A good article on the Seattle Times came out today about a researcher at the University of Washington who stumbled upon the horrors of online conspiracy theory mass circle-jerks being boosted by Twitter bots.
UW professor: The information war is real, and we’re losing it
Professor Kate Starbird, who has the perfect YA novel protagonist name and needs to save us all from these dark times, is going to present a paper on this phenomenon in May. I'm glad to see academics are starting to take this seriously after I freaked the fuck out over it like a month ago.
This article primarily deals with the trend of false flag operation conspiracy theories that pop up literally every time there is a mass shooting or terrorist attack. If you didn't already know this, I'm sorry to but this piece of information in your brain - there are people who have harassed and threatened the parents of the children who were murdered during the Sandy Hook shooting because they believe it was a false flag operation and that these parents are just actors.
Even if I thought this was a possibility I would take the safe route and just go ahead and not send death threats to people who might be parents who have had to bury their children.
False flag operations have been staged by the CIA and other U.S. agencies, but staging a mass shooting of a elementary school would never work and would not be beneficial to their agendas in any way. And what, you really think they're going to spend their resources to stage mass shootings every goddamn day in this country, which is how often they happen now, to the point that we don't even notice them anymore? Why am I bothering to try and argue with these people? Back to the article.
This is my favorite part:
Starbird says she’s concluded, provocatively, that we may be headed toward “the menace of unreality — which is that nobody believes anything anymore.” Alex Jones, she says, is “a kind of prophet. There really is an information war for your mind. And we’re losing it.”
May be headed toward? I'm already there. Come join the party of utter uncertainty, everybody! There's plenty of anxiety for all!
What I wonder at this point is to what extent this was planned and what will be the result. The stress of uncertainty caused by constant lies and gaslighting will create demand for certainty, and already has. Sites like Politifact and Scopes have become something of a necessity. If they don't already have apps then they're lying down on the job. But it could also just cause people to cling more tightly to sources that assure them they're the only ones telling the truth.
What gets under my skin is that before the articles about mass webs of conspiracy theories and online mass misinformation spreading started coming out, Lord Dampnut was already up there accusing sources previously thought of as reliable staples of being "fake news." Then again, this was set up for many years by Fox News accusing the same sources of "liberal bias." It's just getting more and more extreme. But also, when someone accuses you of doing something bad that they're actually doing themselves, this is not only projection, but a common abuse tactic. It's amazing how much of the Dampnut strategy and alt-right word-vomit comes straight out of the abuser playbook. Then again, who's more abusive than fascists?
What a time to be alive.