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Social networks allow conspiracy theorists to connect and spread false information

By Lethbridge Herald on March 12, 2022.

Brian Hancock – editor of the Lethbridge Herald

Andrew Coyne, a Canadian columnist for The Globe and Mail, posted this on Twitter and it really helped me understand how the world is as it is right now:

“Fear of the facts. Rage against reality. That a thing is reported often, and widely, by many disparate sources, is not taken as evidence of its probability, but as evidence of a conspiracy, only because it conflicts with what he wants to believe, or wants his followers to believe.

The world we live in has become so twisted that “proof of something” is sold to us as “proof” that it didn’t happen or didn’t actually happen. How? ‘Or’ What? Social media is like that.

Previously, conspiracy thinkers were loners, they had no circle of “like-minded thinkers” to empower themselves, and their opinions alienated them from the vast majority of society, so they quietly went their own way, suspicious of everything but unable to prove anything. (or gain support) so that they don’t voice their theories for fear of being ostracized. Then came social media.

If enough people had the same mistaken opinion before they got it wrong, they are now connecting to other people with the same mistaken conspiracy theories and thinking there must be some truth to their ideas.

Social media has allowed lone conspiracy theorists to bond with other lone conspiracy theorists. It gives them the power to think their opinions are facts, and that’s where it gets dangerous.

Go to your local pub and have a beer: if 10 people see you having a beer, social media makes it look like you’ve had 10 beers. You only had one but it is multiplied by the actions. It’s the same thing that happens with questioning the truth – one person asking a nonsensical question or making a nonsense accusation is shared by thousands of people. If thousands of people see it, it must be true, right? The shift from facts to multiple sharing of misinformation becoming facts is endemic; it’s gotten to a point where I don’t know if people can tell the difference anymore.

Even fact checks are questioned as not being factual. I’m not sure anyone cares more about the truth. It can interfere with what they want to believe, so they simply choose to label it as a way to validate their opinions. ‘You’re left’, ‘you’re right’, ‘fake news’, ‘mainstream media’, as long as they can label the source they feel they can dismiss facts they can’t explain .

Beware of where you get your information, check sources and you will find many fake “experts” offering opinions and disguising them as facts. King Abdulmameh of Congo also doesn’t really have $10 million to deposit in your bank account. Sorry if you’re waiting for the money, the fact is it’s not coming.

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