Battle Begins to #KeepItReal

Battle Begins to #KeepItReal

Welcome to our adventurous blog series, #KeepItReal, where we delve into the profound impact of misinformation on 125 Million first-time voters in India. In a nation on the brink of pivotal change, the 2024 General Elections stand as a testament to the power of informed decision-making. Our comprehensive research, encapsulated in the groundbreaking "Don't Be a Fool 3.0" report by Social & Media Matters, serves as the cornerstone of this series. Through this journey, we aim to unravel the intricate web of fake news and its influence on young voters, highlighting the urgent need for enhanced media literacy. Join us in exploring these crucial insights and fostering a well-informed electorate for a stronger, more resilient democracy.

This blog series, a cornerstone of the #KeepItReal campaign, as India approaches a crucial electoral milestone. At the heart of this endeavor lies a dual mission: to dissect global research on misinformation's impact on first-time voters and to lay a solid knowledge foundation for our campaign. Social & Media Matters is mobilizing to enhance media literacy through dynamic workshops, awareness campaigns, and educational curricula. Every piece of research, expert dialogue, and fieldwork converges to empower voters with the tools to discern truth. Join us in this transformative journey, where informed choices lead to a stronger, more vibrant democracy.

It's not an India specific problem, very much like Covid19 its a global issue, so the solutions we find here will help others solve for misinformation across the globe. I would like to quote Bradley Honan, CEO and president of Honan Strategy Group. “There’s been disinformation as long as humans have been talking to each other,” Honan said. “Having so many different channels and platforms allows information now to move as never before. Disinformation is becoming more persuasive because there’s so much of it.

But before I give into my intuition of what I have learned from the field, coming from a politically active family I had the privilege of being in election campaigns since I was 7, yes I still clearly remember painting the party flag for one of my uncles. I must highlight, that research is still a bit unclear on the extent of Impact of misinformation on first time voters here is a good one to refer to by Jakob Home, Charles H D Vreese, Erik Albaek, Another interesting one is from Kevin Carney.

So a quick GPS of #KeepItReal (that’s Goal, Plan & System)

Goal: Media literacy of 125 million people.

Plan: Plan is based on three pillars namely.

1. Research : Yes we need to know the problem, and when we know it well, we need data to back our claims, and we need to share what we know

2. Capacity building: Workshops and curriculum, very very important to achieve media literacy at scale.

3. Awareness: Yes, an all inclusive full court press awareness campaign, across India, in multi languages, involving diverse voices.

  • Take a day at a time.
  • Build partnerships with Educational institutions, Election Commission, Big Tech platforms, Media houses, influencers, any and every stake holder who wants to help.
  • Executing on each pillar daily, every step matters, the next 6 months is all about smoothening the implementation of Research + Capacity building + Awareness.
  • Step 3 is improving and making step 1 & 2 friction less.
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