I am reading Naomi Klein’s new book: Doppelganger, Into The Mirror World.

Naomi Klein’s new book “#Doppelganger” dropped earlier this week. I only just started listening to the audiobook yesterday and it’s a fiesta or what should be a moment of retrospection for people who work in the information integrity environment…[Read more]

The book offers a micro-focus on conspiracy enthusiasts, agitators, what spaces they occupy, ego, axes of power in the online information age, and especially a read down of the vacuum left behind when information and reporting/discovery of the truth becomes dictated by dogma or binary thinking. You can listen to Naomi talk about her new book on On with Kara Swisher and WTF with Marc Maron. Other notes from the book and the pods to get you excited:


The “us vs them” and the “bubbles” on all sides are driving people apart to a place where there won’t be objective truth anymore. “Alt” or alternative platforms are practically mainstream today and are the go-to platforms for the people who use them or believe in the message there – more than 2 years ago or 1 year ago (GETTR, Kiwi Farms).


Naomi advocates for countering misinformation with cold facts (truth bombs) and empathy. The difference lies in verifying facts, challenging assumptions, and submitting work to diligent editing.Back on the alienation of people who don’t think like us or are just attached to one single issue. Nuance gets lost when issues are oversimplified (cough vaccines) and this may be exactly when people start looking for conspiracies when there are none (Sep 11, vaccines again, nefarious intelligence agencies, etc.).

Challenging falsehoods or misguided beliefs on people’s own turf while acknowledging the nuggets of truths or information they may be referencing may do some overall net good in terms of pushing some people farther towards a more objective scientific (empirically tested) truth or shared reality or lived experience.

Here some some ways we can encourage people to challenge their beliefs and seek objective truth:

  • Promote intellectual humility. We must model openness to being wrong and changing our minds with new evidence. Make it normal to update beliefs and avoid tying ego to specific stances.
  • Appeal to scientific consensus and not be afraid that people won’t accept it or don’t understand it. Highlight the consensus of experts when applicable and stay on message.
  • Frame worldview updates as personal growth and not purity tests and a certain path for repudiation just because of growth. Position changing beliefs not as admitting weakness but as a sign of wisdom and strength. Make updates feel rewarding.
  • Remind people of shared hopes. The conversation around science, the future of the economy, housing, and governing are sinister and is certainly driving people to seek comfort in a world of conspiracies that validate their fears and not their aspirations for the future. Celebrate progress.

Prev PostChairing the MisinfoCon Summit on Science Misinformation
Next PostThe "Equity Act": Navigating the Intersection of AI Innovation, Worker Welfare, and Corporate Responsibility

Leave a reply