The Politics of Disinformation

Posted by M ws On Thursday, March 28, 2013 0 comments
In any circumstance, it is absolutely vital that critical thinking skills are used when receiving any form of information, especially news.

That is why I believe once the standard of education in any country goes down the drain, the nation is likely to move in the same direction. Why? By the time the current brood of youths grow up, they will be the future voters. If they are not taught to think, the tendency is for such students to docilely accept whatever the status quo tells them, especially via disinformation. To me, this post is very important so that we can stay safe, smart and savvy in a world of lies, hypocrisy and the manipulation of media/truth.

As it is, I can already see it happening whereby some do not question or analyze various sources of information but believe most - if not all - of what they see/hear or read. There is so much information available but we have to expose ourselves to such sources of information carefully, exercising selective exposure and retention after analyzing to see if it is genuine information, disinformation or misinformation.

Disinformation is intentionally false or inaccurate information that is spread deliberately. For this reason, it is synonymous with and sometimes called black propaganda. It is an act of deception and false statements to convince someone of untruth. Disinformation should not be confused with misinformation, information that is unintentionally false.

Unlike traditional propaganda techniques designed to engage emotional support, disinformation is designed to manipulate the audience at the rational level by either discrediting conflicting information or supporting false conclusions. A common disinformation tactic is to mix some truth and observation with false conclusions and lies, or to reveal part of the truth while presenting it as the whole (a limited hangout).

Another technique of concealing facts, or censorship, is also used if the group can affect such control. When channels of information cannot be completely closed, they can be rendered useless by filling them with disinformation, effectively lowering their signal-to-noise ratio and discrediting the opposition by association with many easily disproved false claims. CLICK HERE for more.

Here are 25 rules of Disinformation from HERE.

1. Hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil. 

Regardless of what you know, don’t discuss it — especially if you are a public figure, news anchor, etc. If it’s not reported, it didn’t happen, and you never have to deal with the issues.

2. Become incredulous and indignant. 

Avoid discussing key issues and instead focus on side issues which can be used show the topic as being critical of some otherwise sacrosanct group or theme. This is also known as the “How dare you!” gambit.

3. Create rumor mongers. 

Avoid discussing issues by describing all charges, regardless of venue or evidence, as mere rumors and wild accusations. Other derogatory terms mutually exclusive of truth may work as well. This method works especially well with a silent press, because the only way the public can learn of the facts are through such “arguable rumors”. If you can associate the material with the Internet, use this fact to certify it a “wild rumor” which can have no basis in fact.

4. Use a straw man. 

Find or create a seeming element of your opponent’s argument which you can easily knock down to make yourself look good and the opponent to look bad. Either make up an issue you may safely imply exists based on your interpretation of the opponent/opponent arguments/situation, or select the weakest aspect of the weakest charges. Amplify their significance and destroy them in a way which appears to debunk all the charges, real and fabricated alike, while actually avoiding discussion of the real issues.

5. Sidetrack opponents with name calling and ridicule. 

This is also known as the primary attack the messenger ploy, though other methods qualify as variants of that approach. Associate opponents with unpopular titles such as “kooks”, “right-wing”, “liberal”, “left-wing”, “terrorists”, “conspiracy buffs”, “radicals”, “militia”, “racists”, “religious fanatics”, “sexual deviates”, and so forth. This makes others shrink from support out of fear of gaining the same label, and you avoid dealing with issues.

6. Hit and Run. 

In any public forum, make a brief attack of your opponent or the opponent position and then scamper off before an answer can be fielded, or simply ignore any answer. This works extremely well in Internet and letters-to-the-editor environments where a steady stream of new identities can be called upon without having to explain criticism reasoning — simply make an accusation or other attack, never discussing issues, and never answering any subsequent response, for that would dignify the opponent’s viewpoint.

7. Question motives.

Twist or amplify any fact which could so taken to imply that the opponent operates out of a hidden personal agenda or other bias. This avoids discussing issues and forces the accuser on the defensive.

8. Invoke authority. 

Claim for yourself or associate yourself with authority and present your argument with enough “jargon” and “minutiae” to illustrate you are “one who knows”, and simply say it isn’t so without discussing issues or demonstrating concretely why or citing sources.

9. Play Dumb. 

No matter what evidence or logical argument is offered, avoid discussing issues with denial they have any credibility, make any sense, provide any proof, contain or make a point, have logic, or support a conclusion. Mix well for maximum effect.

10. Associate opponent charges with old news.

A derivative of the straw man usually, in any large-scale matter of high visibility, someone will make charges early on which can be or were already easily dealt with. Where it can be foreseen, have your own side raise a straw man issue and have it dealt with early on as part of the initial contingency plans. Subsequent charges, regardless of validity or new ground uncovered, can usually them be associated with the original charge and dismissed as simply being a rehash without need to address current issues — so much the better where the opponent is or was involved with the original source.

CLICK HERE for the remaining 15 rules.

Please read: Twenty-Five Ways To Suppress Truth:   The Rules of Disinformation  (Includes The 8 Traits of A Disinformationalist)  by H. Michael Sweeney

Michael D. Day who wrote Disinformation, Misinformation And Politics As Usual in his blog put it very well when he said:

An unwary public is easy prey for those who would manipulate public opinion.  It goes beyond biased reporting, or stories that remain unreported.  An outright lie is usually only effective for the short-term.  Eventually, when people discover it’s a lie, everyone knows it, and it’s no longer an effective issue.  But disinformation is much more diabolical.  A propaganda tool developed by the Soviets, disinformation is the intentional reporting of falsehoods, mixed with a little truth. If you make it something that people want to believe, and present it as coming from a respectable source, a certain percentage of the public is bound to swallow it.

Then something interesting happens.  When uninformed “believers” pass on disinformation, believing it to be true, it now becomes misinformation.  Unintentionally, falsehoods get spread like gossip, each person in the chain eager to depend on the credibility of the person giving them the information, and not bothering to check the facts.  In this way the story is kept alive, repeating it as if it were true.  And even though skeptical individuals will discover the misinformation as false, enough “believers” will continue passing it along to sustain a long-term impact on public opinion.

This unintentional spreading of misinformation makes “useful idiots” (a Soviet term) of those involved.  There are those who manipulate and those who allow themselves to be manipulated.  The net effect of disinformation is not so much that those who are manipulated are confused, but that they are made to appear ignorant.  Then all the manipulators have to do is put them down and laugh at them.  They no longer need to argue their point because they have made those who are being manipulated to look like fools.  At least that’s their strategy. CLICK HERE for more.

Please read Political Game Playing and Media Disinformation in America - Political Game Playing Promotes Partisanship Through Polarization by Daniel Schechter of Global Research.

“No matter how big the lie; repeat it often enough and the masses will regard it as the truth.” 
― John F. Kennedy

“Be careful who you choose as your hero or who you choose to deify, be it Clay Aiken or Barack Obama. You put all you're hope and all your dreams and all your ideas about stuff into one human being. They're a human being they're going to let you down. 

You can't make someone your hero because of something you read on the internet. The internet is not a source of information it is a source of disinformation.” 
― Craig Ferguson

“Disinformation is duping. 
Misinformation is tricking.” 
― Toba Beta, Master of Stupidity

Next post will be on Misinformation. Stay tuned.

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