Reboot in the News

A selection of news coverage, Reboot op-eds and mentions of our work from around the web.

The Associated Press

April 6, 2021

As the world struggles to break the grip of COVID-19, psychologists and misinformation experts are studying why the pandemic spawned so many conspiracy theories, which have led people to eschew masks, social distancing and vaccines.

They’re seeing links between beliefs in COVID-19 falsehoods and the reliance on social media as a source of news and information.

And they’re concluding COVID-19 conspiracy theories persist by providing a false sense of empowerment. By offering hidden or secretive explanations, they give the believer a feeling of control in a situation that otherwise seems random or frightening.

“This Matters” podcast by the Toronto Star

What happened at the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021 was the culmination of years of conspiracy theories and falsehoods. Some say the threat of another such uprising remains as we continue to live in a digital “echo chamber” — one designed to show us the world how we want to see it with a digital wall of algorithms between us and information from another perspective. 

Disinformation and misinformation can make us emotional and angry and can even lead to violence. So how do we learn to recognize that and better assess the information we are flooded with?

Disinformation expert and critical thinking advocate Helen Lee Bouygues talks about the power and the dangers of dis- and misinformation in a hyper-polarized world and how we can improve our critical thinking skills in these uncertain times.

Many of the people who took part in violence at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021 said they believed the presidential election was stolen from Donald Trump. Some experts have said the riots were fueled by conspiracy theories.

Helen Lee Bouygues is the founder of the Reboot Foundation, an organization focused on promoting critical thinking. She’s a fake news expert and she spoke to ABC NewsRadio’s Thomas Oriti.

Donald Trump supporters stormed the US Capitol building on Wednesday (January 6) to protest the outcome of the November 3 presidential election on the day the US Congress was slated to ratify Joe Biden’s Electoral College win.

Speaking on India Today’s special show Newstrack with Rahul Kanwal, Reboot President Helen Lee Bouygues weighed in on the decisions by Twitter and Facebook to ban Donald Trump from their platforms.

Teachers often tell their students that there is no such thing as a bad question. It’s true of course—students should never be embarrassed to ask a question. At the same time, however, it is possible to learn to ask better questions.

Unfortunately, questioning is a skill that is not emphasized enough in classrooms. Indeed, one of the pillars of critical thinking—a set of skills that is more valuable now than ever—is the capacity to formulate and ask questions. 

Tech companies like Google, Facebook and Twitter have ramped up efforts to combat misinformation surrounding the election. Is it too little, too late?

Reset checks in with two experts.

• Sheera Frenkel, New York Times reporter on cybersecurity

• Helen Lee Bouygues, a misinformation expert and President of the Paris-based Reboot Foundation