From fringe conspiracy theories to 'alternative facts', a timely look at how we arrived in the 'fake news' era.
Would your younger self believe the news of today? An entire city block blown up by a suicide bomber on Christmas Day because he believed phone towers spread disease. A Representative elected to the US Congress on a platform that Democrats are secretly harvesting an anti-aging chemical from the blood of abused children. Angry rioters in furs and horns overrun the Capitol in a bloody carnage of insurrection. The Prime Minister of Australia employing the wife of his friend who fronts a group the FBI has declared terrorists. A global pandemic which, even as they lie dying from it, people refuse to believe exists.
Many who sat in shocked disbelief as these events beamed around the world asked the same question: 'How did we get here?' For those rioters, it was the culmination of a journey of online radicalisation that began with the weaponisation of disinformation by their political leaders and outrageously biased 'news' commentators.
Facts and Other Lies puts fake news in its historical context and explains how disinformation has fractured society, even threatening democracy itself. It explains why disinformation is so potent and so hard to stop, and what we can do to help prevent its proliferation in Australia - where politicians and shock jocks are already operating from the same dark playbook. It outlines how anyone can defuse disinformation in the home, office or pub, or wherever the deluded gather to spread their nonsense. Be prepared!
'This is a timely account of a growing malignancy affecting all modern democracies'
Kevin Rudd, former Prime Minister of Australia
'Fascinating and terrifying . . . illuminates so much about humans and social media'
Bri Lee, author of Who Gets to Be Smart
'Read this book if you want to save democracy'
Wayne Swan, former Deputy Prime Minister of Australia
'Few have mapped our information dystopia more effectively - and entertainingly - than Coper'
Bernard Keane, Politics Editor, Crikey
'Essential reading for anyone wanting to cut through the nonsense and get to the truth'
Eason Jordan, former Chief News Executive, CNN
'We live in a world that unfolds at a pace, and with the violent twists and turns in the plot, of a thriller. This book captures the intensity of our politics and connects it to the science of misinformation . . . a great read'
Professor Stephan Lewandowsky, Chair in Cognitive Psychology, University of Bristol
Ed Coper is a leading communications expert and was on the front lines when the internet collided with democracy, growing Australia's first online political movement GetUp to quickly amass more members than every political party combined. He powered Change.org's global expansion into over eighteen countries and pioneered techniques to bring politics into the digital age, and has been behind the scenes of many of the last decade's most prominent social movements. He has advised campaigns on every continent except Antarctica, and high-profile changemakers from Malala to Richard Branson. Ed founded the New York-based Center for Impact Communications, which has led efforts to safeguard US elections from disinformation and overcome vaccine hesitancy. Ed also founded a New York City creative agency that serviced multiple Nobel Peace laureates, political and social leaders to scale their social impact. His groundbreaking campaigns have raised hundreds of millions of dollars for causes, won landmark social change and have featured in several museum exhibitions. Ed is based in Sydney and is director of the Populares communications agency.
Allen & Unwin
Allen & Unwin
Paperback - C format
Popular beliefs & controversial knowledge