“Our minds are constantly being invaded by legions of half-truths, prejudices, and false facts…” — Martin Luther King, Jr.
Imagine our planet twenty years from now. What do you see? If we don’t push back on the rampant misinformation and disinformation campaigns thrown at us daily, America will go the way of the dodo bird and become extinct. A relic of the past.
The worst part about disinformation campaigns is that some are so sophisticated and downright compelling that there are people in this country that now seem to favor Putin over Biden. Let me write that again. There are more than a few right-wing Americans who have praised the Russian leader and wish — wait for it — that he were the leader of the United States of America.
Imagine our planet twenty years from now. What do you see?
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During the election, we had a known Russian agent appear on television with Rudy Giuliani to deliberately spread a false narrative about Biden and Ukraine. According to the Atlantic, “in 2019 the two men [Derkach and Giuliani ] appeared together on the One American News Network, a far-right channel that breathlessly described Derkach as part of a group of ‘actual whistleblowers,’ talked about the ‘impeachment hoax’, and referred to the FBI’s ‘personal hatred for Donald Trump.’ Giuliani and Derkach provided the channel with doctored tapes and other material designed to create the impression that Biden was somehow involved in corruption in Ukraine.”
Why would a network — even a far right one — allow a Russian agent to come onto the airwaves and spread false information about other Americans? What kind of alternate universe do we live in? And worst of all, why would anyone believe the story?
More and more Americans are falling hook, line, and sinker for a pack of lies. And the lies are coming so fast and furious that even the most discerning of us is having a hard time distinguishing between fact and fiction. And the Russians are sitting back, smug in their knowledge that the long game is working.
They have successfully sown discord and pitted us against each other. Now all they (and other bad actors) need to do is wait for us to become so divided that no one has any trust left in the system, government, or each other.
It’s easy to get information these days. You only have to search for a news story on Google, and you are directed to billions of articles. But how do you begin to sift through an almost infinite source of information?
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