Why disinformation/misinformation needs to be exposed
And here is an outstanding example how that can be done
October 10, 2021
Today I came across an outstanding article about the disinformation/misinformation war being waged the world over. The actors are autocrats of various political stripes and/or dictatorial regimes/states along with their ideological supporters that in some cases are embraced by media corporations strictly for financial gain.
A research group in Canada called DisinfoWatch has done grand work observing and analyzing the impact of work done by these actors on the results of the recent Canadian federal election. From their webpage at https://disinfowatch.org/canadian-residential-schools-issue-targeted-by-foreign-information-operations/ they wrote:
The discovery of unmarked graves at former Canadian residential schools in spring 2021 received widespread coverage by Canadian national media over the past four months. But coverage of this topic has not been exclusive to domestic outlets; state-owned media in China, Russia, and Iran have devoted significant coverage to the subject while state-controlled social media accounts have actively amplified these foreign narratives. In so doing, these regimes have exploited the residential schools tragedy in order to discredit Canada and its voice as a global defender of human rights.
Misinformation and disinformation by government and non-governmental actors is designed to destabilize functioning democratic institutions and states they don’t like and cannot directly influence at the ballot box. Misdisinfo (a word invented here) is a “thought virus” that was created in the political science labs of extremist regimes during the later half of the 20th century. Before the internet it was called “propaganda” and was propagated through technologies available at the time such as radio and films. But the viral strain of propaganda - misdisinfo - was released into the global population circa 2005/6 and attached itself to the human experience via social media, educational, cultural and legal institutions. It is a far more viral and well rooted pandemic than COVID. While medical science has worked aggressively to create vaccines to defeat COVID with encouraging results, political science is dithering and waffling about how to challenge misdisinfo with obvious social and economic impacts.
In the case of the recent election in Canada state sponsored misdisinfo was effectively used to change election results by the actors exposed by DisinfoWatch .
I urge readers - not just my Canadian subscribers - to go to DisinfoWatch and get the full story.
Let me know what you think.