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Posted inSecularism

The poisoned church: When pastors use their pulpits to spread disinformation

Reading Time: 4 minutes As we see the world becoming victim to the effects of misinformation and disinformation of authoritarian political agents, it is worth remembering that this is also happening closer to home in our local churches. I was reading an article in Atlantic magazine last night about an Evangelical church in Brighton, Michigan (a state in which […]

Posted inTech

Musk will bring Trump back to Twitter, calls the ban ‘foolish in the extreme’

Reading Time: 6 minutes Organisms generally need oxygen to survive and flourish. Certain organisms require more oxygen to reach their peak. In the social media ecosystem, whose habitats include the undrained swamps of the American elite, one apex predator once reigned supreme. And in the misinformation mudslinging and disinformation data-dumping, Trump’s famed Twitter rule came to an abrupt end. […]

Posted inWar and Peace

When Russian propaganda goes hilariously wrong

Reading Time: 4 minutes Russian propaganda is no laughing matter. It’s keeping almost an entire nation under its spell, inoculated from the truth with a constant provision of carefully curated narrative disinformation. The vast majority of Russian citizens appear to be unwittingly sucked in. Whether there are those who have seeds of doubt but who suppress those skeptical desires […]

Posted inTech

Elon Musk buys Twitter. What could possibly go wrong?

Reading Time: 7 minutes Everyone has their line. Even 4chan, a supposedly “anything-goes platform” that many think is the worst manifestation of the internet, had a line. It was an animated depiction of child pornography, as well as concerted attacks on female journalists and others associated with Gamergate. The result? 8chan was started as an even more “libertarian” vacuum […]

Posted inPolitics

Is universal suffrage really such a great thing?

Reading Time: 6 minutes As I write this, exactly one year after the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrectionist attack on the U.S. Capitol to subvert the counting of Electoral College votes, I’m more convinced than ever that many, many, many Americans lack enough intellectual integrity and common sense to be trusted electing anyone. It’s becoming clearer by the day that […]

Posted inCritical thinking

Authority! What is it good for?

Reading Time: 3 minutes Greetings, Shoptalkers! In my last column, “Conspiracy cultivation”, I explored three rhetorical moves that our info silos share with the communities that create fringe theorists. In this week’s “Tooling Around”, let’s hash out ways that we can make the conversation less toxic. By reducing our fixation on authority “from the margins”, we can become better […]

Posted inPolitics

Why the U.S. desperately needs a domestic anti-disinformation agency

Reading Time: 6 minutes A new anti-disinformation agency in Sweden is simultaneously encouraging and discouraging in the realm of public free speech and truth. On Jan. 1, the government of this progressive, Scandinavian nation established the Swedish Psychological Defense Agency (SPDA). Its fundamental purpose is “to safeguard our open and democratic society, the free formation of opinion and Sweden’s […]

Posted inPolitics

Can regulation tackle the disinformation crisis?

Reading Time: 2 minutes Most Americans agree that social media is driving disinformation. Lies on social media can impact behavior and change the political beliefs of its user base. But there is no consensus about how government should respond. Some believe that the government should step in and regulate social media–and by extension the big tech companies–and force them […]