Monday, April 06, 2020

CoViD-19: Misinformation Matters

Not gonna lie, I'm a little irritated today. While numerous people -- from elected officials to news fact-checkers to late night comedians-- continue to call out this president, nobody is having any success at reining in the obscene bullshit that comes out of his mouth. The states are literally going into bidding wars against the federal government over PPE and it's so mind boggling my head might explode. (Watchdog report finds severe shortages and significant challenges to hospitals' coronavirus responses - CNN 4.6.2020) And yes, I'm still pissed that we were told numerous times that asymptomatic people couldn't spread the virus when the reality is all we needed to hear is experts saying, "We don't know. It's a possibility. Use an abundance of caution." And now we know that you definitely CAN spread even if you're asymptomatic: What We Need to Understand About Asymptomatic Carriers if We’re Going to Beat Coronavirus - ProPublica 4/2/2020)

But what is really frustrating me today is --without calling out anyone specifically--people who I know are smart, well-informed, liberals who are doing the dirty work of unwittingly spreading misinformation for the administration. (More after the jump)

After everything we know about Facebook manipulation, Cambridge Analytica, and trolling bot farms, the last thing people should be posting is something that is outright false or complete bullshit even if you're calling it out as such. I'm not talking about news channels posting clips or headlines that are uncomfortable. What I'm talking about are the posts that go something like this:

User XYZ:
I'm so mad! This is such bullshit! Blah Blah Blah /rant
Then they link to something that is OUTRAGEOUS. A link from Fox. A link from the anti-semitic and white nationalist Daily Caller. An anti-abortion meme. An anti-vax post. Some essential oil or pill.

STOP DOING THIS. You're not helping. Yes, you are free to express yourself. I included the clip above because while it shows the media clips of Devin Nunes' bullshit, it then gives a well thought out analysis and critique to those clips. But when you're on your feed arguing against the message, you're still spreading the message. What I recommend instead, is find the counter-information and post that. Send and share and meme the hell out of the truth, the facts, and the people who are getting this whole thing right. The more we amplify the bullshit, the longer this whole thing keeps carrying on. The more people think stay-at-home is "overreacting," that wearing masks is bullshit, still saying that it's "just a flu," the longer we're staying home, the more people lose jobs, the more businesses shutter forever because this could be beyond recovery.

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