The Stream

Why are people lying about Australia’s devastating bushfires?

Fake news, disinformation and conspiracy theories abound as fires rage.

As Australia’s ruinous wildfires continue to spread, so does disinformation. There has been fake news, conspiracy theories on social media, and even claims the fires were the work of 200 arsonists. A significant amount of this content went viral, sowing confusion and discord in an already rattled population.


While much of this has been the work of trolls, mainstream media outlets such as Rupert Murdoch’s Sky News and The Australian newspaper have also been criticised for their coverage. The debate is particularly contentious in a country where climate change has long been a controversial topic that often figures as an election issue. 


In this show, we will hear the latest news from the epicenter of the disaster, dig into the disinformation campaigns and media controversy, and look at how indigenous people are responding to the devastation. 

On this episode of The Stream, we speak with: 

Ketan Joshi, @KetanJ0
Energy and climate science communicator

Vanessa ‘Van’ Badham, @vanbadham
Commentator and Guardian Columnist

Read more:

Something else is out of control in Australia: climate disaster denialism – The Guardian 

Australia, where lies and conspiracy theories spread like bushfire – The Guardian 

How Rupert Murdoch Is Influencing Australia’s Bushfire Debate – New York Times 


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