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Tuesday 5 December 2023 Dublin: 5°C

The Explainer: From influencers to QAnon - how misinformation changed in Ireland over the past year

From WhatsApp messages to conspiracy theories, we explore how misinformation has evolved over the last 12 months.

IN MARCH OF last year, we recorded an episode of The Explainer that looked at how misinformation about Covid-19 spread on WhatsApp. 

Little did we know that over a year on, coronavirus pandemic and vaccine misinformation would still be spreading – only over new channels and in new ways.

To take a look back at the year in misinformation, presenter Sinéad O’Carroll sat down this week (remotely) with our deputy editor Christine Bohan, who heads up our Debunk and FactCheck channels. She was joined by Ciarán O’Connor of the Institute for Strategic Dialogue, which is a global organization dedicated to finding solutions to extremism, disinformation and polarisation.

Together, they explained how misinformation has evolved, and how it now takes new forms – like leafleting. Ciarán explains how QAnon made it to Ireland, but in a different form to in the US.

They also talk about why people might be drawn to misinformation and conspiracy theories in the first place, and what we can do about it.

The Explainer / SoundCloud

Be Media Smart is an initiative of Media Literacy Ireland (MLI) which encourages people to Stop, Think and Check that the information that they read, see or hear is reliable and accurate.


This episode was put together by presenter Sinéad O’Carroll, producers Aoife Barry and Nicky Ryan.