spread of false news fake news – Every year, across the planet, results in the loss of approx. BRL 500 billion. Companies bear a major part of this amount. Given this scenario and with the aim of creating a sort of social antibody against the problem – which is increasing through the Internet – Brazilian Association of Business Communication (Eberje) have produced a manual that intends to replace employees of companies “in true immunization agents against false news in society”.
The Practical Manual for Combating Misinformation in Companies is the first media education material that the Eberje Alliance to Combat Fake News makes available to the productive sector in Brazil, Hamilton dos Santos, General Director of Eberje, told Agnia Brasil.
According to the director, the initial idea of the project was to take advantage of “an initiative inspired by communications leaders from large companies to promote informational instruction for employees of these same organizations” – all associated with Eberje.
“It is a non-negligible universe of 6 million workers. In other words, this is an initial attempt to turn these employees into real immunization agents against false news in the society”, he details.
The manual has nine chapters that help companies identify their informational weaknesses, increase the level of media awareness of their employees, engage leaders in the fight against false news and, above all, with regards to fake news. prevention and contingency plans can be established.
To that end, it also has a glossary of key words on the topic. It also makes it possible to conduct internal investigations to identify the level of preparedness of these organizations. It also points to the main investigative agencies in Brazil and presents a list of free training and games.
Citing a study from the University of Baltimore in the United States, Santos says that false news costs the entire world society US$78 billion per year. “That’s about half a trillion reais. Therefore, fake news has become a new and heavy transaction cost in the world economy”, he argues, arguing that transaction costs are the value required to carry out an activity, but that they are not a direct part of the production system, such as settlement of contracts, regulatory issues, internal bureaucracy, monitoring and security.
“The more productive the sector is forced to pay for these issues, the less competitive it is”, he added, adding that the fight against fake news is a way to make media education a tool to eliminate misinformation. In addition to dissemination of manuals for companies, Eberje intends to soon launch a dossier with key challenges and proposals on false news in society.
According to the director, this dossier will also indicate the role of the business sector as one of the main mediators of this informational disorder. “We specifically intend to invest in more lectures and partnerships to investigate facts affecting the organizational sector.”