|4th Psychological Operations Group, |
193rd Special Operations Wing,
Pennsylvania Air National Guard
The public is always a bit slow on the uptake on such stories, but the circumstances are by no means breaking news, or at least they shouldn't be. It has been well reported for years that intelligence agencies throughout the world target social media sites to conduct "non-lethal warfare." Israeli Defense Forces alone acknowledge carrying out such activities in six languages on some 30 platforms, including Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Instagram.
|FB's Mark Zuckerberg|
While Facebook might find it advantageous to once again address the situation for one reason or another, I'd challenge its statement of "ensuring our platform remains a safe and secure environment for authentic civic engagement." I'm not convinced it could be shown to have ever been, much less "remain" so.
Speaking of Misleading Information
Notorious InfoWars front man Alex Jones caught the losing side of a child custody case. Imagine that. Items surfacing during the messy battle included his tendencies to hurl profane insults and fan flames of such unfounded allegations as the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre never happened. Attorneys for Jones argued that his on air persona is simply performance art, for what that's worth, as counterarguments included documentation of Jones calling a Congressman a "c---sucker," bellowing in a drunken stupor on inauguration night in DC that "1776 will commence again," and other gems.
|Right-wing conspiracy theorist, performance artist, |
narcissist, presidential aide and dad, Alex Jones
Additional whoppers attributed to Alex Jones include accusations the government is lining juice boxes with estrogen to turn boys gay. This man, you will recall, is someone Donald Trump collaborated with and identified as having an "amazing" reputation, which brings us to:
Not THOSE Aliens
|Alien on the lam?|
Martian jokes aside, studies conclude immigrants are actually significantly less likely to commit crimes in the U.S. than their American-born counterparts. Such studies span several years of data and were conducted by multiple sources, including the Cato Institute and American Immigration Council, among many more.
I particularly appreciated the Doubtful News take on the story:
The purpose of the hotline is to highlight the incidents of illegal immigrants who victimize Americans. According to statistics, this extra effort is baseless. And, it makes little sense. Those who are in the country without permission would be very stupid to call police attention to themselves. They wish to remain hidden and so are less likely to commit a crime. Besides, no justification has been demonstrated that these particular crime victims need a special office, VOICE, for their reporting. There are already means to report such crimes. This is clearly a manufactured problem in order to influence public opinion about illegal immigrants. It’s a waste of money and promotes misinformation. So, I’m glad it is failing. Put money to better use, on real problems.The current presidential administration has in its short lifespan already shown a remarkable and destructive tendency to cling to a poorly argued point in the face of all reason. Policies on such issues as a border wall and so-called "travel" ban cannot even be shown to be grounded in factual data, much less that the billions of dollars in costs and lost revenue would solve the "problems" not established to exist in the first place.
As reported in 2015 via The Intercept article, The Greatest Obstacle to Anti-Muslim Fearmongering and Bigotry: Reality:
We clearly would be wise to exercise reasonable skepticism when solicited to buy into a social media story or related point of view. Every day is April Fools out there. I opt for getting my news from multiple outlets, keeping an eye on verification and sources cited. It's an info war indeed, and your opinion is the prize. Form it wisely.