In this podcast David looks at a range of strategies that help protect organisations from misinformation, disinformation and plausible rubbish.
To book a call with David about how to develop critical thinking, evidence-based-practice and prevent misinformation, disinformation and plausible rubbish from negatively impacting your organisation CLICK HERE
In this podcast, I want to have a look at how to protect your organisation from plausible, rubbish, and misinformation. Hi, David Wilkinson here. I’m the founder and editor In Chief of the Oxford Review, and today I want to have a look at the problem plausible, rubbish misinformation and disinformation causes in organisations and how organisations can protect themselves.
In the era of social media chat, G P T, AI and Mass Digital Communication, fake news, misinformation and disinformation can spread like wildfire. And due to the myriad sources and entrance points of information into an organisation, they tend to be vulnerable to falling prey to plausible rubbish. Now misinformation and disinformation, whether deliberate or not, can cause significant harm to an organisation’s operations market, share, reputation, and decision making processes.
So in this podcast, what I want to do is provide you with a concise research based guide on how to effectively protect your organization from the dangers of misinformation. Now misinformation and disinformation is a growing and serious issue for many organisations and businesses, both large and small.
A 2018 study by M I T or Massachusetts Institute of Technology published in the journal Science showed that false news stories are about 70% more likely to be retweeted on Twitter than true ones now. The study followed 126,000 rumors circulating on Twitter, and firstly found that false news was significantly more likely to be shared than true news.
The study also found that the top 1% of fake news posts being shared online in what is known as false news, cascades spreads between 1000 and a hundred thousand people on average. Now, this demonstrates how plausible rubbish can infiltrate communication channels, influence, opinion, and become knowledge at a significant speed and scale these days.
Now there are clear distinctions between misinformation, disinformation, and plausible rubbish. Now, misinformation refers to the incorrect or misleading information that’s often shared regardless of intent. This is usually because of an error or misunderstanding. It’s not a, usually a deliberate intention to mislead.
For example, an individual might unknowingly share an untrue or inaccurate fact on social media believing it to be true or most likely, and this is how, fake information infiltrates organizations is that. it’s based on incorrect information in training and education programs, And this incorrect information now tends to spread to a broader audience, Disinformation, on the other hand, is false information that’s deliberately created and shared, intending to cause harm or mislead others. Uh, disinformation is actually a manipulation and is often used for propaganda to deceive or just to obscure the truth.
Now this includes spreading false rumors to smear a business competitor or maliciously circulating false information for political or control issues. For example, the key difference from misinformation lies in the intent to deceive. Now plausible rubbish refers to information or assertions that while sound credible or believable upon first hearing, particularly because of its logical or coherent, presentations are in fact false, misleading, or without a solid foundation or fact.
Plausible, rubbish spreads as misinformation, but can also result from disinformation. Now plausible rubbish of often enters an organization and takes holders kind of common fact through things like poor training programs, a lack of critical thinking and skill, uh, lack of skill with research and evidence-based practice in other systems.
Now plausible, rubbish, successfully deceives or misleads because it is cloaked in a veneer of plausibility. And seems reasonable or probable to an unsuspecting and untrained audience, even when it is without reliable evidence or research.
Now, there are many problems posed by misinformation, disinformation, and plausible rubbish entering into an organisation’s knowledge base. And these includes things like eroding trust. When an organization systems knowledge management processes and common organisational knowledge becomes infiltrated by false information, it can seriously undermine the trust and confidence of stakeholders such as customers, employees, and investors, as well as employees re reducing decision making effectiveness.
Now decision makers relying on inaccurate information can often lead to strategic in operational areas that can jeopardize an organization’s operations and outcomes. They also increase legal and regulatory risk. Misinformation has been found to severely expose an organisation to the risk of legal and regulatory peril.
A number of cases of misinformation entering organisational systems and being accepted as knowledge has resulted in quite severe penalties for non-compliance with things like data protection and other laws, for example. Increased disruption to supply chains. Now, misinformation and disinformation have been found to be the heart of several supply chain disruptions and have even led to the complete collapse of supply chains.
And the problem is, if bad information infiltrates the culture and systems of an organisation, it can become a systemic issue leading to many ongoing detrimental effects. The spread of disinformation can become normalized leading to a dysfunctional work environment where truth and transparency are undervalued and become mixed up.
Moreover, the continual use of false information can distort the organisation’s ability to make sound judgments leading to continual poor decision making. Not only that, but a culture infiltrated by misinformation can ultimately lead to the collapse of the organisation, if not addressed promptly and effectively.
Now, there are a number of evidence-based strategies that you can use to protect your organisation.
Now things like, clear policies. You’ve gotta have good policy, clearly stating the organisation’s stance on misinformation and disinformation, it’s seriousness, and what procedures should be taken to verify information is important for every organisation.
Additionally, there should be a process in place to help identify and rectify inaccuracies, as well as identify sources of information and sources of trusted information. The policy should be regularly reviewed and updated. It’s also important to train staffing critical thinking information literacy people are at the heart of any organization’s efforts to counter false information.
Employees who can think critically and are trained to use evidence-based practices are significantly less likely to fall foul of information. Now we’ve got an an Oxford Review Essential Guide to Evidence-Based Practice on the website. I’ll put a link in the show notes to that. So empowering employees to recognize and counter misinformation by providing training on critical thinking, digital literacy and evidence-based practice is one of the most potent ways to deal with a problem of false information impacting the organisation. Now, this goes hand in hand with the previous point about policy. Policy without critical thinking and evidence-based practice is unlikely to succeed.
You also need to monitor your organisation’s online presence and communication channels. It is important to monitor where information’s coming from, and that includes social media channels, news sources in order to be able to identify and quickly respond to instances of misinformation starting.
It’s also important to collaborate with credible sources of information. You know, building relationships with trusted organisations and sources such as university and organisations like us, the Oxford Review to ensure that information entering your in your organisation is both valid and reliable. Now, one of the things that you can do is book a call with us or me, to talk about how we can help protect your organisation from misinformation and disinformation.
You can also encourage open communication across the organisation. For example, fostering an organisational culture that values open communication and the sharing of accurate information and critical thinking. This helps employees feel comfortable reporting instances of misinformation without fear of reprisal.
This includes creating the expectation that people will clearly communicate the sources and methods used to obtain and verify information. It’s also important to implement robust fact checking protocols, establishing internal fact checking procedures for all outgoing communications, such as press releases, marketing materials, and social media posts, for example, to ensure the consistent dissemination of accurate information.
There’s nothing worse than having a program or a marketing program or something like that going out, finding that it’s based on misinformation. It’s also important to develop an incident response plan so that you formulate a detail plan outlining the steps your organisation will take in the event that misinformation is detected or has already spread.
This plan should include guidelines for swiftly and effectively responding to minimize the impact of false information and showing stakeholders and employees that your organisation is being proactive in taking the veracity of the information and knowledge with which it operates very seriously.
It’s also important to evaluate and leverage technology. Utilize high quality technological tools and platforms such as AI, machine learning algorithms to detect and prevent the spread of misinformation within your organisation’s digital channels. It’s also important to make sure that your AI is also monitored for misinformation, and this is one of the most, common ways that misinformation at the moment is entering.
Organisations through things like Chat, G P T, where people are going off and looking things up. Assuming that chat G p T, is it like a database! When actually it’s generative, so it’ll create stuff that isn’t real. And we’re finding this in universities, for example, students are going off and using chat G P T to create essays and things.
And when we look at them, we’re going, hang on a minute, that’s not right. and, there’s been a number of those cases occurring in the last few months within my university. It’s also important to learn from incidents and create an organisational learning culture and a learning orientation following any incident involving misinformation, conduct a thorough review to identify the root causes, evaluate the effectiveness of your organisation’s response, and make necessary improvements to policies, procedures, and systems. as I’ve mentioned before, you know, using reputable sources and research backed information and helping people to identify the difference between research based and evidence-based information and opinion-based information or stuff that’s just on blog posts, et cetera.
Now this means giving your staff access to credible sources such as the Oxford Review, research bases and things like that for evidence-based information and insights. Now, by relying on reputable sources, your organisation cannot only significantly reduce the risk of adopting and disseminating misinformation, but it also shows staff how to become more evidence-based critical thinkers.
Now, research briefings often challenge common thinking and knowledge and increase both cognitive flexibility and adaptability. Now, sources such as the Oxford Review, for example, often conduct extensive research and follow rigorous methodologies and present findings in a transparent manner with references, ensuring that your organisation’s decision making processes are based on solid evidence.
Now, Lastly, assess the evidence base of external consultants, trainers, and organisations. So whenever engaging with external consultants, trainers, and organisations, it’s really important to conduct due diligence, to check
credibility and adherence to evidence-based practices of these people and organisations.
Quite a lot of bad information and misinformation enter into organizations in the, guise of. Facts when actually they’re something that they’ve picked up on the internet or is kind of common knowledge within their area. But when we start to have a look at it from a research base, there’s either no evidence or the evidence is contrary to that.
And that happens a lot. We get a lot of our members coming to us, asking us questions about, things that consultants have brought into an organisation and when we look at them, we find that, they’re not correct. And it’s also important to check their references and qualifications and it’s wise to check the quality of the information that they’re providing and ask about their sources. Out of date or just plain wrong information entering your organisation through these routes can have a significant negative consequence. So as leaders, it’s essential to take a proactive approach in protecting your organisation from the dangers of misinformation. By implementing the strategies that have outlined above, you can significantly reduce the risks associated with plausible rubbish, and strengthen the integrity of your organisation’s decision making processes.
And if you want to know more about protecting your organisation from misinformation, disinformation, implausible, rubbish book a no obligation, confidential, one-to-one, call with me, the links in the show notes, and we can help you to navigate this and get your staff into a place where they’re much more critical and much more evidence based.
So please, if you want to protect your organization from misinformation, disinformation, and. Plausible rubbish. Go to the show notes. There’s a link there and you can book a chat with me.
The link to our Essential Guide to Evidence-Based Practice
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