The World Economic Forum (WEF) held the Sustainable Development Impact Meetings, where unelected groups held a “Tackling Disinformation” panel, with participants including the UN, Brown University, and even CNN.
The panel discussed how best to control narratives on issues like climate change and COVID-19.
The UN’s Under-Secretary-General for Global Communications, Melissa Fleming, noted that the UN had partnered with Big Tech companies, including Google and TikTok, to control narratives surrounding COVID and climate change.
“We own the science, and we think that the world should know it, and the platforms themselves also do,” she said.
The UN said it partnered with Google to influence search results on climate change so that narratives from “authoritative” sources would appear at the top of search results.
“We partnered with Google,” said Fleming. “For example, if you Google ‘climate change,’ you will, at the top of your search, you will get all kinds of UN resources.
“We started this partnership when we were shocked to see that when we Googled ‘climate change,’ we were getting incredibly distorted information right at the top.”
The UN also says it partnered with TikTok on a project dubbed “Team Halo,” to control the narratives surrounding COVID-19.
“We had another trusted messenger project, which was called ‘Team Halo’ where we trained scientists around the world and some doctors on TikTok, and we had TikTok working with us,” Fleming said.
“Another really key strategy we had was to deploy influencers,” she said, adding, “influencers who were really keen, who have huge followings, but really keen to help carry messages that were going to serve their communities, and they were much more trusted than the United Nations telling them something from New York City headquarters.”
The “Tackling Disinformation” panel was moderated by Adrian Monck, the WEF’s managing director.
Monck said that the CNN was part of the strategy to “own the narrative.”
“CNN is both an organization that’s trying to make sense of the world and trying to establish the facts; it’s also part of a political war on who owns the narrative,” he said.