Along with the press and the larger media, we all have to be very mindful when rage and anger are being used in calculated ways to suppress more civil discourses or to co-opt the news cycle. We have to understand how abuse online is used to exhaust and deplete us. To get us to say, “oh the hell with it, I don’t want to challenge this stuff any more.”
It’s called propaganda-and it takes many different forms and is everywhere-at this point. All over social media, everywhere in mainstream media, which is forced to compete with social media to remain relevant.
Some of this propaganda is extremely clever…in that it starts out perfectly reasonable and then devolves into buckets of crazy. The calculated, but clearly quantity and not quality manufactured rage that you just posted…wow. That’s bad. It’s like throwing a Molotov cocktail into a coffee shop to shut down the discussion…but clearly that’s going to be effective.
It’s insane how powerful manipulators of social media have been in destabilizing political and social discourse and just basic critical thinking. The examples of the attack on your blog are quite disturbing. I’ve read articles off your blog. You all are doing great work! It’s insane that your writers had to suffer for that. I’m blown away. Good for you for shutting that down.
There are American sites as well that do nothing but look for divisive writers and voices. There’s quite a bit of money to be made in selling fear.
A lot of the American conservative media supports white supremacy, so it’s not simply a Russian thing — but certainly Russian political operatives are exploiting an American problem, for Russian political gain. If you look at it from their perspective, you really can’t blame them. It’s a very clever way to wreak havoc over here, they are probably beyond thrilled with themselves over this.
I like to call propaganda out for what it is. You’ve done this quite nicely. There are all different kinds — arbitrary rage rants (that’s your category) abound. There’s the reasonable start, that devolves into buckets of crazy. Then there’s the ever clever mixing blatant lies, with important truth. That’s the most difficult to deal with, because the truth is in there…but then it gets confusing, because lots of lies, are next to very important truths. How does one cope with this? It’s mentally and intellectually exhausting, unfortunately.
The most astute observers, get tired and tap out. I know that’s what I’ve done.