Words & Image MOD
Did you know that birds aren’t real? Those feathery things you see in the sky aren’t living creatures. They’re spy-drones piloted by the US Government.?
I’m not serious. Birds Aren’t Real is the biggest conspiracy theory to come out of Gen Z and plays on the misinformation epidemic that is sweeping the globe. Peter McIndoe, spokesperson for Birds Aren’t Real, says it started accidentally in 2017 when he wanted to put something absurd on a protest placard. Since then, it has exploded.?
Misinformation is more serious than fake-bird-spy-drones. There is a lot of misinformation spreading about the Russian invasion of Ukraine, and this is taking place across social media, but TikTok, in particular, is facing controversy for fake videos that are spreading fast.?
TikTok was actually the way I found out about the invasion; my algorithm showed me a video of Russian soldiers in the snow. It seems that this has been lots of people’s experience—they’re happily scrolling when they’re suddenly shown videos of explosions and people in bunkers.
Some of this is good, it can help us to better understand the plight of people living in Ukraine. But some of it is bad, with people sharing misleading videos from events in the past—this is what causes issues.
So, what do we do?
At MOD., we have been preparing to combat fake news for a while by exhibiting artworks and games that help detect fake news and fight misinformation.
Our current exhibit, called the Glass Room, is particularly useful for this. It’s an exhibit created by Tactical Tech, a Berlin-based technology collective, that aims to educate us about how technology companies track us. This tracking is more than thinking your phone is listening to you, it’s about how these tech monopolies can control our lives.
As part of your visit, you can watch some animations about the way that we leak our personal data and play with interactives that help you to detect deep fakes, fake news, and misinformation online. Top off your visit at the Data Detox Bar, where you can sit with your phone and go through your settings to tighten things up.
The weight of all of this can be overwhelming—we get it. But don’t lose hope. MOD. and Tactical Tech want to empower you. It starts here.
The Glass Room is part of our current exhibition, INVISIBILITY. MOD. is open Tues-Sat 10am-5pm.