Misinformation Is Soaring Online. Don’t Fall for It


Lauren Goode: Can you think of a time when you were totally led astray by misinformation on the internet?

Michael Calore: Yeah, I remember hearing that everybody who attended CES 2020 was responsible for spreading Covid around the world.

Lauren Goode: Mm-hmm, we were.

Michael Calore: Well, we weren’t, it turns out that was misinformation. But I was really worried, because I did attend CES 2020, as did you.

Lauren Goode: Yeah, I remember that.

Michael Calore: Yeah. But yeah, that was not true.

Lauren Goode: Turns out we just had the regular old CES flu.

Michael Calore: That’s right.

Lauren Goode: Yeah.

Michael Calore: What about you?

Lauren Goode: Well, I actually thought that Balenciaga Pope was plausible. I was vaguely aware that there was online discourse about it. I looked at the photo and I thought, oh, that’s an interesting choice of jacket for the Pope. And then only after that did I realize that the discourse about it was that it was fake.

Michael Calore: Oh, I see.

Lauren Goode: Yeah.

Michael Calore: Well, that’s pretty low stakes, all things considered.

Lauren Goode: That time, yeah. But what’s going to happen when we start falling for totally fake photos or videos during a critical election period? Or during a brutal and violent conflict?

Michael Calore: Unfortunately, that is already happening.

Lauren Goode: It is, and we’re going to talk about it on today’s show.

Michael Calore: Let’s do it.

[Gadget Lab intro theme music plays]

Lauren Goode: Hi everyone, welcome to Gadget Lab. I’m Lauren Goode, I’m a senior writer at WIRED.

Michael Calore: And I’m Michael Calore, I’m a senior editor at WIRED.

Lauren Goode: And we’re joined today by David Gilbert, one of WIRED’s newest writers, who covers misinformation and disinformation. David is joining us from Ireland. Thanks David, and welcome to the Lab.

David Gilbert: Good to be here. Thanks, Lauren.

Lauren Goode: I think David might be the first person ever on the Gadget Lab podcast to join us from Cork, Ireland. Is that true, Mike? You’ve been hosting this a lot longer than I have. Have you ever had a guest on from Cork before?

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