Resources & Zoom Chat - Spreading Truth at Scale about Complex Problems, including Climate Change - March 20, 2022

Scott Henson
Scott Henson
Last updated 
Zoom Recording of our Discussion on YouTube

Discussion Description:
In this session Debra Lavoy (Founder and Executive Director of Reality Team) and Jeff Thiel presented Reality Team’s approach to combating disinformation, shared their promising results, and described the climate action campaigns they are executing. It was a great conversation about how to inform the public on important issues and invite you to contribute to this important work.

Primary Discussion Resources:

What Can I Do? Getting into Action!  Solutions From Reality Team:

  • Get Familiar with the Work of Reality Team (and Consider Supporting Them)
    Founded in August 2020, Reality Team uses the tools and techniques of digital marketing to make credible information more visible and influential. Our targeted campaigns change the ratio of good to garbage information on people’s news feeds – denying disinformation a monopoly on what non-news readers know about complex issues, such as vaccines, elections and climate. 
  • Become Familiar with Credible Information Sources
    It can be pretty tricky to figure out whether a source is credible. We want news sources that carefully check facts, do thorough research, rely on expertise, and are careful to separate factual reporting from editorial opinion. We want news sources that don’t twist facts to suit their point of view. Even the very best sources will make mistakes sometimes. Credible sources make fewer mistakes, and quickly correct the ones they do make. Credible sources will not intentionally mislead readers with false or distorted information.
  • Fight Disinformation
    You can fight back against disinformation. There are bad actors out there who spread lies for power and profit. But there are far more good folks than bad. If we all take a few easy steps we can take power away from disinformation.

Resources Shared During Our Discussion:

  • Can Instagram ads fight disinformation about climate and COVID vaccines?  Deb Lavoy's Medium article she published the day after our Meetup. In brief: Reality Team runs ads on Instagram designed to limit the influence of disinformation. They developed a method to run randomized control trials to test the impact on knowledge and opinions about climate and covid vaccines. We saw very significant increases in knowledge and shifts in opinions from a single ad exposure within a specific audience.
  • Countering Propaganda with Narrative - Dramatica Story Expert.  During our discussion, it was offered that Write Brothers Inc had been hired to work with the state department to utilize their tools to fight terrorist narrative which might be useful to the work of the Reality Team fighting disinformation.
  • Movement Voter Project.  MVP works to strengthen progressive power at all levels of government by helping donors – big and small – support the best and most promising local community-based organizations in key states, with a focus on youth and communities of color.
  • Global Disinformation Index.  The Global Disinformation Index (GDI) aims to disrupt, defund and down-rank disinformation sites. We collectively work with governments, business and civil society. We operate on three core principles of neutrality, independence and transparency.

Full Chat Log

00:20:48 Scott Henson (Drawdown Seattle): Please ask questions in the chat room and/or raise your hand “virtually” (under reactions) in the menu.
00:20:58 Scott Henson (Drawdown Seattle): Everything will be recorded and shared here:
00:30:28 Scott Henson (Drawdown Seattle): On your metrics, what did you use for the benchmark?
00:31:16 Scott Henson (Drawdown Seattle): It seems like if you are focused in Instagram, you are focused at people under 40, is that true?
00:31:38 Zachary Segall: Were you able to study any behavior changes as a result of the trials?
00:36:28 Scott Henson (Drawdown Seattle): Do you have a map of your passive information consumers against the Yale Climate Communications map?
00:43:19 Chad Dougherty: I've got to bail soon but I just donated at the website!
00:43:19 Paul E Litwin: Do you also educate people about the value of reputable news organizations?
00:43:24 Marcia Rorty, PhD: I think we might have something that could seriously help you…
00:43:29 Zachary Segall: What are your plans for scaling with additional funding?
00:43:48 Marcia Rorty, PhD: I can explain…
00:44:02 Paul E Litwin: Are you also on twitter or is there some reason you are not there?
00:47:36 jimlittle: Big Oil spent more on Manchin this past year than anybody else in DC. The return
on their investment is staggering: gutted Build Back Better legislation, blocked
the Sarah Raskin's nomination to Federal Reserve, and blocked voting rights. Any
thoughts on fighting Big Oil and other dark money.
00:48:49 laurazeffer: What Jim said ^ ! So disheartening…and ALARMING.
00:49:48 laurencepwydro: I’ve heard that climate change is a big topic with younger people, and I’m hearing that young people don’t read news. any resolving these two contentions?
00:50:28 Wes Vincent: What about Clubhouse?
00:55:10 Marcia Rorty, PhD: Hello, this is Marcia, a psychologist since 1993.  Sure you do this, but women especially respond to appeals regarding the wellbeing of their kids.
00:59:28 Zachary Segall: @Marcia Do you have a link to dramatica or any resources on narrative?
00:59:47 IeRM P. Schmidt-Pathmann: Can you please share more about your company… Marcia Fortu
01:00:05 IeRM P. Schmidt-Pathmann: Rorty
01:07:38 IeRM P. Schmidt-Pathmann: Why do you think that is…. political will??? Its all financial - worry about bottom line and immediate profit..
01:08:13 Deb Lavoy - Reality Team: Someone asked about our company - Reality Team - founded in aug 2020 - there are 5 of us. We have a 501c3 sponsor for our non-profit status.
01:10:55 Paul Litwin: WV: what is Clubhouse?
01:15:06 Scott Henson (Drawdown Seattle): By the way, so you have it easily available, here is the Reality Team web site:
01:18:05 Zachary Segall: Have you been able to test whether a switch in opinion leads to a change in any behaviors?
01:19:29 Marcia Rorty, PhD: forgot to share with everyone:
01:19:30 laurazeffer: Is this a nation wide group or more local?? How big is it currently?
01:19:34 Marcia Rorty, PhD: Countering Propaganda with narrative :
Stephen Greenfield  -
President, Write Brothers, Inc.
Dramatica Story Expert / Thoughtform: - (818) 262-2000 (text & voice)
01:20:51 Paul Litwin: Vote +100 !
01:24:35 Zachary Segall: Sorry, what were the numbers for money spent and people sent to a voter website? $600 for 6500 people who went to voter registration
01:24:51 Scott Henson (Drawdown Seattle): Movement Voter Project:
01:38:57 Scott Henson (Drawdown Seattle):
01:40:39 Paul Litwin: Deb/Jeff: Just donated to your org!
01:41:05 Marcia Rorty, PhD: Thank you!  Amazing
01:41:10 laurazeffer: Please post link to the organization.
01:41:14 jimlittle: Thanks.  Very helpful.
01:41:23 Deb Lavoy - Reality Team:
01:43:32 Robin Briggs (she/her): Thanks! This was great.
01:43:44 Kori Eldstrom: Thank you!
01:45:21 IeRM P. Schmidt-Pathmann: Great topic! Thanks!
01:49:28 laurazeffer: And weeknights don’t work???