Requiem for Truth

Not too long ago, I wrote about how Facebook’s flagship products, Facebook and WhatsApp, have been usurped by malicious actors to decimate the truth and to instigate mass action bordering on genocide. Now, as the article linked below demonstrates, we may have the first quantitative measure of how successful such disinformation campaigns are on US soil. If it is correct that 40% of Republicans are as gullible as Burmese, then it is a sad day for the USA: we were done in by our own technologies.

A survey finds a false conspiracy theory about vaccines implanting tracking microchips is popular among Fox News viewers, Republicans and Trump voters.

Source: Over 40% of Republicans wrongly believe conspiracy theory about Bill Gates and COVID-19 vaccines – CNET

Applying a Band-Aid to a Mortal Wound

Source: WhatsApp imposes even stricter limits on message forwarding

The speed with which social media have been hijacked by malicious forces to achieve ghastly ends is disconcerting. WhatsApp alone has been used to instigate lynchings in India and possibly a genocide in Burma. It is a sign of Facebook’s profound cowardice that it is acting only when a pandemic that affects the entire world–especially Facebook’s country of incorporation, the United States–is in full effect. Even so, the measures they are taking are much too paltry compared to the challenge to be of any use or effect. The quote below from WhatsApp constitutes the epitome of cynicism, the apogee of hypocrisy: after destroying truth, aiding the incitement of genocide and empowering propaganda machines, FaceBook is making a trivial gesture that effects little change beyond the actor making the statement below.

Caveat emptor! If you are getting your news from WhatsApp or Facebook, you are likely an ignoramus.

“We believe it’s important to slow the spread of these messages down to keep WhatsApp a place for personal conversation,” the company added.