You Can Fight Falsehoods
More and more these days, debates and discussions about important social issues get hijacked or derailed by misinformation that people too readily accept as truth. For example, who can forget the “death panel” myth propagated by opponents of the Affordable Care Act? Or in the absence of any evidence linking autism to vaccines, why do some parents refuse to immunize their children?
In our latest SmartCast, we talk with Brendan Nyhan, Assistant Professor of Government at Dartmouth University, who has been studying the phenomenon of false beliefs since 2000, as well as the challenges in debunking misinformation and myths once they begin to take hold.
The big question we put to Nyhan: can anything be done to combat the spread of erroneous information?
Guest Post: Ryan Reynolds
Indexes are handy ways to track and report progress. You can’t beat the Dow Jones Industrial Index to follow the ups and downs of stock prices. Ditto the Consumer Price Index, which compares the cost of goods and services from year to year.
But what if you want to track progress on important social issues? Thanks to troves of data available these days, nonprofits are increasingly using indexes to communicate about their work and their underlying causes.
Guest Post: Brett Davidson
Online video is becoming increasingly important as a communications medium, and video is predicted to make up the vast majority of internet traffic in the next few years. Many foundations fund advocacy videos produced by their grantees, or produce videos themselves — but all too often good and even powerful videos languish on YouTube and other platforms, with only a handful of views. And even if decent numbers of people do watch the video, not enough of them go on to take action or get involved.