I can see information warfare in media stories. Information warfare provides a competitive advantage to some viewpoints over others and can often make people feel confused or disheartened or by contrast, overconfident about a viewpoint without a valid reason. Some people try to define fake news by putting all the sites with stories they don’t agree with in the fake news site category. That’s not, however, how most of us think of fake news. So to be clear, I think that fake news is media on the internet, or in the publishing world that puts false narrative side by side with true narratives. Often this can confuse issues and raise passions, polarizing the nation. It can control outcomes in our political landscape but without a valid foundation. Only after an event has happened can a media consumer find out what was true and what wasn’t and then only if they have a copy printed of the story they were following.
Information warfare guided by bots on social media can inflame some topics by making one point of view appear more popular or more widely accepted than it really is. Social media, a phenomenon that is only about 15 years old is reshaping public opinions and making viewpoints more extreme. Think of it as a Hegelian argument on steroids. The Hegelian argument isn’t like the Greek dialectic. Greek arguments are about discovering what is true and what is false or what is good vs. what is harmful. The Hegelians don’t argue that one point is better or more true. Instead, every argument is treated as having similar value and nothing gets decided…only considered. That sounds so open minded which seems good at first, but what it can lead to is that some arguments that are false don’t get discarded when they should be discarded.
An example of Hegelian narrative is what happened in media stories after the 2008 subprime mortgage collapse. Mainstream media in broadcast tv and radio never got around to explaining what went wrong or how to prevent a recurrent financial collapse. Instead, there were numerous know nothing points of view on display in a constant Hegelian cycle of endless discussions. I got the information I wanted about the 2008 financial collapse from a book titled All the Devils are Here: The Hidden Story of the Financial Crisis, by Bethany McLean and Joe Nocera. But most Americans never saw a copy of that book. Online and broadcast media sources endlessly discussing topics in finance failed America. Only McLean and Nocera gave Americans the information they needed to understand.
Social media does something similar to Hegelian discussions… every argument is available and some are spread more widely than other arguments that might be more valid. Bots pose as people liking a post and it can look like thousands or millions of people approve of a post when there aren’t many at all. Any claim can appear to be of greater value than another based on bot likes. Sadly, this assay of Hegelian value isn’t based on evidence that might prove that viewpoint is valid. It isn’t even based on authentic opinion. It can serve to convince people that an invalid viewpoint is widely accepted.
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Jaron Lanier says that social media can be used as a kind of behavoir modification strategy that influences people to subtly change their viewpoints, gradually making them more and more extreme. He specifically warns against using social media. He says that people should ban it from their lives.
Since the 2020 election inauguration day, on the 20th of January, media sponsors have limited the discussion of vote fraud by media pundits. No one is allowed to raise that topic in radio or on tv. A multitude of public concerns have come up. The public now doubts the fairness of our electoral process. Many Americans have become concerned about electronic voting fraud and that concern is also my greatest one. But there were many other forms of fraud from ballot stuffing to backdating ballots to fake ballots being printed without being processed through a real voter and cast in the 2020 election. Many witnesses gave afidavit testimony. Crimes appear to have happened and none were prosecuted.
Unfortunately, America’s voting concerns haven’t been addressed by the American justice department. Despite massive evidence, no one has been arrested. I visited some of my neighbors this week. Some of them are so worried that they are not able to sleep. They think that our government is full of cheats and liars. Are they right? And how will their concerns be addressed? Will electronic voting be fixed?
At the beginning of the IT revolution, people were hoping that society would benefit from the new technologies. We weren’t expecting social media to be weaponized as a technique of mass behavioral modification that creates polarizing viewpoints and discord. At this point, none of us should trust social media or the information revolution to be benign. Some of our experience shows us that it can be really harmful and destructive of social neighborliness. Social media and broadcast media are failing to serve us as resources that help our society come to agreement about what might be best for us. Instead they make us freak out, and fear our neighbors.
This is infowarfare. Who is behind it? To be sure, we can name corporate sponsors in broadcast media that are squelching discussions about voter fraud. We know that portions of our government ignored voter fraud and appear to have accepted it or denied that it happened. Broadcast media reports about government in the new Biden Administration are actively threatening people who raise concerns with cancel culture plans against ordinary people asking reasonable questions. And of course, there’s social media companies that have been actively censoring discourse on their platforms.
All of these groups appear to prefer globalization to Make-America-Great strategies that many advocated for America because so many everyday Americans outside of the political and IT groups have experienced economic decline under globalization, financialization and neoliberalism. Are globalizers also plotting against nation states? Nation states are the only political entities in the world that protect natural rights. They are the world’s most stable strategy for peace since the Peace of Westphalia established nation states in 1648. Nation states help to prevent religious wars like the Thirty Years War. Nation states also invented diplomacy based on Italian City State strategies which has reduced the frequency of wars. Global institutions don’t do that.
Who else is networked with the globalist corporations, governments and social media companies? How many foreign powers have influenced our 2020 election? There appears to be a coordinated network attempting to block discourse and vote fraud resolution. How can we get around this blockade?