Monday, February 10, 2020

'We Have Found the Enemy and He is Us'

Good Day World!

The Russians success at interfering with the 2016 election set the standard for disinformation so persuasive it affected the results of a presidential campaign.

While no one has put a definitive number on how many votes were swayed by the Russians, the fact that they concentrating on swing states that barely picked Trump is revealing.

This election cycle there's a new enemy seeking to abuse our electoral system... Trump and His Hostages in the Republican Party who were inspired by Russia's success in 2016.

Yes, the Russians are back this year, but our greatest enemy is from within.

The phrase "We have found the enemy and he is us," came from a newspaper cartoonist, Walt Kelly. His character Pogo, an opossum, said that to his buddies an alligator and an owl.

The biggest spread of disinformation in this election is coming from an empowered Republican campaign machine. 

Trump has proven lies work and that his use of fear is effective - not only in keeping his minions in line - but in spreading chaos nationwide. 

Experts say the Iowa mess illustrates just how easy it is for any actor - foreign or domestic - to amplify disinformation aimed at ultimately suppressing the vote.

The information vacuum and overreaching confusion in Iowa, which could be seen in live television coverage, further fueled disinformation and conspiracies on social media.

Graham Brookie, director of the Atlantic Council's Digital Forensic Research Lab, who was monitoring Iowa for foreign influence, argues that the media has a big role to play in countering disinformation.

Brookie pointed out that speculation opens the door to "Could-bes" and "what-ifs." 

The newsrooms covering the Iowa Caucus went from providing information to a space where all commentators were speculating on the delays when it became apparent something was wrong.

Just to be clear, Brookie believes the scale and scope of domestic disinformation is greater than any foreign adversary. I wholeheartedly agree.

Time for me to walk on down the road...

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