Prince Harry & the Aspen Institute release their report on misinformation

On Monday, the Aspen Institute released their report on the “misinformation crisis,” a report with contributions from Prince Harry. Harry was part of the commission looking at how we got to this place of global misinformation and toxic internet culture, and the group gave fifteen recommendations for how to combat the crisis. You can read the Archewell post on the subject here, and you can read the full Aspen Institute report here.

Prince Harry has described online misinformation as a “global humanitarian issue” that needs to be tackled by policies including investment in local journalism and cracking down on super-spreaders of false content. The Duke of Sussex contributed to a report by a US thinktank into disinformation, which made 15 recommendations after a six-month study.

Publicising the report on the website for Archewell, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s charitable foundation, Harry described the “mis- and disinformation crisis” as a global humanitarian issue. Harry was a member of the commission on information disorder at the Aspen Institute, a US thinktank.

He added: “I hope to see the substantive and practical recommendations of our commission taken up by the tech industry, the media industry, by policymakers, and leaders. This affects not some of us, but all of us.”

The 15 recommendations from the report, which was written by three co-chairs on the commission including the TV journalist Katie Couric, focus on the US and include “substantial” investment in local journalism; more diverse workforces at social media companies; holding misinformation super-spreaders to account; and creating a US government “national response strategy” for tackling misinformation.

Harry was one of 15 commissioners on the report who contributed via research and working groups. Other commissioners included Kathryn Murdoch, co-founder of the Quadrivium Foundation along with her husband, James Murdoch – the youngest son of media tycoon Rupert.

“Information disorder makes any health crisis more deadly. It slows down our response time on climate change,” the report said. “It undermines democracy. It creates a culture in which racist, ethnic, and gender attacks are seen as solutions, not problems. Today, mis- and disinformation have become a force multiplier for exacerbating our worst problems as a society. Hundreds of millions of people pay the price, every single day, for a world disordered by lies.”

[From The Guardian]

Investment in local journalism is something very important, but it’s difficult given the larger corporate buyouts of local TV stations and smaller newspapers. Most local newspapers are owned by big media chains, and TV stations become “Fox affiliates” or “NBC affiliates” and they adopt the political culture of those corporations. There are too few truly independent local or national media outlets here in America. Rupert Murdoch owns the New York Post AND the Wall Street Journal, you know?

Photos courtesy of WENN.

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