A Year Of Misinformation

Episodes

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Broadcast
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2021010520210126 (R4)
20210201 (R4)
New documentary for BBC Radio 4.

The final months of Donald Trump’s presidency and the coronavirus pandemic led to an explosion of misinformation – conspiracy theories, rumours, misleading social media posts and so-called “fake news”.
It’s meant busy times for a team inside the BBC who work to untangle truth from fiction and identify the bad actors behind bad info.
BBC Trending presenter Mike Wendling and specialist disinformation and social media reporter Marianna Spring have investigated some of the most viral falsehoods and conspiracy theories circulating online.
With the help of colleagues, they explored the rise of the pro-Trump movement QAnon. And they unpicked wild rumours and pseudoscience about Covid-19 that led to real-world harm – including deaths, riots and the destruction of mobile phone masts.
In this programme, they look back at some of the biggest stories of the past year, and reflect on what they learned about who spreads disinformation, who believes it, and what we all need to watch out for in the year ahead.

Producer: Ed Main

A look back at false stories that went viral online and the real-life harm they caused.

A look back at false stories that went viral online and the real-life harm they caused.