Once up on a time, in the 1930’s, propaganda was a new mind control tool. The basic idea used by the National Socialist Party in Germany and Stalin’s Russia was to control the media. Anyone that did not parrot the party line was silenced. There was no investigative journalism. There was no questioning of the party line. To some extent we this playing out in Second LifeTM.
At the time and even now a basic tenant of propaganda was and is the Big Lie. The bigger the lie the more believable it becomes. But, it cannot challenge what the audience already believes. That is handled by small lies and innuendo. With no presentation of countering facts and dissent propaganda takes root and moves into people’s belief system. It is a simple matter of repetition.
An example of propaganda replacing established beliefs is the new growing belief science is done by consensus rather than by use of the scientific method.
Over time humans learn and knowledge expands. The British started and the Americans crystallized the ideas of free speech and enshrined them in Constitutions as the renaissance progressed. Those ideas have grown and forced changes in how those wishing to control people endeavor to exert their control. The new tool of the 21st Century is Disinformation. Propaganda plays its part, but now the cost of controlling the Internet and conventional media is far too high. The Big Lie can be challenged cheaply. Things do not pencil out for the controllers.
As people try to exercise speech those attempting to control others needed some way to disable free communication among individuals. Taking away speech is just one part of the effort. So, while many think we have won some battle with SOPA, PIPA, OPENA, and ACTA, we actually lost. New laws were put in place by the Obama Administration while we were being distracted with SOPA. And while it is debatable whether the laws that got through are as bad or worse, the laws are now being enforced.
The battle over Internet freedom was and is a slight of hand engagement. A primary tool is Disinformation. That tool is being used everywhere. We see it in all our media and we see it in Second Life. The Once Vice event is the result of a filed action based on a lie that has forced the Lab… well ‘forced’ may be an overstatement, scared the Lab into action and forced a creative type to defend their business. It could well bankrupt the individual and take them out, the probably goal of the lie.
To stop people from communicating the net is flooded with disinformation. It gets harder and harder to know who to trust or what to believe. Part of the idea is to make it so hard to find the truth people simply give up. Surrendering mean ultimately giving up your freedom. How can you be free to support the ‘good’ when you can’t know which creative person developed a skin and who lied about creating it? If you can’t know or be accurately informed, any action you take may help the one who’s ethics you despise. You are effectively blocked, if you are conscientious, or some are punked, if they are just gullible. The controllers hope is enough can be punked to make the difference.
Democracies and Republics only survive when the voters, people, are well informed, with ‘well’ including accurately informed. In this day and age that is not easy. So, we all need to study what those trying to control us are doing.
Things More Worrisome than AGW: Disinformation is an article explaining what Disinformation is and how it is used. I think the article is politically neutral and serves all people equally. Being able to recognize disinformation is the first step in an intelligent defense. The information is useful in SL and RL.
Be a voice for truth.