Photo credit: ePublicist via Foter.com / CC BY-ND
This is an interesting interview with Liz Wahl on disinfo and fake news. No, I don’t take the childish paleo-libertarian (read: knee-jerk-politically incorrect-get off my lawn) view that fake news and disinformation campaigns don’t exist. You have to be an idiot or willfully ignorant to believe that bullshit. They exist. Embrace reality folks.
However, I don’t believe that fake news cost Clinton the White House or that anyone critical of her in anyway was working for Russia. Stupid people believe nonsense and paranoid conspiracy theories in both major parties, so long as it supports their pre-existing biases. Don’t get me started on the racialist, pseudo-science bullshit peddled by the Royal Hotep Brigade, either. I do, however, believe that fake news sites make it easier for the more rational of us to spot which of our friends, family and acquaintances lack critical thinking skills.
Those are the same fools who get lead around by the nose every election cycle. If it isn’t a fake news site, it is lies they hear on talk radio, half-truths on the “news” or outright fabrications on campaign commercials. Manipulating the weak minded and intellectually lazy is hardly a new practice, nor will it stop even if it were possible to eliminate all of the avenues that fake news can get their “message” out.
Promoting critical thinking and a connection with reality would be a healthy start.