Show Notes for Episode 6: Countering “Fake News”

Photo by Joshua Miranda from Pexels.

In Episode 6 of Essence of Wonder with Gadi Evron, Gadi and Karen Castelletti, along with guest hosts Sounil Yu, Malka Older, and returning special guest David Weber, hosted several panels on “fake news”.

The episode was recorded in front of a live audience.

Video recordings

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

Clips from the Episode

Insight In a Nutshell (Fake News: History, Art, Politics, & the Future, Clip 1)

References

Definitelly Real (Michael Morgenstern’s group).

AMITT framework [GitHub]

A Conference for Defence [website]

Burning of the Reichstag [Wikipedia]

Show Hosts, Guests, and Quotes

Gadi Evron

“As a foreigner what I find interesting is that the one thing both sides of the US political divide agree on, is that the other side is using fake news.”

— Gadi Evron on Essence of Wonder with Gadi Evron, episode 6: Countering “Fake News”.

“Let’s stop making a totem out of these four words, Trump, Russia, Fox News/CNN, and Facebook, and go deeper into exploring the problem of fake news, rather than treat these as an emblem to worship at.”

— Gadi Evron on Essence of Wonder with Gadi Evron, episode 6: Countering “Fake News”.

“Let’s stop admiring the problem”.

— Gadi Evron quoting Pablo Breuer, Essence of Wonder With Gadi Evron, episode 6: Countering “Fake News”.

“Organizations and even individuals can now weaponize speech, making it an asymmetrical challenge in what used to be limited to the realm of nation-states and organizations of a similar level of power. And, much the same, this [fake news] can now be weaponized against not just nations, but organizations and even individuals.”

— Gadi Evron on Essence of Wonder with Gadi Evron, episode 6: Countering “Fake News”.

“I treat all information as entertainment, and if something becomes important, I’d stop and ‘check my sources’. While an unpopular opinion, and we certainly shouldn’t stop fighting for facts, this is where I believe the world is headed, as people are already there. I can’t, and people won’t, stop to think every moment on every decision.”

— Gadi Evron on Essence of Wonder with Gadi Evron, episode 6: Countering “Fake News”.

“This may be the information age, but it’s also the age. of discourse. We are all affected and influenced, our words can and are weaponized against us, and we are being forced into extreme positions in order to advocate for our opinions, as a performative stance – and unfortunately it seems like we have to.”

— Gadi Evron on Essence of Wonder with Gadi Evron, episode 6: Countering “Fake News”.

“The inherent challenge in countering fake news is avoiding infringing on free speech. Is an influencer sharing fake news protected speech?”

— Gadi Evron on Essence of Wonder with Gadi Evron, episode 6: Countering “Fake News”.

“Networks are for people.”

Steve Crocker, a founder of the Internet, quoted by Gadi Evron on Essence of Wonder with Gadi Evron, episode 6: Countering “Fake News”.

Karen Castelletti

“The idea of using information for strategic influence is about as new as Sun Tzu.”

— Karen Castelletti on Essence of Wonder With Gadi Evron, episode 6: Countering “Fake News.”

“If humans communicate and are affected by it [fake news], I’m not clear that it should just be suppressed.”

— Karen Castelletti on Essence of Wonder With Gadi Evron, episode 6: Countering “Fake News.”

“The most successful and wide-spread forms of art are actually religious ceremonies.”

— Karen Castelletti on Essence of Wonder With Gadi Evron, episode 6: Countering “Fake News.”

David Weber

Website.

“We may just have to reach a point where it is so bad that people feel there’s no choice but to fix it.”

— David Weber on Essence of Wonder With Gadi Evron, episode 6: Countering “Fake News.”

“I don’t have to defend your right to free speech because I can weaponise my right to free speech to overwhelm you.”

— David Weber on Essence of Wonder With Gadi Evron, episode 6: Countering “Fake News.”

“Every writer the instant he or she begins writing, steps onto a soapbox, whether they intend to or not.”

— David Weber on Essence of Wonder With Gadi Evron, episode 6: Countering “Fake News.”

“[Thanks for] A lifetime of friendship, love, and fiercely honest intellectual debate.

David Weber quoting a eulogy for Bill Buckley, Essence of Wonder With Gadi Evron, episode 6: Countering “Fake News”.

“We need to get back to the notion that it’s possible to be wrong, not evil.”

— David Weber on Essence of Wonder With Gadi Evron, episode 6: Countering “Fake News.”

“To some extent, Tribalism is an irreconcilable part of the human condition”.

— David Weber on Essence of Wonder With Gadi Evron, episode 6: Countering “Fake News.”

“As a society our idealized position for many years has been that. we have to be inclusive of others, in order to protect our own rights. That if we didn’t extend free speech to other people, we sacrificed it for ourselves. This has changed with social media into the notion that I don’t have to protect your right for free speech because I can weaponize my own to overwhelm you.”

— David Weber on Essence of Wonder With Gadi Evron, episode 6: Countering “Fake News.”

Malka Older

Website.

“People don’t get deradicalized by watching a different news show, they get deradicalized by talking to someone.”

— Malka Older on Essence of Wonder With Gadi Evron, episode 6: Countering “Fake News.”

“How much of that unified society is coming from a certain perspective, because certainly, 50 years ago, 100 years ago, there were people who were very much excluded from that unified society.”

— Malka Older on Essence of Wonder With Gadi Evron, episode 6: Countering “Fake News.”

“Can we democratize information without democratizing facts?”

— Malka Older on Essence of Wonder With Gadi Evron, episode 6: Countering “Fake News.”

“[Concern in defining] Narrative as a backdoor to trust.”

— Malka Older on Essence of Wonder With Gadi Evron, episode 6: Countering “Fake News.”

Sounil Yu

Twitter.

“If we can have a respite for the next few hours, from talking about politics, that’d be great.”

— Sounil Yu on Essence of Wonder With Gadi Evron, episode 6: Countering “Fake News.”

“What is truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth? How do we actually discern that and have a foundation for that? In this post-modernistic world, how can you even determine what fake news if there is no foundation for what’s true?”

— Sounil Yu on Essence of Wonder With Gadi Evron, episode 6: Countering “Fake News.”

“Tell stories that inspire, and not diminish.”

— Sounil Yu on Essence of Wonder With Gadi Evron, episode 6: Countering “Fake News.”

“There is a balkanization of truth happening on the Internet with different people saying “this is the source of truth.”

— Sounil Yu on Essence of Wonder With Gadi Evron, episode 6: Countering “Fake News.”

“Could we come up with the notion of a Certificate Authority-like structure for truth, such as for validating a source of where information came from?”

— Sounil Yu on Essence of Wonder With Gadi Evron, episode 6: Countering “Fake News.”

John Rendon

Twitter.

“Going into places where Duck is a verb as well as a noun.”

— John Rendon on Essence of Wonder With Gadi Evron, episode 6: Countering “Fake News.”

“I get up in the morning, look in the mirror and hope to see Luke, and I know Obi-Wan is staring back at me.”

— John Rendon on Essence of Wonder With Gadi Evron, episode 6: Countering “Fake News.”

When disinformation goes into play it is built on a foundation of pieces of facts.”

— John Rendon on Essence of Wonder With Gadi Evron, episode 6: Countering “Fake News.”

“You either have a true fact or a false fact, there’s no such thing as an alternative fact.”

— John Rendon on Essence of Wonder With Gadi Evron, episode 6: Countering “Fake News.”

“The key is to get somebody who they trust, before they need to trust them.”

— John Rendon on Essence of Wonder With Gadi Evron, episode 6: Countering “Fake News.”

“I recall reading a memo from Sullivan, who was the first president of CBS, warning, and this was Mud and Cronkite era, as entertainment television was emerging, he was seriously concerned and warned the entire news department that the risk of entertainment coming out of the same device that news came out of, ran the risk of trivializing the news.”

— John Rendon on Essence of Wonder With Gadi Evron, episode 6: Countering “Fake News.”

“The notion of working the problem instead of working the divide has always been successful.”

— John Rendon on Essence of Wonder With Gadi Evron, episode 6: Countering “Fake News.”

“We can address any issue without putting a partisan shield in it, because we fought together once.”

— John Rendon on Essence of Wonder With Gadi Evron, episode 6: Countering “Fake News.”

Richard Marshall – https://www.linkedin.com/in/rmarshall141699

“You don’t get news, you get op eds, presented as news.”

— Richard Marshall on Essence of Wonder With Gadi Evron, episode 6: Countering “Fake News.”

“The large number of voters get caught up in this biased frame and don’t know how to get out.”

— Richard Marshall on Essence of Wonder With Gadi Evron, episode 6: Countering “Fake News.”

“We identify with characters that are in TV shows and movies, and somehow we subscribe to the fact that because we like that particular character, we think that anything they say from Hollywood is absolutely brilliant, and accurate, when they’re just repeating someone else’s narrative, that may or may not agree with ours, and that is a part of the danger.”

— Richard Marshall on Essence of Wonder With Gadi Evron, episode 6: Countering “Fake News.”

Prof. Braden Allenby

Website.

“What we have is a failure of the fundamental premise of democracy, which is that you do have an informed citizen.”

— Prof Braden Allenby on Essence of Wonder With Gadi Evron, episode 6: Countering “Fake News.”

“The idea that there is such a thing as facts outside of context is a very dangerous one.”

— Prof Braden Allenby on Essence of Wonder With Gadi Evron, episode 6: Countering “Fake News.”

“The purpose of a narrative is to allow you to filter out the facts that you don’t agree with, and as long as it doesn’t disagree with something fundamental like gravity, it works.”

— Prof Braden Allenby on Essence of Wonder With Gadi Evron, episode 6: Countering “Fake News.”

“If you tell people you’re building a narrative for them, they’ll reject it, particularly in the United States, so how do you build a new narrative in the United states without Americans knowing about it?”

— Prof Braden Allenby on Essence of Wonder With Gadi Evron, episode 6: Countering “Fake News.”

“As a general rule of psychological manipulation no one can control you unless there is something that is more important to you then letting them control you.”

— Prof Braden Allenby on Essence of Wonder With Gadi Evron, episode 6: Countering “Fake News.”

Michael Morgenstern

Website.

“Media and the stories we tell are critical to the way we understand the world and talk about the world.”

— Michael Morgenstern on Essence of Wonder With Gadi Evron, episode 6: Countering “Fake News.”

“We need to use these tools for positive storytelling.”

— Michael Morgenstern on Essence of Wonder With Gadi Evron, episode 6: Countering “Fake News.”

“The experiential process of watching a story unfold, seeing a conflict arise, on something that’s clearly fictional and doesn’t matter to anyone propagate on social media as if it does is going to be an important step in helping people understand.”

— Michael Morgenstern on Essence of Wonder With Gadi Evron, episode 6: Countering “Fake News.”

“It’s more about tribalism than it is about disinformation. We can be friends and have a lot of love for each other, not necessarily caring for what’s true or real, but where these top-level narratives pit us against each other to keep our identity is where we get into trouble.”

— Michael Morgenstern on Essence of Wonder With Gadi Evron, episode 6: Countering “Fake News.”

“It seems to be an arms race of communication.”

— Michael Morgenstern on Essence of Wonder With Gadi Evron, episode 6: Countering “Fake News.”

The grugq

“Disinformation is deliberate, Misinformation is a mistake.”

— The grugq on Essence of Wonder With Gadi Evron, episode 6: Countering “Fake News.”

“You cannot patronize people and say ‘The problem is that you’re just not educated enough, you need to get educated and you won’t believe this bullshit.’ People will just shut off on that.”

— The grugq on Essence of Wonder With Gadi Evron, episode 6: Countering “Fake News.”

“If I was an attacker and I discovered that you were doing domain level truth, I would be willing to put in one or two years of being completely factual if it allowed me to do two days of pure disinformation with a truth stamp.”

— The grugq on Essence of Wonder With Gadi Evron, episode 6: Countering “Fake News.”

“Huge amounts of disinformation and propaganda are not based on false statements, they are based on misrepresenting true ones.”

— The grugq on Essence of Wonder With Gadi Evron, episode 6: Countering “Fake News.”

“What you’re trying to do is not to say ‘this fact is wrong’, as it’s a fact, but rather ‘the interpretation of the fact is wrong’ and that’s a much harder prospect, because it’s hard to convince people their opinions are wrong.”

— The grugq on Essence of Wonder With Gadi Evron, episode 6: Countering “Fake News.”

“The important thing is not to clean up the information environment, but populating it with quality information so that people are eating good info, not just a junk food diet.”

— The grugq on Essence of Wonder With Gadi Evron, episode 6: Countering “Fake News.”

“I dislike splitting these up as it creates the idea that computers, information, and people are all distinct things that can be attacked independently by different types of people. You don’t necessarily need CNA, you can get away with a Facebook page and a few Twitter accounts.”

— The grugq on Essence of Wonder With Gadi Evron, episode 6: Countering “Fake News.”

“A lot of the fakes on Twitter would be recontextualized images, taking an image of one conflict like a bomb going off in Syria, and recontextualize it for the conflict in Iraq.”

— The grugq on Essence of Wonder With Gadi Evron, episode 6: Countering “Fake News.”

Sara-Jayne “SJ” Terp

“Real information badly framed is much, much, harder to disprove.”

— Sara-Jayne “SJ” Terp on Essence of Wonder With Gadi Evron, episode 6: Countering “Fake News.”

“In the case of ‘I want to steal a country please’, you just break into people’s heads and put the information you want in there.”

— Sara-Jayne “SJ” Terp on Essence of Wonder With Gadi Evron, episode 6: Countering “Fake News.”

“You’re not going to be able to do it with machine learning, you need to use humans. You always need to use both.”

— Sara-Jayne “SJ” Terp on Essence of Wonder With Gadi Evron, episode 6: Countering “Fake News.”

“Information deserts are whole areas where you’re not going to be able to find information that you need.”

— Sara-Jayne “SJ” Terp on Essence of Wonder With Gadi Evron, episode 6: Countering “Fake News.”

Dr. Rosanna Guadagno

Website.

“It’s difficult for platforms to tell who real users are as all you see is their digital footprints which are similar between accounts that are legitimate and those that are not, at least initially.”

— Dr. Rosanna Guadagno on Essence of Wonder With Gadi Evron, episode 6: Countering “Fake News.”

“Virality would be harder If social media companies could determine a business model that wasn’t based on free access in exchange for our data.”

— Dr. Rosanna Guadagno on Essence of Wonder With Gadi Evron, episode 6: Countering “Fake News.”

“The way our brains are wired, it’s human nature to divide to us versus them.”

— Dr. Rosanna Guadagno on Essence of Wonder With Gadi Evron, episode 6: Countering “Fake News.”

“People need to remember that not everything you see and read on the internet is true, and that should be our expectation for the internet, in its current incarnation.”

— Dr. Rosanna Guadagno on Essence of Wonder With Gadi Evron, episode 6: Countering “Fake News.”

“Teach employees. If you let people know what to expect with forewarning, and provide with guidance on how to respond they can help, and build resistance to it.”

— Dr. Rosanna Guadagno on Essence of Wonder With Gadi Evron, episode 6: Countering “Fake News.”

David M. Perlman

Website.

“If I state my opinion, it is true that it is my opinion, but that has no bearing on the truth of the fact the opinion relates to.”

— David M. Perlman on Essence of Wonder With Gadi Evron, episode 6: Countering “Fake News.”

“If you care more about the right to have an opion than the underlying facts, then you’re lost.”

— David M. Perlman on Essence of Wonder With Gadi Evron, episode 6: Countering “Fake News.”

“You don’t have to teach people different facts, as the only reason they believe these facts is that they are part of their group identity.”

— David M. Perlman on Essence of Wonder With Gadi Evron, episode 6: Countering “Fake News.”

“QAnon wouldn’t be fun for people if it wasn’t for the sense of comradery. If everyone there argued all the time because they disagreed on exactly how QAnon worked, it wouldn’t be fun or as comradery. Cults don’t foster debate. There is a wisdom handed down from above, and if you debate you’re not going to be a part of the group.”

— David M. Perlman on Essence of Wonder With Gadi Evron, episode 6: Countering “Fake News.”

“[To corporate security world] If you are not thinking about this [fake news] now, you’re going to have to sooner than you like.”

— David M. Perlman on Essence of Wonder With Gadi Evron, episode 6: Countering “Fake News.”

“With the elections people don’t have the bandwidth. to look internally into their organizations, but afterwards they may start looking at internal communications, and perhaps find some things that have been there all along.”

— David M. Perlman on Essence of Wonder With Gadi Evron, episode 6: Countering “Fake News.”

“It is easier to decide if something is abusive than if it is true.”

David M. Perlman quoting the head of YouTube on The Essence of Wonder With Gadi Evron, episode 6: Countering “Fake News”.

“If you say that something is factually, objectively true, then if you’re even slightly wrong, you have failed completely, whereas if you say something is abusive, and you’re slightly wrong, then you haven’t failed completely.”

— David M. Perlman on Essence of Wonder With Gadi Evron, episode 6: Countering “Fake News.”

“Every question is a trick question when you’re talking about disinformation.”

— David M. Perlman on Essence of Wonder With Gadi Evron, episode 6: Countering “Fake News.”

“If you’re going to remind people of something, remind them that the Internet isn’t everything, don’t live your whole life on the Internet.”

— David M. Perlman on Essence of Wonder With Gadi Evron, episode 6: Countering “Fake News.”

Production Team

Gadi Evron
Karen Castelletti
Daria Medved
John Dodd
Ian Stockdale
Katie Anderson
Alan Bond
Dragos Ruiu
Margarita Jaitner
Daniel Goldberg
Niamh Kearney
Michael Rafferty

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