Politics FB

The Thursday Politics Thread Deals With Disinformation

Morning Politocadoes!

The soon-to-be former President Trump went on facebook live yesterday with a typically insane litany of complaints and grievances. The 46 minute press conference? rant? Screed? We’ll go with screed, was littered with many of the conspiracies we are now familiar with from folks like Rudy Giuliani or Sydney Powell about Dominion voting machines switching votes from one candidate to another. It’s not great that the Boss Baby is actively fomenting people against a peaceful transition of power, not unexpected but still not great.

It’s hard to believe that any of this is real life, especially when Rudy Giuliani’s star witness in the Michigan election hearing may in fact be a Kate MacKinnon character.

This freelance IT worker was deemed “not credible” by a judge and I’m not sure why anyone could possibly think that.

I worry constantly about the reality disconnect that’s grown between different groups of people in the country. Information is no longer, anything as long as it conforms to your worldview, suddenly has currenct.The Michigan Republicans thought, or at least pretended to think, that this person was even remotely credible. Simply astounding cognitive dissonance. To have this level of sheer incompetence be representative of the President of the United States is just well, fairly classic “Gasleak Administration”, but it can’t be allowed to continue.

Finland has been on the bleeding edge of battling disinformation for years. A close neighbor and formerly under the thrall of Russia, it knows the war to fight. Common strategies are taught to college students: what to look for on a twitter profile that will flag it as a troll, like volume of posts, date joined, stock photos etc. They even teach people what methods trolls typically use to sway opinion: video/image manipulation, and half-truths, but most importantly, it’s about an emphasis on critical thinking skills. It’s all part of Finland’s anti-fake news initiative begun in 2014. The aim is to make every Finnish citizen from the journalist to the college student to an average user, well-informed on disinformation. While Finland is having some trouble with Covid deniers at the moment, the initiative seems to be working.

The irony is that they brought in American experts in the first place to help plan this. So go fig.

Finland is winning the war on fake news. What it’s learned may be crucial to Western democracy


But what’s important is that we do something like this with the incoming Biden administration. Could never do it with Trump. He always benefited from it. But maybe we can with Biden.

Welcome to Thursday! Please be excellent to each other in the comments. The Mayor McSquirrel Rule remains in effect. As the protests continue, please be safe, dress non-descriptively, avoid wearing contacts if you wear them normally, and keep your phones on you. As the Covid-19 pandemic continues, please continue to maintain social distancing measures, wear masks in public areas, and practices sanitation policies as circumstances dictate.