How The Media Is Creating A Sensemaking Crisis

There are many reasons why we have a crisis in sensemaking taking place in our culture right now. Which is to say, a breakdown in how we agree upon what is happening around us and converge on truth.

We’ve always have disagreements in human culture, but have we ever been so at odds about basic facts? Have we ever seen such a wide scale degree of censorship around issues that are nowhere close to being black and white? I don’t know, but I can’t find an obvious time in history that compares to this scale.

Which leads me to this, on August 27th 2021, we released a video on YouTube about a vaccine passport hearing in Detroit. Within 4 hours it was removed from YouTube for YouTube claims was “Medical Misinformation.”

The interesting part of this was, this was a journalistic piece exploring the way local Detroit media covered a hearing in Michigan about vaccine passports. The video we produced contained some short snippets of a testimony from Dr. Christina Parks, who offered her expert opinion on why it would not be a good idea to mandate vaccines at this moment in time.

As you can note yourself in our video below, there are no medical claims made by myself, the journalist, and there is no push for the audience to decide on something medically based.

This was honest and neutral journalism pointing to the fact that objectively poor journalism was being done by some mainstream outlets, and how it’s causing a crisis in how we view science. Ironically, the video discusses how we aren’t respecting one another’s expert opinions during COVID, and instead we are walking away from science – not allowing critique, discussion, or differences of opinion during a time where the answers aren’t always clear.

Our organization, The Pulse, appealed YouTube’s decision, but it was struck down within hours, backing up YouTube’s claims that this video contained “medical misinformation.”

Interestingly, YouTube has left multiple full length videos with 100’s of thousands of views up with Dr. Christina Park’s testimony. So if the issue was her testimony, why did ours get deleted while others remain? Did reviewers even look at our video? Was the issue that we dissected the issues with mainstream media? We don’t know, and we won’t.

Having been in this field for 12 years, this is obviously preposterous to me, but it’s something our society is currently going through as mentioned above. We are in a crisis of sensemaking and the only way out is for us as individuals to start developing the necessary skills to inquire, be curious, and be playful. The media is only inviting us into division – we don’t have to accept that invite.

But to do so, we must develop the skills necessary to stay aware and present enough that we can question what’s happening, communicate about it respectfully, and converge on ideas. Something we teach in detail in our Overcoming Bias & Improving Critical Thinking Course.

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