
- Large fact check websites have come out with their own approach. Here politifact chooses a few of the claims to focus on. Great job on sources. Quick response but not commonly sited in my anecdotal experience:
- Vice does a feature as well and it gets good circulation as it gets cited by well known accounts but I found it difficult to read and quite wordy. Some of these responses almost seem as lazy placeholders for folks to just throw back at their friends. This may be a bad personal attestation as I may have been overexposed to responses at this point:
Also have seen a number of approaches on my personal news feed to the responses. I will not post them here as I think they may be protected but would be interesting to hear from everyone on what they are seeing in their own bubbles.
I’m really optimistic after this episode as it seems we are finding that most people are open minded as long as responses are not personal and we are respectful in how we give them a different perspective:
“I had some friends, not necessarily trump supporters, I’ll add, share it and I pointed out how wrong it is with sources and they snapped out of it and thanked me and are now trying to do the same to dispel the misinformation. The trick was not belittling them for sharing it, and expressing that I understand everyone wants answers right now but these are not it. The production is pretty good too, it seems kind of legitimate until you pay attention to what they’re saying.”
Everyone is looking for good information. We need to help folks that may not have the same information awareness understand how to develop these skills. Also many folks can instinctively spot the problems with these videos but don’t have the time to research.
This highlights how important the solutions we are discussing can be.
Some of the reddit threads while informative have a bit of a ridicule posture so I think it’s important to isolate the information from the behavior and give it a better chance of helping people understand that the disinformation issue is not about us vs them. WE as a community and a democracy will only thrive if we are making decisions based on the beset information available. This should be a shared goal and not another wedge to divide us.
I personally think the biggest failure in this chapter was the decision to censor as it turned this video into yet another “forbidden fruit”. As we think about the future perhaps partnering with big tech could be one goal that may bring revenue and help fund a team that approaches these rebuttals in a process oriented way.
The second challenge was one of format disadvantage. It’s really not as appealing to read the long form text (this one included) that have been put up as rebuttals.
One idea we are toying with is some kind of on video commenting or live commentary style. It will still be at a disadvantage but perhaps on screen pop ups could help alleviate some of this stream of misinformation.
Gish Gallop is a well discussed strategy that will most likely be employed more and more in the future. Need an effective tool to respond:
** As always this thread is subject to updates and is a work in progress.