Started, they have, the disinformation wars.
Michael McFaul, the US Ambassador to Russia during the Obama administration, warns us that the disinformation will be flowing thick and fast during the impeachment trial. He points out three tactics:
- Deny facts
- Deflect attention, also known as “whataboutism”
- Disseminate lies
The net of all this is to make us feel that nothing matters, that there is no such thing as truth. Watch for Republicans to do this and for it to be amplified by bots and trolls (my collective term for automated and other troublemakers) on social media, the unthinking media, and your friends and relatives.
Don’t let the argument degenerate to “Well, that’s your opinion.” There are facts, and we need to keep pounding them.
Also, read the whole thing.
Cross-posted at Nuclear Diner
It should be illegal to retweet or like in election years.
Adam L Silverman
Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)
Major Major Major Major
Great spot-on reminder, Cheryl.
So much of this shit happens in all sectors of twitter already (including like, sci-fi writing twitter), I can only imagine how insane political twitter is going to be this time around.
The article is behind a pay wall for me, so I don’t know if this is covered. But it’s worth remembering to be especially careful of bots or trolls who are spreading lies that validate your sensibilities. It’s a more sophisticated way for bad actors to increase cynicism and to discourage people, and to gain your trust so that they can serve you with disinformation later.
@Baud: Also Name7373627282938384849393939932727292902 is a dead giveaway.
Dorothy A. Winsor
@Goku (aka Amerikan Baka): So are you liking or retweeting Baud’s comment? :-)
OT: Someone just asked me if Mr DAW and I would be interested in a Valentine’s Day project in which we’d be interviewed about our marriage. I couldn’t say no fast enough.
Name7373627282938384849393939932727292902 ain’t never lied.
@Baud: “Open link in Incognito [or equivalent for your browser] Window” is your friend.
hells littlest angel
Twitter and FaceBook are so great, they’re really indispensable. They glow in the dark and give off heat, so you can keep them in your home to provide you with light and heat. There’s no downside! They are a boon to humanity!
@hells littlest angel:
The Book of Faces is an evil spawn of Satan, with few redeeming qualities.
Twitter, if you are selective about whom you follow and read, can be useful.
@Another Scott: How do you think I visit BJ?
The Moar You Know
@hells littlest angel: I put those right next to my “Radium Eternal Illuminators” that my grandpa got back in the 1920s. The weird thing is that all three look JUST ALIKE.
I think they never left. I tend to see Russian influence fucking everywhere on social networks, but then Mueller explained a hell of a lot about that. And working out the way they were pushing for Bernie Sanders was a real rude awakening for me.
This is a continuing information war. Guess it’s tidier in some ways than a conventional one, but damn is it tricky to cope with.
My go to is still, if stuff is happening and it’s HORRIBLE, I need to GTFOT (to a lesser extent facebook, as I’ve pruned that down to immediate family and friends who don’t engage in facebook propagandizing). Twitter will always and immediately show me the bare face of the Russian information war machine. It’s like its whole reason for existing at this point. If I stay away, it blows over and I see more of the 20 or so artists and musicians I really follow on Twitter.
‘Trending’ is where I’m going to see what Russia wants me to think, basically. ‘Trending’ is my enemy, and sometimes like NYT headlines, entirely and maliciously made up.
@?BillinGlendaleCA: That too.
@hells littlest angel
If I could write only one precept on disinformation, this would be it.
You will see it again in my posts.
@mrmoshpotato: Unfortunately, I saw the other day that Twitter is offering up Name123456 (six digits) to newbies. Just to make it harder to tell. ?
hells littlest angel
@Jay: Yes, those are good examples of warmth and light.
@Chris Johnson: It’s not just Russia. It’s
I feel I can’t talk to people anymore about anything. Everyone has their own “facts”. I found out yesterday that a co-worker was an anti vaccine. Her daughter just got diagnosed with autism. She told me that when her daughter was born she latched on immediately, but after being given the hepB and vit K shot she refused to latch on. Diagnosed with mild autism at 2yrs age. She told me she does not believe anything she reads on google and her daughter’s neurologist believes vaccines have something to do with autism. She knows mom’s who’s kids stopped developing after being vaccinated.
There’s no information I can give to counter this, because whatever I say she’ll disregard my sources as untrustworthy. I tried a few times to counter it, but then just gave up.
I feel this way about everything. people are entrenched in their beliefs and nothing seems to make a difference. I’m afraid that even massive outbreaks and deaths will not change minds.
Cheryl, Thank you for the post.
Major Major Major Major
@Cheryl Rofer: Yeah, apparently that’s been their default generated username for a while, and lots of people don’t think to change it.
there are also a bunch of domestic “troll” ops, some “official”, some unofficial, along with cross linking the amplification,
eg, a Bernie Bot getting amped and noded in to a MAGAt network, which pushes it out to a 2nd Amendment network, which pushes it out to a Nazi network, which hands it off to RT bots, get liberated by Randians and then comes full circle back to Bernie bots.
on Twitter a key target is the Blue Checkmark retweet, to amplify the tweet, to the point that inactive Blue Checkmarks have been hacked or body snatched.
Adam L Silverman
@Cheryl Rofer: Israel, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Turkey, China, India, etc, etc, etc
it’s been that way for a long time, before twitter, before facebook, before the internet.
Beliefs have always trumped facts, Opinion has always been as valid as News.
What Social Media has done is give “everyone” a “voice”, which has brought “internet rules of conduct” into our public lives.
Not for the better.
@mrmoshpotato: You, sir, are the worst kind of bigot—a numerist.
@Jay: @Adam L Silverman: Yup. And probably more.
@Jay: I’ve been thinking about OJ Simpson because Dersh has been trending all day, so you can imagine how confused this post made me.
Validating your sensibilities was pretty much the basis of the anti-Hillary disinformation campaign targeted at Bernie supporters, and the under 30 crowd, in 2016.
She called black people super predators!!!
She was legal counsel to Wal-Mart!!!
And so on.
The disinformation campaign just lacks a single target to focus in on, regarding the not-Bernie candidates, so the efforts on that side are less.
Keep this saying in mind and ready to use: ‘When you have the facts, pound the facts, when you have the law, pound the law, when you don’t have the facts or the law, pound the table”
Quite literally this was the most significant function of the Ministry of Truth in 1984. The point was not to make people believe lies; the point was to annihilate truth as a concept, so that the population would have no choice but to helplessly accept anything the goverment told them.
Actually, I think that also heavilly invoved cultivating sensibilities.
I like you, but full disclosure, I would totally let the rats eat your face to save my own ass.
@Jay: I swear, if the founding fathers came back today, they’d be all like, “Wait, you’re letting ordinary people vote?!”
This goes right along with two of the other bits of advice I learned as a youngling when a 56k modem was considered blazing fast: “Don’t feed the trolls, and they’re almost all trolls” and “If yo want to believe something make them prove it first”.
So far those two lessons have served me well.
@Baud: Yeah, but that’s not what’s in room 101 for me.
Excellent advice. Too many people think it’s their responsibility to disprove allegations. Don’t take on that burden.
if the Founding Fathers came back today they would be “of course, one of Jefferson’s kids was a much better President than that Son of A Hessian!”
@different-church-lady: LOLGOP – “Republicans don’t lie to be believed. They lie to be repeated.”
J R in WV
OK, how did you guys discover that Name7373627282938384849393939932727292902 is my real given name???
This stuff is supposed to be secure!!!
@Dorothy A. Winsor:
Yeah, not interested in talking about my marriage for a Valentine’s Day project, not at all ~!!~
J R in WV
This person should not be able to control her child’s medical treatment, it’s like allowing someone who believes in witchcraft to become school nurse. (Oh, if you have a headache, first we bleed you, and then we search for the curse someone laid upon you!)
The child must be vaccinated in accordance with scientific/medical advice in order to be allowed into school. Frankly, I’m not sure un-vaccinated people should be allowed in the general population at all. That would fix the measles/mumps/chickenpox issues right away!
And gawd-forbid this parent should be allowed to home-school her kids…