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Disinformation is Not A Threat to Democracy

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posted on Apr, 24 2019 @ 02:22 PM
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We should laugh when politicians and bureaucrats panic about the dangers of “foreign influence in elections”, “fake news”, “disinformation”, and how the mere dissemination of false information is an “attack our democracy”.

But after collecting ourselves we should become immediately suspicious.

In 2016, this fear-mongering compelled the US State Department to allocate $120,000,000 “to counter foreign efforts to meddle in elections or sow distrust in democracy”. Congress allocated another $60,000,000. But at the time of this NYT article, the Trump admin had yet to spend a red cent of it.

The fear-mongering has also lead to the European Commission’s “Code of Practice Against Disinformation”, of which Facebook, Twitter and Google are willing signatories. From the direction of the EU, these companies are now expected to act as censor and curator rather than a platform for its users—and thus the wedding between the corporate and the bureaucratic becomes more of a reality in the Europe.

But we should not fool ourselves on this matter. The justifications for censoring and curating information online rests on a false assumption: that disinformation can be “harmful to citizens and society at large” because the risk of disinformation “includes threats to democratic political processes and to democratic values that shape public policies”. (This according to the High Level Expert Group on Fake News and Online Disinformation, another Orwellian coterie of EU "experts" and technocrats spreading nonsense).

The problem with this line of thinking is that it is itself disinformation, fake news, and not only that, but highly undemocratic.

Our right to free speech, the marketplace of ideas, the freedom of thought, of the press, and to impart and to receive information regardless of medium and frontiers—the pillars of democracy—do not (nor should it) exclude the expressions of propagandists, whether foreign or domestic. The free flow of information is essential to democracy. Any institution that claims it has the right to tell you or I what we can or cannot read, which opinions we should believe and hold, is the exact opposite of democratic.

It could be rightfully said that hacking vote tallies is meddling in an election and therefor an attack on our democracy. But if the meddling consists of “influence” via foreign information or media, that is not only not meddling in an election, but the direct result of democracy itself.

One thing is clear: the propaganda and efforts to combat “disinformation” online in order to protect us and democracy itself is the most undemocratic piece of disinformation that we have accepted as of late. In order to combat disinformation and protect democracy, we should wholly reject their proposals and the ones who proposed them.




posted on Apr, 24 2019 @ 02:36 PM
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a reply to: Tartuffe

Disinformation may not be a threat to Democracy as practiced today, but...............

Democracy as practiced in the US can certainly be a deadly threat to the society it pretends to serve.



posted on Apr, 24 2019 @ 02:37 PM
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a reply to: Tartuffe

Believing you're immune to disinformation is exactly what makes you susceptible to it.



posted on Apr, 24 2019 @ 02:44 PM
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originally posted by: underwerks
a reply to: Tartuffe

Believing you're immune to disinformation is exactly what makes you susceptible to it.


I didn't say I was immune to disinformation, nor do I believe it.



posted on Apr, 24 2019 @ 03:11 PM
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Well, you can just about guarantee that anything politicians and bureaucrats panic about is something that threatens the iron grip them have on your testicles (and/or whatever the female equivalent is).
edit on 24-4-2019 by BrianFlanders because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 24 2019 @ 03:54 PM
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When enough people believe a lie, the lie becomes reality. Disinformation is a threat to society, not just Democracy.



posted on Apr, 24 2019 @ 04:01 PM
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This is a multi pronged issue, really.

1.) Under no circumstances, is it appropriate to disseminate falsehoods for the sake of covering up state crimes, or for the sake of preventing embarrassment regards the ethical or embarrassing behavior of elected officials.

PERIOD

2.) Allowing disinformation, would be much less an issue, if the media that feeds the public it's "facts" was not already captured by The State, and their "constituents" in large corporations.

3.) The State and the Corporations themselves should have NO SAY WHATSOEVER about the information available to the public, unless that information circumvents the prosecution of a crime, or is literally yelling "FIRE" in a crowded theater, when there is no fire.
edit on 24-4-2019 by dasman888 because: Edits



posted on Apr, 24 2019 @ 04:20 PM
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originally posted by: rickymouse
When enough people believe a lie, the lie becomes reality. Disinformation is a threat to society, not just Democracy.


Such a thing can only occur if the truth is censored. Censorship is a threat to democracy and society.



posted on Apr, 24 2019 @ 04:43 PM
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a reply to: Tartuffe

Americans honor their dead more than their living, which consumes resources, distracts and has no positive effect.
Families fall apart.
There are 40 million+ living in poverty.
About 1.5 million children will be homeless this year.
There are about 33,000 gun deaths a year.
44,000 suicides.
The unemployment rate hovers around 4% (the same as the UK, and the recent fall in unemployment matches other countries - the administration can't take credit).
Roads, bridges, dams and other infrastructure are falling apart in all states (worst in Rhode Island).

But the media and politicians tell you that things are going well and most Americans probably believe that. Fake news is popular.

However, a lie is a lie.
edit on 24/4/2019 by chr0naut because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 24 2019 @ 04:51 PM
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originally posted by: chr0naut
a reply to: Tartuffe

Americans honor their dead more than their living.
Families fall apart.
There are 40 million+ living in poverty.
About 1.5 million children will be homeless this year.
There are about 33,000 gun deaths a year.
44,000 suicides.
The unemployment rate hovers around 4% (the same as the UK, and the recent fall in unemployment matches other countries - the administration can't take credit).
Roads, bridges, dams and other infrastructure are falling apart in all states (worst in Rhode Island).

But the media and politicians tell you that things are going well and most Americans probably believe that. Fake news wins.



Things are going well. Life expectancy is rising, extreme poverty is falling. Child mortality rate is falling, people are getting taller because of nutrition. More access to medicine, food, clean water.

As your assertions illustrate, not only do many people across advanced economies have no idea that the world is becoming a much better place, they actually think its getting worse.



posted on Apr, 24 2019 @ 05:13 PM
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The point of the Russian meddling or any other form of foreign disinformation is not to influence elections and promote a certain candidate over another -- they really couldn't care less. Their goal is to sow division, create disorder and panic and invoke the very kind of response our government has taken in reaction to disinformation by clamping down on rights such as freedom of expression that is the biggest threat to democracy and our society.

I strongly recommend Sean McFate's 'The New Rules of War' for further reading on the matter.

The suggestion I've seen in the media that Trump may not have been guilty of collusion with Russia, but his attitude toward it invites further meddling in the 2020 election is another example of just how little people understand how this 21st century warfare works. The foreign influencers have already infected us. They literally don't have to lift a finger in 2020 -- we will do the damage for them. That is how it works. And recognizing this is step 1 in halting its influence.



posted on Apr, 24 2019 @ 05:18 PM
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originally posted by: sooth
The point of the Russian meddling or any other form of foreign disinformation is not to influence elections and promote a certain candidate over another -- they really couldn't care less. Their goal is to sow division, create disorder and panic and invoke the very kind of response our government has taken in reaction to disinformation by clamping down on rights such as freedom of expression that is the biggest threat to democracy and our society.

I strongly recommend Sean McFate's 'The New Rules of War' for further reading on the matter.

The suggestion I've seen in the media that Trump may not have been guilty of collusion with Russia, but his attitude toward it invites further meddling in the 2020 election is another example of just how little people understand how this 21st century warfare works. The foreign influencers have already infected us. They literally don't have to lift a finger in 2020 -- we will do the damage for them. That is how it works. And recognizing this is step 1 in halting its influence.


I'll check out the book. Thanks for the suggestion.

But if what you say is true, disinformation is not the problem, it is how we react to it. In other words, we lack the capacity and mental skills to differentiate fact from fiction.



posted on Apr, 24 2019 @ 05:21 PM
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originally posted by: Tartuffe

originally posted by: chr0naut
a reply to: Tartuffe

Americans honor their dead more than their living.
Families fall apart.
There are 40 million+ living in poverty.
About 1.5 million children will be homeless this year.
There are about 33,000 gun deaths a year.
44,000 suicides.
The unemployment rate hovers around 4% (the same as the UK, and the recent fall in unemployment matches other countries - the administration can't take credit).
Roads, bridges, dams and other infrastructure are falling apart in all states (worst in Rhode Island).

But the media and politicians tell you that things are going well and most Americans probably believe that. Fake news wins.



Things are going well. Life expectancy is rising, extreme poverty is falling. Child mortality rate is falling, people are getting taller because of nutrition. More access to medicine, food, clean water.

As your assertions illustrate, not only do many people across advanced economies have no idea that the world is becoming a much better place, they actually think its getting worse.


The general improvements are long term things, over decades or longer. In the very short term, where fake news lives, things are getting worse at the moment (in the last year or so).

Even in the longer term, around the time of the world wars, things were, overall, getting worse but in the short term after the wars, looked to be getting better.

I suppose it depends on how you define things, too.

I have recently had my son pass away from cancer and in my grief, I came to the realization that the existence of, and interaction with, loved ones, is the thing of primary importance in my life. There is nothing of greater worth or value to me. Despite my Asperger's contentment with being alone and my self sufficiency, life would loose all color and meaning without my loved ones. I would exist but it would be a personal 'hell on Earth'.

Yet we will all die. That has never changed. We can stretch our times together but it is temporary at best. There has been no improvement, over all human history and prehistory, in the thing that really matters most.



posted on Apr, 24 2019 @ 05:33 PM
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originally posted by: chr0naut

originally posted by: Tartuffe

originally posted by: chr0naut
a reply to: Tartuffe

Americans honor their dead more than their living.
Families fall apart.
There are 40 million+ living in poverty.
About 1.5 million children will be homeless this year.
There are about 33,000 gun deaths a year.
44,000 suicides.
The unemployment rate hovers around 4% (the same as the UK, and the recent fall in unemployment matches other countries - the administration can't take credit).
Roads, bridges, dams and other infrastructure are falling apart in all states (worst in Rhode Island).

But the media and politicians tell you that things are going well and most Americans probably believe that. Fake news wins.



Things are going well. Life expectancy is rising, extreme poverty is falling. Child mortality rate is falling, people are getting taller because of nutrition. More access to medicine, food, clean water.

As your assertions illustrate, not only do many people across advanced economies have no idea that the world is becoming a much better place, they actually think its getting worse.


The general improvements are long term things, over decades or longer. In the very short term, where fake news lives, things are getting worse at the moment (in the last year or so).

Even in the longer term, around the time of the world wars, things were, overall, getting worse but in the short term after the wars, looked to be getting better.

I suppose it depends on how you define things, too.

I have recently had my son pass away from cancer and in my grief, I came to the realization that the existence of, and interaction with, loved ones, is the thing of primary importance in my life. There is nothing of greater worth or value to me. Despite my Asperger's contentment with being alone and my self sufficiency, life would loose all color and meaning without my loved ones. I would exist but it would be a personal 'hell on Earth'.

Yet we will all die. That has never changed. We can stretch our times together but it is temporary at best. There has been no improvement, over all human history and prehistory, in the thing that really matters most.


I'm really sorry about your son, my friend. That's heartbreaking. Was it recent?

You're right about family and loved ones. You're also right about personal perspective. What I meant was statistically things are getting better—progress and all that.



posted on Apr, 24 2019 @ 05:49 PM
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originally posted by: Tartuffe

originally posted by: chr0naut

originally posted by: Tartuffe

originally posted by: chr0naut
a reply to: Tartuffe

Americans honor their dead more than their living.
Families fall apart.
There are 40 million+ living in poverty.
About 1.5 million children will be homeless this year.
There are about 33,000 gun deaths a year.
44,000 suicides.
The unemployment rate hovers around 4% (the same as the UK, and the recent fall in unemployment matches other countries - the administration can't take credit).
Roads, bridges, dams and other infrastructure are falling apart in all states (worst in Rhode Island).

But the media and politicians tell you that things are going well and most Americans probably believe that. Fake news wins.



Things are going well. Life expectancy is rising, extreme poverty is falling. Child mortality rate is falling, people are getting taller because of nutrition. More access to medicine, food, clean water.

As your assertions illustrate, not only do many people across advanced economies have no idea that the world is becoming a much better place, they actually think its getting worse.


The general improvements are long term things, over decades or longer. In the very short term, where fake news lives, things are getting worse at the moment (in the last year or so).

Even in the longer term, around the time of the world wars, things were, overall, getting worse but in the short term after the wars, looked to be getting better.

I suppose it depends on how you define things, too.

I have recently had my son pass away from cancer and in my grief, I came to the realization that the existence of, and interaction with, loved ones, is the thing of primary importance in my life. There is nothing of greater worth or value to me. Despite my Asperger's contentment with being alone and my self sufficiency, life would loose all color and meaning without my loved ones. I would exist but it would be a personal 'hell on Earth'.

Yet we will all die. That has never changed. We can stretch our times together but it is temporary at best. There has been no improvement, over all human history and prehistory, in the thing that really matters most.


I'm really sorry about your son, my friend. That's heartbreaking. Was it recent?

You're right about family and loved ones. You're also right about personal perspective. What I meant was statistically things are getting better—progress and all that.


My son passed on the 5th of this month. He leaves a wife and 4 year old son.

edit on 24/4/2019 by chr0naut because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 24 2019 @ 05:57 PM
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originally posted by: Tartuffe

originally posted by: rickymouse
When enough people believe a lie, the lie becomes reality. Disinformation is a threat to society, not just Democracy.


Such a thing can only occur if the truth is censored. Censorship is a threat to democracy and society.


Truth is rarely censored, rather it's ignored.

People don't want truth, they want reassurance that they're right. Confirmation bias is why disinformation runs riot.



posted on Apr, 24 2019 @ 06:04 PM
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originally posted by: chr0naut

originally posted by: Tartuffe

originally posted by: chr0naut

originally posted by: Tartuffe

originally posted by: chr0naut
a reply to: Tartuffe

Americans honor their dead more than their living.
Families fall apart.
There are 40 million+ living in poverty.
About 1.5 million children will be homeless this year.
There are about 33,000 gun deaths a year.
44,000 suicides.
The unemployment rate hovers around 4% (the same as the UK, and the recent fall in unemployment matches other countries - the administration can't take credit).
Roads, bridges, dams and other infrastructure are falling apart in all states (worst in Rhode Island).

But the media and politicians tell you that things are going well and most Americans probably believe that. Fake news wins.



Things are going well. Life expectancy is rising, extreme poverty is falling. Child mortality rate is falling, people are getting taller because of nutrition. More access to medicine, food, clean water.

As your assertions illustrate, not only do many people across advanced economies have no idea that the world is becoming a much better place, they actually think its getting worse.


The general improvements are long term things, over decades or longer. In the very short term, where fake news lives, things are getting worse at the moment (in the last year or so).

Even in the longer term, around the time of the world wars, things were, overall, getting worse but in the short term after the wars, looked to be getting better.

I suppose it depends on how you define things, too.

I have recently had my son pass away from cancer and in my grief, I came to the realization that the existence of, and interaction with, loved ones, is the thing of primary importance in my life. There is nothing of greater worth or value to me. Despite my Asperger's contentment with being alone and my self sufficiency, life would loose all color and meaning without my loved ones. I would exist but it would be a personal 'hell on Earth'.

Yet we will all die. That has never changed. We can stretch our times together but it is temporary at best. There has been no improvement, over all human history and prehistory, in the thing that really matters most.


I'm really sorry about your son, my friend. That's heartbreaking. Was it recent?

You're right about family and loved ones. You're also right about personal perspective. What I meant was statistically things are getting better—progress and all that.


My son passed on the 5th of this month. He leaves a wife and 4 year old son.


Jesus man. I'm terribly sorry. I cannot imagine your grief. My condolences to you and your family.

Are you all alone? Or do you have loved ones close by? What I'm trying to say is, and this may seem hollow, but if you need a friend to BS with please message me. It's all I can offer besides my condolences.



posted on Apr, 24 2019 @ 06:06 PM
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originally posted by: Chadwickus

originally posted by: Tartuffe

originally posted by: rickymouse
When enough people believe a lie, the lie becomes reality. Disinformation is a threat to society, not just Democracy.


Such a thing can only occur if the truth is censored. Censorship is a threat to democracy and society.


Truth is rarely censored, rather it's ignored.

People don't want truth, they want reassurance that they're right. Confirmation bias is why disinformation runs riot.


That's a very true point. But I think that by understanding our biases and the vast variety of fallacies we can fall victim to, we wouldn't need the state to curate information for us. This seems to me the most pertinent solution, one that doesn't involve censorship and pressure.



posted on Apr, 24 2019 @ 06:24 PM
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originally posted by: Tartuffe

originally posted by: chr0naut

originally posted by: Tartuffe

originally posted by: chr0naut

originally posted by: Tartuffe

originally posted by: chr0naut
a reply to: Tartuffe

Americans honor their dead more than their living.
Families fall apart.
There are 40 million+ living in poverty.
About 1.5 million children will be homeless this year.
There are about 33,000 gun deaths a year.
44,000 suicides.
The unemployment rate hovers around 4% (the same as the UK, and the recent fall in unemployment matches other countries - the administration can't take credit).
Roads, bridges, dams and other infrastructure are falling apart in all states (worst in Rhode Island).

But the media and politicians tell you that things are going well and most Americans probably believe that. Fake news wins.



Things are going well. Life expectancy is rising, extreme poverty is falling. Child mortality rate is falling, people are getting taller because of nutrition. More access to medicine, food, clean water.

As your assertions illustrate, not only do many people across advanced economies have no idea that the world is becoming a much better place, they actually think its getting worse.


The general improvements are long term things, over decades or longer. In the very short term, where fake news lives, things are getting worse at the moment (in the last year or so).

Even in the longer term, around the time of the world wars, things were, overall, getting worse but in the short term after the wars, looked to be getting better.

I suppose it depends on how you define things, too.

I have recently had my son pass away from cancer and in my grief, I came to the realization that the existence of, and interaction with, loved ones, is the thing of primary importance in my life. There is nothing of greater worth or value to me. Despite my Asperger's contentment with being alone and my self sufficiency, life would loose all color and meaning without my loved ones. I would exist but it would be a personal 'hell on Earth'.

Yet we will all die. That has never changed. We can stretch our times together but it is temporary at best. There has been no improvement, over all human history and prehistory, in the thing that really matters most.


I'm really sorry about your son, my friend. That's heartbreaking. Was it recent?

You're right about family and loved ones. You're also right about personal perspective. What I meant was statistically things are getting better—progress and all that.


My son passed on the 5th of this month. He leaves a wife and 4 year old son.


Jesus man. I'm terribly sorry. I cannot imagine your grief. My condolences to you and your family.

Are you all alone? Or do you have loved ones close by? What I'm trying to say is, and this may seem hollow, but if you need a friend to BS with please message me. It's all I can offer besides my condolences.


Thanks, I have my wife, daughter, her fiancee and grandson here with me. My daughter in law and my other son are overseas at present and i'm also missing them keenly.

I have support but I tend to isolate myself in response to stressors. I have to consciously reach out to prevent myself from withdrawing and am doing so.

I keep spontaneously breaking out in tears and it must look weird to others who don't know the situation. My wife has studied psychology and I'm a bit of an academic so I know the stages of grief.

It's weird how something like this fragments your psyche. I am breaking up emotionally but I maintain my rationality and control of my responsibilities (abstracted thought and reasoning) and there is an unemotional and disconnected 'observer' part of me, watching it all happen. I suppose we are a trinity in actual sense but normally aren't aware of it.

edit on 24/4/2019 by chr0naut because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 24 2019 @ 08:22 PM
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I seem to recall my history lesson about disinformation being employed in 1944 during Operation Overlord and its subprojects such as Operation Bodyguard, Operation Glimmer, and Operation Taxable, to great effect and to the great benefit of the concept of democracy.

The disinformation was spread worldwide in this instance, so yes that means that "the government lied to us!"

This is why it is so important that we don't allow just anyone to join our beloved society. The people who become soldiers, fireman, paramedics, school teachers... we have to be able to trust them with our children, trust them with our lives, and trust that even when they lie to us, it's for our own good.

So we need to work on repairing an already broken trust... not destroy whats left of it.




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