Fact-Checkers: Tricks of the Trade
1984 was a warning for some, a playbook for others...
“We have just established a mis- and disinformation governance board in the Department of Homeland Security to more effectively combat this threat, not only to election security but to our homeland security,” said Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas last week.
What would a Disinformation Governance Board look like?
Regulatory authorities and “fact-checkers” provide some disturbing clues about how it could look.
I have written before about the cottage industry of getting in your head to influence your behavior.
The WHO has hosted a number of “infodemic”conferences throughout the pandemic and their keynote speakers offer plenty of insight with regards to the use of messaging.
Saad Omer, a member of WHO’s Global Advisory Committee on Vaccine Safety, offers some advice here about how to grab us by the values to gain our compliance…
This happens a lot.
Remember how your “Coexist” bumper sticker represented your support of tolerance and diversity? Remember how that “tolerance” was eventually hijacked and laced with ideas about oppression and victimization that fueled division more that it promoted inclusion? If you’re confused about how you can now be an oppressor for using the wrong pronoun, you are not alone. And very likely, it has nothing to do with your willingness to respect the beliefs and choices of others. But this is the nature of the beast.
This is also how people became convinced that it was a virtue to wear a mask and how getting a COVID shot that doesn’t stop transmission “protects others.” Remember the news coverage that made people afraid of “killing grandma?” Not an accident.
In order to eliminate infectious diseases, individuals need to consider social welfare beyond mere self-interest—regardless of ethnic, religious, or national group borders. It has therefore been proposed that vaccination poses a social contract in which individuals are morally obliged to get vaccinated.
Now would be a good time to get familiar with common logical fallacies.
Here’s one recent example of how “fact-checkers” create and correct “misinformation.”
On April 6, The Guardian published this story:
From Damian Carrington’s article:
Microplastic pollution has been discovered lodged deep in the lungs of living people for the first time. The particles were found in almost all the samples analysed…
Microplastics were detected in human blood for the first time in March, showing the particles can travel around the body and may lodge in organs. The impact on health is as yet unknown.
Incidentally, there were scientists predicting a problem with micro plastics in masks from the very beginning of the pandemic. Dr. Colleen Huber was one of the people asking questions early on…
But here is how Fact-Checkers responded to Carrington’s article:
Here’s how The Healthy Indian Project frames it:
A social media post shows an image titled, “Microplastics found deep in lungs of living people for the first time with polypropylene and PET being the most common.”
The picture is captioned “ What could it possibly be from?”
Moreover, the post also shows another image that reads “Disposable 3-Ply Face Mask 50 Pcs made with Polypropylene and Elastic Ear Loops, “indirectly claiming that face masks are a major source of microplastics in our lungs.”
These fact-checkers have built a straw man argument to attack. This happens ALL THE TIME.
Please. Read past the headlines. Once the “me thinks thou dost protest too much” goes off in your head, it’s hard to unsee what’s really happening here.