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In a world of disinformation, media literacy matters now more than ever


On January 6, 2021, the world witnessed what can happen when misinformation is spread unchecked. No matter how you characterize the events that unfolded in the US Capitol that day —a deliberate attempt at a coup or merely a demonstration that got out of hand — the fact remains that deadly violence was the result. 

The insurrection was fueled by blatant lies about a rigged election, untruths that were given an air of legitimacy thanks to certain high-profile podcasters and spread widely on social media. 

In an article for The Conversation, Texas A&M University Professor of Communication Jennifer Mercieca cites statistics showing that 93% of Americans are connected to the internet and 82% of Americans are connected to social media.  

“We now all have direct access to communicate in the public sphere — and, if we choose, to create, circulate and amplify propaganda,” Mercieca wrote. “A lot of people use their social media connections and platforms to knowingly and unknowingly spread misinformation, disinformation, conspiracy and partisan talking points — all forms of propaganda. We’re all propagandists now.” 

Click here to read the full article

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