Sunday, February 26, 2012

Insight into the Mass Disbursement of Inaccurate, False Information

This documentary (part 1) provides insight into the mass disbursement of inaccurate information by apparent experts. One troubling aspect of this phenomenon is that inaccurate and false information can be used to justify unpopular government policy, and even be used to sway public opinion. Obviously, inaccurate and exaggerated information is part of electoral processes as a means to discredit a candidate or party, or to gain popular support. Some recent examples are the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, with ties to the Republican Party, which accused falsely US President Candidate Kerry of lying to get Vietnam war medals, or the Conservative Party of Canada's ad attacks on the former Liberal Leader Ignatieff for living excessively abroad, when in fact Mr. Ignatieff lived 35 years of his life (as of 2010) in Canada, and the Government of Canada under the Conservative Party supports study abroad....



5 comments:

  1. "Inaccurate and false information"? This is a far too sanitized description of what is going on here. Terms like "deceptive" and "predatory" and "manipulative" are more appropriate. The purveyers know that our society places a lot of trust in experts, so they simply find some empty suits to spew the garbage that they want the masses to believe. The expert industry also keeps the publishing industry alive- notice all the material that is just mindless drivel, made to sound like wisdom.

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    1. What is the way forward? How does one distinguish nonsense or even manipulative expert info from useful expert info?

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  2. Re: Anonymous

    The mark of a well educated, worldly, and discerning individual is that they have the ability to point out error when they see it. I think our society is anti-intellectual, which does not bode well in this regard. My only hope is that with a good education system, we can expose young people to the good "tried and true" ideas that they can then use as a shield against all of the nonsense.

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    1. Good point. Critical thinking. Is there a reason why Canadian society is not encouraging that? Are most things just sound bits and superficial image?

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  3. RE: anonymous @ 12:45pm

    Yes, Canadian society does discourage the use of critical thinking. Think about it. We are constantly told to "go along to get along". I find employers don't even like having very educated people on their staff a lot of the time. They are just interested in having "credentialed" people who, well, can pose as experts!!!

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Thank you for sharing your perspective.