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Journal 04: on the psychological impact of the spread of disinformation

Journal 04: on the psychological impact of the spread of disinformation

14 April 2020 Written by By Subuola Akinkugbe Digital Marketing Executive

Welcome to Design Council’s weekly journal. This week’s entry is on the psychological impact of the spread of disinformation and drawing whilst self-isolating.

One must always draw, draw with the eyes, when one cannot draw with a pencil - Balthus

Hiten Kamari Popat, Senior Digital Manager on fake news & anxiety

With the technological advances we have seen in recent years, communication has never been easier, but with this comes the spread of disinformation, fake news and conspiracy theories which have inevitably spiked anxiety rates across the nation.

When was the last time you received a message from an unknown source which may have been passed on by tens of thousands of people before you? Well, the chances are this would have happened in the last few days: voice notes allegedly sent from medical professionals or members of the police force suggesting that there will be measures taken that (for some reason) hasn’t hit the mainstream media or are being passed off as ‘inside information’ before it becomes public knowledge. Most of these have been disproven and my personal (and professional) advice would be not to believe everything that is being spread, now more than ever, unless verified!

Bottom line: Stay cautious, but do not believe everything you’re told — visit UK Government and the NHS for official updates.

Sherin Aminossehe, Trustee on starting a visual diary

I’ve always enjoyed drawing and find it really relaxing. So, when the lockdown started, I initially started to draw as a form of relaxation but also as a visual diary for myself.

I never imagined more than a few people would bother to look at what I posted on Twitter. Then when Patricia Brown asked whether I would do a picture of Essaouira in Morocco where she had been due to go to for a celebration, she also suggested that I start drawing ‘denied places’, images of holidays that can’t happen or favourite places we can no longer go to. I’ve had just shy of 30 requests so far and I’m half-way through. The East Street Market drawing will also be going to people in Walworth who are self-isolating as part an art outreach mixed with food delivery programme.

It’s been lovely travelling the world through people’s drawing suggestions and whilst it will never replace their holidays or places they wished they could go to, I hope I have at least cheered them up a bit. As long as we’re in lockdown I plan to continue my one drawing a day hoping it brings a little happiness to someone’s day.

The views and opinions expressed in this journal are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy of Design Council.

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