You’re Paying To Destroy Your Country | Opinion

Ryan Velasco
Jul 18 · 6 min read
Woman sitting reading a newspaper with ‘Fake News’ in large bold print as the headline of the day.
Woman sitting reading a newspaper with ‘Fake News’ in large bold print as the headline of the day.
Is ‘Fake News’ really what you want? Or do you want to be able to trust again?

Have you been duped by ‘fake news?’ Well have I got the answer for you!

‘Step 1, Google, all done?’ Great, you’re no better off than when you started and that’s why you’re easy prey. Sorry for being unsympathetic, but from my view, most people don’t even care that they’re being duped anymore.

As long as they get to read and watch what they ‘think’ is real, they’ll go with the flow.

Thanks to all countries around the world and their more passionate advocate researchers fighting to prevent and educate everyone about this maddening problem we have a ton of information, thanks to research and study that even help us ‘normies’ dissect and recognize it.

So let’s first define terms, misinformation and disinformation rather than fake news, since news means that the information can be proven because ‘surprise’, the cold hard truth can be proven to you whether you like it or not and also because the terms ‘fake news’ is used so loosely against people who don’t agree with you that it isn’t real at all. So basically, it’s a garbage term, don’t bother legitimizing it by repeating it.

Misinformation is the spreading of information that is incorrect, either partially or fully, through accidental means; you are fooled into believing it’s real and in response share it. We see this from users who are directly affected by the information and angrily act out by responding angrily, typically by sharing it, mostly through Twitter.

Disinformation is spreading information that is completely wrong, either partially or fully, while knowing that it is false. We see this happen a lot through social media by users looking to slide public opinion into territories that promote discrimination, online hate and the more mainstream problem, interference in your election system so that they can earn themselves money off of your suffering.

Now that that’s covered why exactly are you, yes you, letting your rights as smart, reasonable adults be crushed? Your rights lets you build the country and society you want and yet you sit on your laurels waiting for some hero on a steed to ride out and save you from the scary monster. I want you to understand that you don’t need a hero, you just need to stop being cowards and do something about it.

Here’s a few suggestions to start.

Did you read or watch something that pissed you off? Use your incredible thumbs and google it. Look for other sources like networks you hate and see if they also covered it. Is the information the same, if not, what’s different? Still not sure, check out another source. If everyone is shooting out the same information, then most likely, it’s true. Also while your at it, ask yourselves these two questions, ‘did the person writing give legitimate sources’ and ‘is someone trying to piss me off so I’ll share it? By legitimate sources I mean not some random personality who’s entire career is making money off it being ‘sensational’.

Those are easy things to start off doing and by no means is that the only means. We won’t go into a deep dive but you need to give up giving up your rights to people like that, also known as ‘profiteers’.

On the subject of profiteers, that’s also a reason that companies and even politicians talk the talk, but don’t walk the walk.

You see, getting eyeballs on themselves means getting money and getting more eyeballs on themselves means getting more money. This is a cycle of self-destruction because that is short-term gain for long-term destruction not just for their business but to the very country and the people they’re making money from.

Of course this doesn’t exactly matter when politicians aren’t doing anything to rein in these companies. This is because politicians who join in on the profiteering do so, so they can also have short-term gain. The profits they get though are different because instead of ‘big money’ flowing into their personal bank accounts, they instead profit by getting re-elected and re-election means continuing that ‘huge paycheck’ from taxpayers while constantly being bought off by big corporations; lobbyist. I want to give another reason why politicians can be so confident in creating misinformation and disinformation, that is because of human psychology.

A large majority of us vote either because our family votes for a certain party or because that’s ‘who’ we’ve always voted for (I don’t fit in that camp, because ‘it’s insane’ to do that). We vote for what we know whether or not they are BS’ing or not and that’s a problem because, in my personal opinion, you’re voting for someone who doesn’t need to have honor or integrity to work for the people because why would they, when running for election will get you the seat? There is literally no consequences, especially when they are the ones controlling the very laws that’s meant to make sure the country isn’t overrun by corruption. This is especially problematic in countries where it’s become socially acceptable by both politicians and citizens to act this way; hyper-partisan countries.

As you’ve read, I have pretty strong opinions on the matter of misinformation and disinformation but as a person who doesn’t like BS (especially at a national level) I don’t enjoy when companies and politicians don’t bother working for the common good; for the good of the citizens they’re supposed to be protecting and also put in their jobs to do just that.

That all said, I’ve added the references I’ve used to form my opinions and future articles below and also be on notice that there will be more articles coming on this topic of ‘misinformation and disinformation’ with a much less opinionated rant. I decided that this article should focus more on establishing how I feel on the matter with the following articles being more well researched and written.

So thank you for reading through this and don’t forget that more on this topic is coming.

References

  1. Anthony Ha. April 2019. ‘Jack Dorsey says it’s time to rethink the fundamental dynamics of Twitter’. Tech Crunch.
  2. Sarah Perez. April 2019. “Twitter to launch a ‘hide replies’ feature, plus other changes to its reporting process”. Tech Crunch.
  3. Markham Nolan. November 2012. ‘How to separate fact and fiction online’. TED Salon London Fall 2012. TED.
  4. Ethan Lindenberger. April 2019. ‘Why we need to fight misinformation about vaccines’. TEDxMidAtlantic. TED.
  5. Christiane Amanpour, Chris Anderson. September 2017. ‘How to seek truth in the era of fake news’. TEDGlobal>NYC. TED.
  6. Marshall Carroll. 14 May 2018. ‘Actively Engage Misinformation | Marshall Carroll | TEDxDeerfield’. TEDx Talks.
  7. Sinan Aral. 12 December 2018. ‘Don’t blame bots, fake news is spread by humans | Sinan Aral | TEDxCERN’. TEDx Talks.
  8. Anthony Ha. April 2019. “Journalist Carole Cadwalladr says ‘the gods of Silicon Valley’ have broken democracy”. Tech Crunch.
  9. Damian Radcliffe. 6 January 2019. “How local journalism can upend the ‘fake news’ narrative”. Trust, Media & Democracy.
  10. Andrea Bellemare. 4 July 2019. ‘The real ‘fake news’: how to spot misinformation and disinformation online’. “Part 1 of spotting ‘fake news’ online”. CBC News.
  11. Andrea Bellemare. 5 July 2019. ‘So, you think you’ve spotted some ‘fake news’ — now what?’. “Part 2 of spotting ‘fake news’ online”. CBC News.
  12. Catharine Tunney, Peter Zominjic. 29 May 2019. “‘Call their bluff’: Shut down social media platforms, ex-Facebook adviser urges”. CBC News.
  13. Jim Basille. 28 May 2019. ‘Politicians grill Facebook, Google, Twitter over privacy, disinformation | Power & Politics’. CBC News: Power & Politics.
  14. Matt O’Brien, Stephen Wright. 22 April 2019. ‘Sri Lanka blocks social media after Easter Sunday bombings’. CBC News /The Associated Press.
  15. Douglas LaBier Ph.D. 31 December 2016. ‘New Research Shows Why People Believe False Information’. Psychology Today.
  16. Janna Anderson, Lee Rainie. 19 October 2017. ‘The Future of Truth and Misinformation Online’. Pew Research Center.
  17. 2018. “Journalism, ‘Fake News’ & Disinformation: Handbook for Journalism Education and Training’”. United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). ISBN: 978–92–3–100281–6.
  18. Elizabeth J. Marsh, Brenda W. Yang. 4 July 2017. ‘Believing Things That Are Not True: A Cognitive Science Perspective on Misinformation’.
  19. 12 July 2019. ‘Media Manipulation: Intermet Manipulation’. Wikipedia.
  20. Dr. Gary Marcus, Dr. Ernest Davis. 20 October 2018. ‘No, A.I. Won’t Solve the Fake News Problem’. The New York Times.
  21. Julie Beck. 13 March 2017. ‘This Article Won’t Change Your Mind’. The Atlantic.
  22. Hadas Gold. 4 July 2019. “Researchers have created a ‘vaccine’ for fake news. It’s a game”. CNN Business.
  23. Diane Shipley. 31 October 2018. ‘The skills kids need to avoid getting fooled by fake news’. Mashable.
  24. Seema L Clifasefi, Maryanne Garry, David N. Harper, Stefanie J. Sharman, Rachel Sutherland. ‘Psychotrophic placebos create resistance to the misinformation effect’. Psychonomic Bulltin & Review 2007, 14 (1), 112–117.
Ryan Velasco

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I pride myself in my thoughts and ideas which are rooted in practicality and though I have bias’, I consciously suppress them when making articles.

The Unswayed

If you’ve ever had a thought and didn’t know what to do with it, then I’m going to go out on a limb and say you’ve forgotten all about it. This isn’t the case here because instead of forgetting it, I’m going to write about it.

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