March is National Nutrition Month, and DFPI’s theme for the month is media literacy. We think it is crucial to develop the skills needed to critically analyze media messages — especially the “who” and “why”.
This post, titled “Big Ag’s Fight for Twitter Credibility” is an important read, as it covers how industry utilizes social media to shape its messaging and re-frame the conversation to its liking.
The article covers five tactics:
- “Take the conversation off Twitter and into a controlled forum.”
- “Downplay what is at stake.”
- “Pretend you’re just misunderstood”
- “Greenwash language and assert a common interest.”
- “Sow doubt.”
The post’s conclusion is especially powerful:
“In an age of intentional misinformation campaigns, critical consumption of media is imperative. We must ask: who is writing or speaking, who funds them, and what do they and their funders have to gain? Big Ag has responded to grassroots social movements by manipulating conversations on social media, which undermines public debate and erodes the democratic process. Food and environmental activists should respond by actively encouraging informed analysis among consumers. Green-washed websites, corporate-controlled discussion forums, and concerned-sounding tweets must not undermine the growing movement for healthy, culturally appropriate, and ecologically produced food.”