Past Event

As Experts Forecast New Meme Storms, Is Anyone Listening?

March 5, 2021
2:00 PM - 3:00 PM
Sustain What: As Experts Forecast New Meme Storms, Is Anyone Listening?

Weather forecasters nailed the catastrophic Texas freeze more than a week before it struck. Utilities snoozed and citizens suffered. Disinformation trackers like Joan Donovan of Harvard's Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy already see the next "meme war" brewing on social media. As she has written, memes sound funny but can be profoundly dangerous.

Are the right people hearing such information storm warnings? If so, what should giant platforms, lawmakers and the public do?

In this Sustain What webcast, join Andy Revkin of the Earth Institute in a conversation with Donovan exploring both the challenges in spotting brewing and dangerous disinformation pulses early on and what it will take to prompt major platforms like Facebook and Twitter to shift practices in ways that cut risk.

The other opportunity lies with public education, so we'll look at what anyone can do to build a culture in which reality matters.

This show was prompted by a Twitter thread by Donovan on disinformers' efforts to distort "The Great Reset," an international push to build a more inclusive resilient post-pandemic economy, into a grand power-grab conspiracy.

Sustain What is a series of online conversations seeking progress where complexity and consequence collide. The series is produced and hosted by Andrew Revkin, founding director of the Earth Institute Initiative on Communication and Sustainability.

Contact Information

Andy Revkin