Prince Harry joins new commission on misinformation
Prince Harry joins new commission on misinformation

Prince Harry to work with James Murdoch’s wife in ‘expert’ commission to probe American misinformation

Appointment comes after Duke of Sussex joined BetterUp as chief impact officer

Chelsea Ritschel
New York
Wednesday 24 March 2021 21:27
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Prince Harry will lend his experience handling disinformation to a new role as an expert on a commission dedicated to tackling misinformation.

A day after it was announced the Duke of Sussex has taken on a role as the chief impact officer for startup BetterUp Inc, CNN reported that the royal will also be joining The Aspen Institute’s new Commission on Information Disorder as a commissioner.

Harry will work with a team of 14 other commissioners and three co-chairs, which includes journalist Katie Couric and Kathryn Murdoch, the wife of James Murdoch and daughter-in-law of Rupert Murdoch, to “conduct a six-month study on the state of American misinformation and disinformation”.

Commissioners will also include notable figures such as former Texas congressman Will Hurd, philanthropist Marla Blow, and Amanda Zamora, the co-founder and publisher of The 19th, while Couric, Chris Krebs, the former director of the US Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, and Color of Change president Rashad Robinson will act as the co-chairs. 

The commission will begin in April and will include a series of briefings with outside experts, according to CNN.

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“The effort aims to identify and prioritise the most critical sources and causes of information disorder and deliver a set of short-term actions and longer-term goals to help government, the private sector, and civil society respond to this modern-day crisis of faith in key institutions,” the institute states.

As part of the undertaking, the commission will work with and “elevate and amplify” the work of experts in all fields who have been studying misinformation and disinformation.

“Rather than reinventing ideas or starting from scratch, an explicit facet of the Commission’s undertaking will be to elevate and amplify the excellent work already being done inside government, academia, research centres, and the private sector on these topics, as well as to convene and connect key voices across disciplines,” the institute explained.

After about two months, the institute said it plans to release an initial report “that surveys and frames the information disorder problem, and prioritises the most critical and urgent issues,” before releasing a second list of solutions and recommendations.

In a statement to CNN, the duke said that he joined the commission because of the “avalanche of misinformation” in the digital world, which he believes is a “humanitarian issue”.

He said: “As I’ve said, the experience of today’s digital world has us inundated with an avalanche of misinformation, affecting our ability as individuals as well as societies to think clearly and truly understand the world we live in.

“It’s my belief that this is a humanitarian issue and as such, it demands a multi-stakeholder response from advocacy voices, members of the media, academic researchers, and both government and civil society leaders. I’m eager to join this new Aspen commission and look forward to working on a solution-oriented approach to the information disorder crisis.”

Prince Harry has frequently raised concerns over misinformation in the digital sphere, with the duke and his wife, Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex, warning of the dangers of spreading misinformation during a special episode of Time100 Talks in October. 

At the time, the royal described it as a “global crisis – a global crisis of hate, a global crisis of misinformation, and a global health crisis”.

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