Dis/Informed is a deep-dive into conspiracy mentality and why we are so vulnerable to disinformation. Directors Viken and Kriel go in search of why women’s spaces online are being radicalised, and how the pandemic has made us all vulnerable to believing comforting lies over harsh truth.
We all like to assume that conspiracy is rare, and that those who believe it are stupid, or uneducated. Viken and Kriel debunk this persistent myth, and look at the real psychological reasons behind believing disinformation. The film explores why conspiracy spills over into violence, how the pandemic has affected our flow of information, and in particular how women’s online spaces are radicalised.
Why did the yoga and wellness movement fall wholesale for QAnon and other conspiracies? What are the dangerous trends happening in mothering and birthing forums online? Why do we see far right Nazi demonstrators blend with people who are against vaccinations?
Directors Viken and Kriel work with Dr Imran Ahmed of Centre For Countering Digital Hate, whose report ‘The Disinformation Dozen’ reveal that most misinformation about vaccines springs from just 12 social media accounts. The 12 use the fact that the big social media platforms generate revenue by keeping the user engaged and on the platform, no matter how false and incendiary the content, to enrich themselves and gain devoted acolytes worldwide.
There is a huge difference between those who are hesitant about mainstream media or vaccines, and those who actively profit from spreading lies, thriving off division and hate. When will we as a society say ‘enough’?