During a panel discussion on “disrupting distrust” at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, it was posited that combating the spread of “disinformation” by “right-wing groups” is a crucial step in restoring trust in non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that collaborate with governments and other entities on initiatives aimed at ameliorating global issues.
The CEO of global communications firm Edelman, Richard Edelman, noted with regret the decline in trust towards NGOs in recent years and attributed this shift to the influence of right-wing groups, while noting that companies are now viewed as more trustworthy in addressing matters pertaining to civil society.
“My hypothesis on that is right-wing groups have done a really good job of disenfranchising NGOs,” he said. “They’ve challenged the funding sources. They’ve associated you with Bill Gates and George Soros. They’ve said that you’re world people, as opposed to actually what you are, which is local.”
Edelman said that platforms that allow “disinformation” need to be stripped of advertising, saying that what “business needs to do is deprive platforms that spread disinformation of oxygen, stop advertising, pull your promotion money, make sure that they understand that they have a consequential impact on society.”
Edelman added, “But do we need trust at all? Does it need to be part of the equation? I think it’s the central proposition, not just of my trust barometer, but just general thought, because if you don’t have trust, you don’t have any efficiency, you’re constantly running while looking behind you, and you also are fundamentally.”