TheConversation.com Digs Deep on Disinformation in Guide to Alert Viewers
Once upon a time, when a newspaper or a printed magazine made a mistake or posted misinformation, they would go out of their way to correct it as soon as possible, even correcting it on the front page if that’s where it occurred. Those days are long gone. Disinformation, or deliberately generating misleading content, is big business—and in the United States, nothing gets in the way of big business.
But there is a method to the madness of disinformation that you might not be aware of. An article on theconversation.com helps explain some of the methods used in social media.
Here are a few of the warning signs they list to watch out for.
It’s Just A Joke
“Hahaganda” is a tactic in which disinformation agents use memes, political comedy from state-run outlets, or speeches to make light of serious matters, attack others, minimize violence or dehumanize, and deflect blame.
This approach provides an easy defense: If challenged, the disinformation agents can say, “Can’t you take a joke?” often followed by accusations of being too politically correct.
Shhh … Tell Everyone
Rumor-milling is a tactic in which the disinformation agents claim exclusive access to secrets they allege are being purposefully concealed. They indicate that you will “only hear this here” and will imply that others are unwilling to share the alleged truth – for example,
“The media won’t report this” or “The government doesn’t want you to know” and “I shouldn’t be telling you this … .”But they do not insist that the information be kept secret, and will instead include encouragement to share it.
People Are Saying
Often disinformation has no real evidence, so instead disinformation agents will find or make up people to support their assertions. This impersonation can take multiple forms. Disinformation agents will use anecdotes as evidence, especially sympathetic stories from vulnerable groups such as women or children.
Many times a scam artist will quit or promote “experts” to support their view or their particular scam.
- A faux expert is someone used for their title but without relevant expertise.
- A pseudo-expert is someone who claims relevant expertise but has no actual training.
- A junk expert is a sellout. They may have had expertise once but now say whatever is profitable. You can often find these people have supported other dubious claims – for example, that smoking doesn’t cause cancer – or work for institutes that regularly produce questionable “scholarship.”
- An echo expert is when disinformation sources cite each other to provide credence for their claims. China and Russia routinely cite one another’s newspapers.
- A stolen expert is someone who exists, but they weren’t contacted and their research is misinterpreted. Likewise, disinformation agents also steal credibility from known news sources, such as by typosquatting and setting up a domain name that closely resembles a legitimate organization.
Check and Check Again
You can check whether accounts, anecdotal or scientific, have been verified by other reliable sources. Google the name. Check expertise status, source validity, and interpretation of research. Remember, one story or interpretation is not necessarily representative.
As you can see there are so many ways the bad guys are using to dupe you for one reason or another. Either in politics or to scam you for money and you must learn to be very cautious if you aren’t already. Read this article and keep up on the trends these scammers are using.
read more at theconversation.com