Twitter's former head of Trust and Safety told Congress that "counterfeit" Russian accounts targeting the US are still active as part of an "ongoing campaign."
“The ideal subject of totalitarian rule is not the convinced Nazi or the convinced Communist, but people for whom the distinction between fact and fiction (i.e., the reality of experience) and the distinction between true and false (i.e., the standards of thought) no longer exist.”
― Hannah Arendt, The Origins of Totalitarianism
“If we do not have the capacity to distinguish what’s true from what’s false, then by definition the marketplace of ideas doesn’t work. And by definition, our democracy doesn’t work. We are entering into an epistemological crisis.”
“ If you only acknowledge the facts when they suit you, then the facts cease to exist and have no more meaning than fiction, and if we get there we have a problem no election, no impeachment process can fix.” Chris Cuomo©
The only shocking thing to me is a media class that is dependent on a system it does not understand.
Twitter has to be treated as a hostile information environment now more than ever, yet journalists and influencers are economically incentivized to look the other way, to spread rumors and disinformation for engagements.
The resulting noise pollution and epistemic crisis feedbacks in complex ways into conspiratorial worldviews, nihilism and fascism.
Some might appreciate my investigation into this, freely accessible here:
Great piece. Thank you!
What a hearing! I’m so thankful that Republican’s insanity backfired so dramatically - maybe thats a good omen of things to come this Congress. What was supposed to document Twitter secretly helping Democrats with sneaky moderation actually served to document the opposite: Twitter bending its rules to keep Trump on its service and that Trump not Biden sought to influence Twitter’s moderation while President and silence critics.
And Twitter is now run by Musk, who seems to be flirting with QAnon and Nazi related imagery and memes. I fear the operational playbook that was run on 4chan 2015-2016 pushing fascism is now being pushed on Twitter.
Meanwhile Michael Flynn has just about come out of the closet as the source behind QAnon and similar online psychological warfare as has been well documented by Jim Stewartson. He is after all a Russia tool and psychological warfare specialist - his new book, which might be viewed as a fascist how-to guide for killing democracy and inciting violence shows this little gem:
And yet, few seem to be registering this brazen continuing attack on US governance, the same one that upholds the world order. What in the world is going on?!
The right wing media has long since accomplished their goal of instilling in ppl that no one really knows who to believe so we should decide for ourselves what is true, or not. I believe in deciding for myself as well, but unless I'm well informed on a given subject its prob not a good idea to form an opinion. At least not on anything important. But many ppl, some I know personally and some I observed on s m. seem to form opinions based on what makes sense to them using only the knowledge they have at any given time. Every conservative I know, which is only a handful or two, believe that basically there is no way to know who is telling the truth. They also seem to believe that their own opinions hold as much weight as an that of experts. Sadly partial truths are used sometimes (60/40 method) to get ppl to believe something. It's difficult to try to say to someone that bc an expert said something it should be believed when I've witnessed experts over the last several years make statements I know to be incorrect. Im not skilled at communication and have been mostly unsuccessful in getting the avg person to consider that although they think those on the right are stupid for believing what the far right media is peddling at any given time , they too are susceptible to believing disinfo to the same degree bc they too do not try to find first hand sources of information. Ppl on both sides of the political aisle seem to be opposed to reading reports, govt docs, etc. If ppl on the left watch their preferred cable news show, and then saw democratic officials stand on the floors of Congress saying the same things their news said, they are most likely inclined to believe it's the truth. So if a random person on the right for example were to reply to them saying they are wrong, that their media & officials are lying to them, who would they believe? Prob not the person on the right. What is surprising to me is that when faced with opposing views ppl did not seem inclined to consider the others view, or that they could have believed incorrect information, and even less inclined to try to find out.
Honestly I too dont trust most of govt. Not bc I'm paranoid, but bc I'm old and they've given me many reasons not to. I too dont trust the media always. I too have watched experts make mistakes in public statements. I started learning all I could about disinformation, and how the gop were using it. I dont have a degree, and to see what was happening for myself was extremely time consuming. It would be next to impossible for the avg person to have the time to spare in order to do the same. I try to get ppl to stand back and apply common sense to some degree. Such as although Ive witnessed experts make inaccurate statements, it's likely they may have relied on their expertise in general as opposed to being familiar with certain current details. Bc they were wrong on one thing, in no way means they are wrong on all things. They are considered experts for a reason and have likely forgotten more about a particular issue than many of us will likely know in our lifetimes. Politicians lie, but when govt reports are released by a bi-partisan committee, why shouldnt such reports be believed?. The reason bi-partisan committees exist are so we can know that the information contained in reports, documents etc did not come from only one party. Things like these, but I've not had much success. I'd actually love to know how to get ppl to understand the importance of reading things longer than one paragraph, and to consider that the time used in looking for first hand sources of info is well spent. It's very unfortunate that information is being weaponized and used against us, but I feel like I was fortunate to have been able to witness different things first hand. It helped me to understand several things at once, where if I had only read about it i may not have understood as well. I stopped looking into every little thing that comes along once I understood at least generally who was lying regularly, what they stood to gain from using it etc. But even though I spent 10-12 hours everyday for probably 3 years learning about disinformation if I dont look everything up before I tweet or retweet it, its always possible that I'm sharing bad information. I try to check first most of the time. Thank you for sharing some of your knowledge on disinfo, as well as how it's being used etc. I continue to learn a lot from you. It's not everyday that formally educated ppl in a given area, are keen to share details of what they know, again and again until we can hopefully understand it well. You are a treasure, and I appreciate your willingness to educate me.