There was a time, not so long ago, when fake news was not so pervasive. You could open a paper or turn on the nightly news and catch up on what was happening in the world. Or even on a more local, almost parochial level. Less people still appear to hold this view.
According to a recent major study of 70,000 consumers across 36 countries, just 40 per cent say they trust mainstream media to separate fact from fiction. UK pollsters YouGov found that even fewer, 24 per cent, relied on social media to do the same. Overall, 33 per cent said they couldn’t rely on the news to be true when they were quizzed last summer. The once worldwide highly respected British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) are now viewed with suspicion by a whopping 1 in 6 (over 16%)!
While those numbers are encouraging, what’s even concerning is that two thirds of people do rely on the mainstream media (MSM). 66% rely on the likes of BBC News, the New York Times, CNN and the Independent or Guardian for news, commentary and observation.
Unless you’re a current affairs junkie, it can be quite hard to distinguish fake news from good, honest journalism. The reality is that most people are far more interested in how they’re going to pay the next heating bill or afford their annual family holiday – at most they might flick on the evening news or browse a news website for the headlines.
One thing the controlling elite and their predominantly left-wing ideologies excel at is rallying around a common cause. When President Trump coined the phrase ‘fake news media’, they turned it around on his own campaign and accused independent outlets of being just that. Alternative media like Breitbart, Westmonster and Rebel Media.
When people started questioning Islamic scripture, the word ‘Islamophobia’ was coined to silence debate. When the ‘elderly and uneducated’ dropped a bombshell by voting for Brexit, the elite doubled down on their narrative to such a level the UK Prime Minister has almost negotiated Britain back in to the EU that 52% voted to leave in the referendum of 2016. The phrase being used in Parliament this week was ‘kicking the can down the street’.
They control the media, public services, local government, educational institutions, and mainstream politics. They have a monopoly on comedy, the arts, celebrity influence, big business and, of course, the internet.
Here is a link to a previous article I wrote on it.
Here is a quick overview. You think ISIS use the Internet in sophisticated ways? They are useful idiots compared to really serious players, those who not only recruit, but also mass message and try to control the agenda.
Imagine a small group of associates who object to the way the world is developing. All willing to protest against any particular event, but there are not many of you. What to do?
Write letters of protest? Small numbers are ignored and the protest is ignored as the rants of some malcontents. Eventually they go back to their jobs and get on with life.
Fast forward to the digital age. The age of mass communication, you have programs that generate unique letters/ comments/ opinions based on preselected keywords. These keywords will find conversations on numerous forums (because that is what algorithms are designed to do) and then send them, using thousands of correct email addresses ( you have access to data banks of addresses, on sale just about anywhere). Ditto for Twitter addresses. This multiplies the small group by hundreds, thousands or even millions.
Such a program could generate and send a protest letter from me (or you) on some issue I don’t care about or even disagree with. I may never know. News agencies do not have the resources to check legitimacy. They just count!
Millions of false email accounts are created, and each of these can create accounts on social media. (Think Wells-Fargo and their fake bank accounts spring to mind. Twitter was sanctioned for using bots to increase the number of ‘users’. Ditto CNN.)
Thousands or millions of messages then go out. Large organizations receiving millions of messages or multiple thousands will use deep learning to read the message for favorability or not, maybe keywords and themes, and then produce a count. In this scheme, machines create the messages and machines read them.
The organizations could be BBC, Channel 4, or some other media company.
The key point is the volume.
Completely fake websites can be created to recruit cadres of useful participants (useful idiots again,) to attend rallies or protests of any sort. The Remain protests and the DumpTrump marches of 2016/2017 spring to mind.
In this way, just a handful of people can shape the news or Government – or ignite a revolution. Quite an Orwellian scenario.
Now the next generation of foot soldiers are being conditioned to think that tearing down statues, destroying nation states, removing books from universities, altering gender sciences and generally curtailing freedom of expression is a rational way forward for Western civilisation. Twitter is a brilliant example of how dangerous and counter-productive an echo chamber can be.
The Independent runs articles such as ‘How the teachings of Islam could help us prevent more sexual abuse’ and ‘Anyone who believes the Quran teaches violence hasn’t read it properly’ have begun falling off the production line.
In December, Buzzfeed published a story called ’37 things white people ruined in 2017’. A quick search revealed the story had been written by a staff member called Patrice Peck who describes herself as being a “Multicultural Beauty Writer”.
Ask yourself this simple question: when was the last time you saw a journalist act with integrity? There are a few, but they are being drowned out by the noise. And they are not the only ones being drowned out. Otherwise you would have stopped reading this. But what difference can you make?
I would like to give you an analogy. A metaphor, if you will. Alex Jones of Infowars has the tagline ‘There is a war going on for your mind’ and I think he is right. We are in a war. Not in the literal sense. At least not yet, and I hope we never do. But in an information war.
Everyone has a part to play, no matter how small. The man in the armaments factory putting fuses in a shell is as important as the one firing the cannon on the front line. These fuses may be small, but without them the cannon is firing blanks and is ineffective.
Engage people in conversation. Post on social media. Get involved in parent/ teacher associations. Maybe get on the board of governors at your local school. Join local groups. Make your voice heard.
Argue your point using rationality, logic and reason to dismantle this fallacy. But be warned, although this is a relatively easy argument, you will be outnumbered, sometimes greatly so. You will also be shamed into silence using guilt (an emotion), they will point and shriek using hysterical moral panic. And they will swarm. The the opposition rarely, if ever work alone. They will also not like you.
You may also notice some are not as vocal as others. You may experience a friendly tap on the shoulder accompanied by something like “I thought I was the only one who thought like that.”
These people will also have experienced the vitriol and finger pointing and are perhaps just waiting for a moderating voice, a fellow traveller amid the turmoil to connect with. Or perhaps they just didn’t fancy the odds.
It is worth remembering the lines in Goethe’s Faust, (translated from German). ‘What you have inherited from your forefathers, earn it, so that you might own it’