A non-governmental organisation, International Panel for the Information Environment (IPIE), has expressed its displeasure with the level of misinformation on a global scale.
Describing misinformation as an existential crisis, the group stated that the phenomenon is a fundamental, global problem that impedes solutions to other global challenges like climate change, rising authoritarianism, and pandemics.
“From spreading false information on climate change, nearly provoking military confrontations, fueling COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy, thereby causing thousands of needless deaths, and directly causing mob violence in France, Sri Lanka, Mexico, and around the globe, misinformation is poisoning our world,” it said.
A group of distinguished experts introduced the concept of an International Panel for the Information Environment to address this existential threat, the organisation added.
The IPIE says it is modelled after the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), created in 1988 to determine the state of knowledge on climate change and provide regular scientific assessments on its implications and risks.
“Similarly, an IPIE would convene leading thinkers and scholars in the field: data scientists, misinformation experts, tech leaders, anthropologists, psychologists, sociologists, neuroscientists, journalists, and humanitarian activists,” it stated.
According to the group, the experts could review data and scientific literature to build an international consensus on the scope and impact of misinformation and begin analysing potential solutions.
Over time, it added, the IPIE could help establish the standards needed for a healthy information environment.
“Global disinformation experts around the world who have now officially formed the International Panel on the Information Environment, IPIE, both the founders, Sheldon Himelfarb and Dr. Phil Howard, as well as their global peers expressed interest speaking about the launch as well as the breakthrough findings the consortium will share with leaders around the world, when the Nobel Prize Summit commences in Washington D.C. May 24-26,” it said.