Campaigns of Misinformation

In the Carlin and Love paper, the authors study shows that there is an inherit lack of trust when it comes to our interactions with people with varying political beliefs and affiliation. Competition in politics can lead to campaigns of misinformation, and in my opinion, Brexit is one of the most powerful recent examples.

Alan Moore is the author of V for Vendetta, a comic novel (which was also made into a movies) about this futuristic world that the British governments enforce their vision on the masses that do not trust the government, however follow the government vision out of fear. State controlled media outlets shape and enforce the political narrative.

He shares his thoughts on Brexit, which I found very interesting and in line with our discussions about political rhetoric and trust:

Image Credit: https://www.ninstation.com/10-dystopian-movies-like-v-for-vendetta/

2 Comments

  1. Hey Salim, thanks for the post, I found that quite interesting. Do you think that you could draw a parallel here between Trump’s election and what Alan said about Brexit? The media is a scary thing if we’re not careful with it. It has so much power because of its framing abilities. It can include and exclude as it pleases based on the biases of the people/large organizations running media platforms as well as what viewers want to hear and see.

    Many of this political misinformation is created by the biases and agendas of those running the media. Even if we are to eliminate biases, we have to be careful about what we show merely because its what people want to see (i.e. content based on competition for viewership). A good example of media misinformation not done on purpose: Steven Pinker recently came out with a book on our perceptions of violence. Most people feel that the world is becoming increasingly violent, however, as statistics show, the world has never been less violent than now. A large part of this is simply due to how media focusses on the bad (exciting) things that captures people attention. Tons of what you hear on news channels are stories of robbers, war, murders, and what not, no wonder people think theres so much more violence than there is.

    I liked his final comment about complexity. I just looked up the population of the earth in 1960…about 3 billion….we are approaching 8 billion now! The complexity is very overwhelming and our ability to communicate is the key to fixing these problems, hopefully we can get it together with media given that it is one of our most powerful modes of mass communication.

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  2. Thank you for your comment. Yes I do agree that Brexit was a protest vote, very much like Trump was a protest vote to “upset” the establishment in Washington. Ironically he managed to cater even more to the rich and corporate interest.

    I really like what you mentioned about perception violence in Steven Pinker. The same things applies with Trump wanting to declare a national emergency over the invasion at the border, even though statistics show the number of refugees and illegal immigrants are lower now than anytime in the past 50 years. So Trump appeals to the perception of xenophobia, claiming that its the illegals that are taking your jobs away and committing murders.

    As an immigrant I find this fascinating (needless to say all humanity are immigrants, it all depends on how long you want to stretch your time line), because again there is a misrepresentation that immigrants are more likely to be violent and commit crimes. However statistics show that immigrants are intact not any more likely to commit crimes compared to native borns. Again, another example of perception of violence and misinformation. Trump seems to back up his false claims by having parents of victims of illegal immigrants present at his press conferences, and when a reporter questions him on statistics backing up his claims about immigrants being more violent, he defers to one of the mothers taking on the reporter.

    I have sympathy for parents of victims, however the statistics and facts do not show immigrants as committing more crimes. Brexit very much had elements of stoking of xenophobia to further push the political agenda of the “leave” campaign .

    Liked by 1 person

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