For Immediate Release

Hosted ByNeville Hobson and Shel Holtz

Neville Hobson and Shel Holtz analyze the news in digital and social media for communications professionals.

FIR #411: Are We Unnecessarily Panicked About Online Disinformation?

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Several studies seem to suggest that a small cadre of “supersharers” was responsible for spreading 80 percent of “fake news” on X (formerly Twitter) in 2020. Further, by removing these supersharers from the platforms they use to spread misinformation and disinformation, the number of lies appearing on the social network plummeted. What’s more, another study found that most people aren’t swayed by online misinformation and disinformation. As a result, all the panic about online misinformation and disinformation could be overblown.

Or not. In this short midweek episode, Neville and Shel examine the data and what’s missing to reach a conclusion about communicators’ role in addressing what’s true and what’s not online.

Links from this episode:


The next monthly, long-form episode of FIR will drop on Monday, June 17.

We host a Communicators Zoom Chat most Thursdays at 1 p.m. ET. To obtain the credentials needed to participate, contact Shel or Neville directly, request them in our Facebook group, or email

Special thanks to Jay Moonah for the opening and closing music.

You can find the stories from which Shel’s FIR content is selected at Shel’s Link Blog. Shel has started a metaverse-focused Flipboard magazine. You can catch up with both co-hosts on Neville’s blog and Shel’s blog.

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this podcast are Shel’s and Neville’s and do not reflect the views of their employers and/or clients.

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