We received the following letter from the Chair of Milton Keynes Humanists, Mike Flood, regarding his attempt to raise awareness of, and responses to, the growing problem of fake news and misinformation so I am hoping to draw our members attention to it here, in case anyone is interested in getting involved.
Like many people I have been dismayed by the escalation in misinformation, alternative facts and fake news, and the impact this is having, not least on social cohesion and people’s confidence in our political system. I also find the ‘my-opinion-is-as-good-as-yours’ attitude deeply troubling. Indeed, it raises issues for humanists because it is going to take a lot more than reason and logic to change such people’s views. My personal view is that we all need to go a bit easy on the ‘universal acid of rationality’ because with these kind of people it will only put their backs up.
So my paper is about a grassroots initiative called Critical Information that I’ve been working on for some time — see http://criticalinformation.org.uk/. It is basically humanist in nature: the plan is to work with and through civil society to raise awareness of the existential threat posed by fake news and misinformation and also to publicise practical things people are doing to tackle it.
If you like my paper I’d be most grateful if you would share it with your group; and if you or any of your members would like to be involved in some capacity please get in touch. Many thanks!
MILTON KEYNES HUMANISTS
campaigning for respect for those who seek to live ethical and responsible lives
without religious or superstitious beliefs, and against religious privilege