Monday, April 19, 2021

Disinformation is Both Expensive and Deadly

The Covid-19 pandemic ambushed businesses and global economies.  Since the pandemic took hold in the U.S. in March 2020, job loss has been one of the most significant consequences. The U.S. has recently reached a total of 60 million unemployment claims, while loss to the US GDP is estimated to be around $7.6 trillion.  

In addition, a recent survey conducted by the Federal Reserve Bank revealed that 9 million small firms in the US are at risk of closing for good in 2021 as a result of the pandemic.  The International Monetary Fund estimated the total cost to the global economy from Covid-19 will ultimately top $28 trillion in lost output (the time frame was years 2020-2025).  

It's one thing to be the victims of an unexpected pandemic, an act of God, but it's another to be the victims of sustained social engineering campaigns that prolong and amplify the pandemic.  Dr. Deborah Birx, American physician and Trump White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator said in March of 2021, that she believed that approximately 80% of the Covid-19 infections in the United States could have been “mitigated or decreased substantially" if a response to the pandemic could have been effectively organized and managed.  The obstacles that largely prevented an effective response were related to disinformation campaigns and the politicalization of information.

The cost of disinformation can be counted in many ways, including unemployment, business closures, sickness and death.  In GDP terms, the disinformation surrounding the Covid-19 pandemic is estimated to have cost the US trillions of dollars.  These costs grew exponentially as a result of social engineering campaigns that served to both promote disinformation and politicize our pandemic responses.

Disinformation sharing is not simply an innocent opinion, rumor or an inconsequential exercise of one's freedom of speech - it can have serious and wide ranging societal, humanitarian and economic implications.  Today with the nefarious use of psychographic profiles, big data and social engineering campaigns disinformation can lead to self-made catastrophes.   In the case of the Covid-19 pandemic, the costs of pandemic-related disinformation has been enormous.

Read more on the Future of Information, Truth and Influence here:
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Kevin Benedict
Partner | Futurist | Leadership Strategies at TCS
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***Full Disclosure: These are my personal opinions. No company is silly enough to claim them. I work with and have worked with many of the companies mentioned in my articles.