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Environmental disinformation is getting weirder

An X "community note," giving context to a post that claims an image depicts flooding in an LA Metro Station, reads: "This is a joke tweet however it is being misinterpreted as fact. This is the 'Earthquake' part of the Studio Tour in Universal Hollywood Studios park."

During disasters, people flock to social media to share warnings, coordinate in real-time, and share images of the destruction. But others use the chaos of breaking news events to spread false information.

On today’s episode, we’re exploring the rise of fake news in the environmental space, from #HawaiiNotUkraine to a news site spreading climate disinformation in Wyoming. Plus, we speak to the people fighting back, including a community fact-checker correcting earthquake disinformation on X.

Featuring Celeste Labedz, Carline Orr Bueno, and Jem Bartholomew

SUPPORT

Outside/In is made possible with listener support. Click here to become a sustaining member of Outside/In.

Talk to us! Follow Outside/In on Instagram and X, or discuss episodes in our private listener group on Facebook.

Submit a question to our Outside/Inbox. We answer queries about the natural world, climate change, sustainability, and human evolution. You can send a voice memo to outsidein@nhpr.org or leave a message on our hotline, 1-844-GO-OTTER (844-466-8837).

LINKS

This article, written before Elon Musk took over X, profiled Celeste Labedz and some other folks fighting disinformation on social media. (Poynter)

Check out Caroline Orr Bueno’s substack newsletter, Weaponized, and her piece about the #HawaiiNotUkraine hashtag.

Jem Bartholomew’s story about the sudden growth of a Wyoming news site that’s rife with climate disinformation. (CJR)

CREDITS

Host: Nate Hegyi

Reported and produced by Jeongyoon Han

Mixed by Taylor Quimby

Edited by Taylor Quimby, with help from Felix Poon and Nate Hegyi.

NHPR’s Director of On-Demand Audio is Rebecca Lavoie.

Music by Blue Dot Sessions

Our theme music is by Breakmaster Cylinder.

Outside/In is a production of New Hampshire Public Radio.

If you’ve got a question for the Outside/Inbox hotline, give us a call! We’re always looking for rabbit holes to dive down into. Leave us a voicemail at: 1-844-GO-OTTER (844-466-8837). Don’t forget to leave a number so we can call you back.

Jeongyoon joins us from a stint at NPR in Washington, where she was a producer at Weekend Edition. She has also worked as an English teacher at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, helped produce podcasts for Hong Kong Stories, and worked as a news assistant at WAMC Northeast Public Radio. She's a graduate of Williams College, where she was editor in chief of the college newspaper.
Outside/In is a show where curiosity and the natural world collide. Click here for podcast episodes and more.
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