Following up my “Truth is in trouble” post with a piece from Gerry O’Neill about the European Digital Media Observatory (EDMO) branch in Ireland.
Given the complicity of academic institutions in fostering the rise of totalitarianism – by silencing dissenting voices1Like Mark Crispin Miller (here’s his Substack). and facilitating woke and cancel cultures2Some examples in these Jordan B. Peterson compilations: August 2021, April 2022, it’s hardly surprising to see somewhere like Dublin City University involved.
The people and institutions shouting the most about misinformation are often the very ones, I believe, guilty of propagating and amplifying the most heinous kinds of it. Namely, mainstream media and social media platforms. These guilty parties are the ones now seeking to hand out the misinformation custodial sentences. For example, I would like to see machine learning applied to the last 3 years of Irish media reporting. I’d also like to see all media related algorithms open source. Is the DCU Institute for Future Media, Democracy and Society likely to concern itself with any of this?
When you don’t provide the nuance then people move elsewhere to find it. This is what terrifies mainstream media. The exodus. It seems to me that a good portion of all Good information projects and disinformation algorithms is to help stop the exodus by kneecapping the alternatives.
So, what many mainstream publications and social media platforms spend most of their time doing is “debunking” strands of the opposing narrative. Fact-checking the other guy’s or gal’s argument. Hardly ever are their own assumptions or narrative questioned. Now, if news organisations just put their hands up and said:
“ Hey – we are pro-Ukraine and will be exlusively supporting that narrative”
The public could quickly digest the fact and get on with their reading and go elsewhere for the counter narrative and then make up their minds. The reason all news has lost credibility is because they don’t do this. They pretend they are not party to an underlying narrative. Yet we all know they are and they all know they are.
In a narrative driven news cycle or social media news cycle on a big theme like COVID or Ukraine, a lie, misrepresentation or omission is considered OK because of the superior moral justification of the overall narrative.Gerry O’Neill
Even if that lie, misrepresentation or omission results in harm or death?