In "It's Your America," people from different backgrounds tackle issue of online misinformation

On the "Sound of Ideas," we discuss the spread of online misinformation and preview a community event in Cleveland that aims to bring people together to find a solution. [Rawpixel.com/shutterstock]
On the "Sound of Ideas," we discuss the spread of online misinformation and preview a community event in Cleveland that aims to bring people together to find a solution. [Rawpixel.com/shutterstock]
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16% of Americans, or roughly 41 million people, believe in the QAnon conspiracy theory. That's according to a survey released last month from the Public Religion Research Institute. 

The specific conspiracy is that Satanist pedophiles control the government, and other major institutions, and that a coming storm will sweep elites from power. 

The spread of online misinformation -- about the pandemic, vaccines, who won the 2020 presidential election -- has run amok in recent years, helped in part by huge disruptions in the traditional news industry. The Pew Research Center reported last year that more than 8 in 10 Americans now get their news from digital devices, including about half who say they get their news from social media. 

On the other hand, free speech is part of the fabric of our democracy, and there are those that believe social media companies are censoring people too much.  

This issue of online misinformation and free speech is the topic of the national nonprofit Civic Genius's community-initiative called "It's Your America," and the aim is to host community conversations across America with people from across the political spectrum and try to tackle national issues and come up with actual solutions. 

The initiative kicks off in Cleveland this Saturday at 10am, at 78th Street Studios. There are still in-person spots available. 

"Sound of Ideas" host Rick Jackson spoke about the event in more detail with Civic Genius Executive Director Jillian Youngblood. 

Coming up this hour, Ideastream Producer Drew Maziasz talks to best-selling Cleveland author Thrity Umrigar, about her new fiction book, Honor. 

And later, Jackson talks to the host of a podcast all about the Lost Women of Science, a fitting way to end Women's History Month.

Guests: 

- Jillian Youngblood, Executive Director, Civic Genius 

- Thrity Umrigar, Author, 'Honor'

- Katie Hafner, Host, Executive Producer, Lost Women of Science Podcast 

 

Thrity Umrigar Virtual Book Event

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