Misinformation Makes Every Day April Fools’ Day
By Hany Farid
Environmentalists like to say “every day is Earth Day,” to remind us that the stewardship of our natural resources is a never-ending process.
In that spirit, I offer a friendly reminder that, in the age of the internet, every day is April Fools’ Day. We all have an ongoing responsibility to be aware of the digital deception and trickery all around us.
From COVID denial to the January 6 Capitol Hill insurrection, the past year has shown just how easily online misinformation can lead to real world consequences. Despite the efforts of platforms like Twitter and Facebook, fabricated news stories, misleading videos and manipulated images continue to bounce across the web’s echo chambers.
Hany Farid is Associate Dean and Head of School for the University of California, Berkeley School of Information and Senior Faculty Advisor for the Center for Long-Term Cybersecurity.