Age of Disinformation

We live in the Information Age. Pretty much the whole of recorded knowledge from all time is available in a few clicks. Most of us use the technology that makes this feat possible to look at funny cat pictures and argue with total strangers. The proliferation of social media and instant publish platforms means that any one of us can have a global audience, but you need a sensational event to document if you want your Facebook post or Instagram pic to go viral. Case in point: How many have seen this image in the last week which supposedly shows Houston under water?

Screenshot 2015-05-30 at 8.11.23 AM

That is Houston, TX and that is truly a lot of water. But this 2001 image shows the aftermath of Hurricane Allison. There have been roughly a dozen events just in my lifetime that brought higher floodwaters to Houston than last week’s flood which has been called unprecedented in hundreds of accounts, all of which are exaggerated. Bill Nye said the correlation between flooding in Houston and climate change is as certain as between cigarette smoking and cancer. Even the CNN interviewer tried to question his assertions but when debating Bill Nye you either agree with him or you’re an idiot.

James Spann has written the most sensible, level-headed post on meteorology, social media and the climate change discussion that in my opinion can be written. He suggests we call last week’s event in Texas “weather” and not climate. Sensationalism used to be a problem in the media but in this day and age every single person with a smartphone is the media.

Please read The Age of Disinformation by James Spann. 

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3 thoughts on “Age of Disinformation

  1. Very interesting… All of the venues of media now cause I guess so much exaggeration and misinformation. When someone sends me an email that just doesn’t sound right.. I will research especially if it is really outrageous and often I will tell the person who forwarded it to me.. not to point out his folly in sending it… but so he doesn’t worry and believe it… Diane

  2. Michael Spencer introduced me to Snopes.com. It takes a minute or less to verify the truth of most claims before “sharing” them with others but most people will admit they don’t care.

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