Lee McIntyre identifies the creators, amplifiers, and believers of disinformation in On Disinformation

By Spenser Stevens | April 23 2024 | College & University Reads

By: Lee McIntyre

On Disinformation is a small urgent book that I wrote for everyone — it’s something you can carry in your back pocket and pass on to a friend. My goal was to create a training manual for how ordinary citizens could fight back against the kind of propaganda, lies, and falsehoods that had motivated the insurrectionists who stormed the U.S. Capitol on January, 6, 2021.

But the further truth is that I wrote it most of all for young people. You know in your bones that there’s something wrong with the world. And that there’s no one else out there who’s coming to save us.

Central in my mind was the question “why is this happening?” And the answer was that January 6th wasn’t some random collection of people who woke up one day and wondered if there were bamboo ballots in Arizona or an Italian satellite changing votes; it was the foreseeable outcome of a strategic denialist campaign that had been created by those who had something to gain by building an army around a self-serving lie.

Disinformation isn’t an accident or a mistake — it’s a lie. And it plays a crucial role not just in getting people to believe a falsehood, but to polarize them around a factual issue so that they distrust and maybe even hate anyone who does not also believe this same falsehood.

Even if you don’t believe their lie, disinformers want you to feel helpless. To be cynical. To think there’s nothing you can do. But you are not helpless. There is something that each of us can do to fight back against the kind of disinformation that is ruining our country and threatening democracy around the world. At the end of On Disinformation, I outline ten practical steps that each of us can take.

There are powerful special interests who are creating and amplifying disinformation. But there are also more of us who care about truth and democracy than those who don’t. I want to inspire you to take action. Each of us can do a little bit.

And just imagine how powerful we’ll be if we’re all rowing in the same direction.

On Disinformation
How to Fight for Truth and Protect Democracy
A powerful, pocket-sized citizen’s guide on how to fight back against the disinformation campaigns that are imperiling American democracy, from the bestselling author of Post-Truth and How to Talk to a Science Denier.