From cries of “fake news” in the United States and Brazil to the Marcos family’s return to power in the Philippines, the growing role of misinformation and disinformation in the global political landscape is a very real concern. The spread of deliberately deceitful and unintentionally misleading information touches nearly every aspect of life in our digitally saturated world and has implications on public health, freedom of speech and democratic institutions. In Southeast Asia, where a high percentage of people rely on social media for their daily news, the risks associated with misinformation and disinformation are particularly acute.
So, it makes sense that this subject has been given space for discussion and analysis at the 19th annual Ubud Writers and Readers Festival. A major event for the non-profit Yayasan Mudra Swari Sarawati, the festival brings together authors, journalists, academics and artists for four days of workshops, book launches and discussions.