Disinformation, American style (4)

Chicago Thinker editors Audrey Unverferth and Evita Duffy take a look back at the Thinker’s subversion of the nauseating University of Chicago Institute of Politics/Atlantic Disinformation Conference last week. They give their after-action review the headline “The Chicago Thinker Staged a Media Regime Takedown This Week—Here’s How We Did It.” They write:

This week, the University of Chicago’s Institute of Politics (IOP) and The Atlantic magazine hosted a “Disinformation and the Erosion of Democracy” conference, and we have to hand it to IOP Director David Axlerod for bringing in true experts on the subject. The conference featured some of America’s greatest purveyors of disinformation, such as Barack Obama, Brian Stelter, Anne Applebaum, and a few token conservatives, including Jonah Goldberg and Adam Kinzinger.

The media, government, and academia elites speaking at the conference weren’t expecting to be challenged as they self-righteously spewed more lies—but our team at the Chicago Thinker was prepared to hold them accountable.

Student journalists from the Chicago Thinker respectfully listened, asked honest questions, and reported. Our efforts soon went viral, garnering millions of views on social media. We successfully turned the IOP’s “Disinformation Conference” on its head and sparked a national conversation about the corporate media’s disinformation.

If this week has taught us anything, it’s that the regime media is incredibly fragile. If a couple hard-hitting questions from college students can rattle the elites to such a degree, just think what would happen if our peers at other universities follow our lead.

Here’s how we smoked some of America’s most corrupt, partisan liars.

Unverferth and Duffy’s after-action review is broken down into four sections:

We Recognized Them for Who They Are

We Respectfully Posed Tough Questions

The Media Regime Had a Meltdown

The Chicago Thinker Will Keep Fighting and So Should You

The review is full of tweets that document the Thinker’s participation in the conference. Unverferth and Duffy don’t write about their deployment of social media as an element of the assault, but (for better or worse) it was critical. However, they rightly acknowledge the threat posed by the social media gatekeepers that was promoted by one of the speakers: “Our team recognizes the stakes: if [Maria] Ressa and her friends successfully entrench themselves as information gate-keepers, genuine truth-seeking will be forced underground or stopped completely. We can’t let them get away with this power grab.”

I think the editors allude to the Thinker’s savvy use of social media in their conclusion:

We skewered the establishment media for laughably lecturing on disinformation when they themselves are the greatest purveyors of disinformation and supporters of algorithmic censorship in our country.

Finally, we demonstrated that our generation is not a lost cause. There are many of us, at UChicago and beyond, who see the liars for who they are and aren’t willing to surrender the digital public square.

The best way to combat real disinformation is not gate-keeping and algorithmic censorship. It’s asking tough questions and having real conversations.

We students have a lot of power. We are more tech savvy than the likes of [CNN’s Brian] Stelter, [Dispatch editor Jonah] Goldberg, and [Atlantic staff writer Anne] Applebaum. Thanks to the open internet, we’ve been able to expose the regime media and hold it accountable for its own words and actions. Our student-driven, viral reporting is exactly what the elites want to put a stop to, and that’s why we all need to keep fighting.

Whole thing here.

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