Disinformation, 1984-2023

Orwell, again. 1984 was prescient on so many concepts that it seems it was written for the Biden era. Underlying it all is the concept of disinformation, the root of propaganda and mind control. So it is in 2023. Just ask FBI Director Chris Wray. Or Facebook.

George Orwell’s novel explores the concept of disinformation and its role in controlling and manipulating society. Orwell presents a dystopian future where a totalitarian regime, led by the Party and its figurehead Big Brother, exerts complete control over its citizens’ lives, including their thinking. The Party employs a variety of techniques to disseminate disinformation and maintain its power. One of the most prominent examples is the concept of “Newspeak,” a language designed to restrict and manipulate thought by reducing the range of expressible ideas. Newspeak aims to replace words and concepts that could challenge or criticize the Party’s ideology, effectively controlling the way people think and communicate (unhomed, misspoke, LGBQTIAXYZ+, nati0nalist, terrorist.)

Orwell also introduces the concept of doublethink, which refers to the ability to hold two contradictory beliefs simultaneously and accept them both as true. This psychological manipulation technique allows the Party to control the minds of its citizens and make them believe in false information or embrace contradictory ideas without questioning (masks which do not prevent disease transmission are still mandatory.) The Party in 1984 alters historical records and disseminates false information through the Ministry of Truth. This manipulation of historical events and facts aims to control the collective memory of the society in a post-truth era, ensuring that the Party’s version of reality remains unquestioned (war in Ukraine, Iraq, El Salvador, Vietnam, all to protect our freedom at home.)

Through these portrayals, Orwell highlights the dangers of disinformation and its potential to distort truth, manipulate public opinion, and maintain oppressive systems of power. The novel serves as a warning about the importance of critical thinking, independent thought, and the preservation of objective truth in the face of disinformation and propaganda.

Disinformation is bad. But replacing disinformation with censorship and/or replacement with other disinformation is worse. 1984 closed down the marketplace of ideas. So for 2023.

In 2023 America the medium is social media and the Ministry of Truth is the Executive Branch, primarily the FBI. Topics the FBI at one point labeled disinformation and sought to censor in the name of protecting Americans from disinformation include but are not limited to the contents of Hunter Biden’s laptop, the Covid lab leak theory, the efficiency and value to society of masks, lockdowns, and vaccines, speech about election integrity and the 2020 presidential election, the security of voting by mail, even parody accounts mocking the president (about Finnegan Biden, Hunter Biden’s daughter.)

When asked before Congress to define disinformation, FBI Director Christopher Wray could not do it, even though it is the basis for the FBI’s campaign to censor Americans. It’s a made up term with no fixed meaning. That gives it its power, like “terrorism” was used a decade or so earlier. Remember “domestic terrorism”? That stretched to cover everything from white power advocates to J6 marchers to BLM protestors to Moms for Liberty. It just can’t be all those things all the time but it can be all those things at different times, as needed. The term “hate speech” is another flexible tool of enforcement and is why efforts to codify banning hate speech under the First Amendment must be resisted so strongly. Same for QAnon. We’ve heard about QAnon for years now but still can’t figure out if it even exists. To read the MSM, you would think it is the most powerful and sinister thing one can imagine yet seems to be imaginary, another Cthulhu. Do they have an office, an email address, a lair somewhere?

In simple words: the government is using social media companies as proxies to censor the contrary thoughts of Americans, all under the guise of correcting misinformation and in direct contrivance of the First Amendment.

How bad does it get? As part of its 2023 investigation into the federal government’s role in censoring lawful speech on social media platforms, the House Committee on the Judiciary issued a subpoena to Meta, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram, and Alphabet, the parent of Google and YouTube. Documents obtained revealed the FBI, on behalf of a compromised Ukrainian intelligence service, requested and, in some cases, directed, the world’s largest social media platforms to censor Americans engaging in constitutionally protected speech online about the war in Ukraine.

Another tool of thought control is the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), which was supposed to be used to spy on foreigners but has been improperly used against thousands of Americans. Over 100,000 Americans were spied on in 2022, down from three million in 2021.

Does it sound familiar? An amorphous threat is pounded into the heads of Americans (Communism and Red Scares, Covid, terrorism, disinformation) and in its name nearly anything is justified, including in the most recent battle for freedom, censorship. The wrapper is that it is all for our own protection (Biden himself accused social-media companies of “killing people,” the more modern version of the terrorism-era’s “blood on their hands”) with the government assuming the role of knowing what is right and correct for Americans to know. The target in name is always some Ruskie-type foreigner, but in reality morphs to be censorship of our citizens ourselves (stained as “pro-Putin.”) Yet Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg admitted the government asked Facebook to suppress true information. He said during the Covid era the scientific establishment within the government asked “for a bunch of things to be censored that, in retrospect, ended up being more debatable or true.”

Under President Joe Biden, the government has undertaken “the most massive attack against free speech in United States history.” That was the extraordinary conclusion reached by a federal judge in Missouri v. Biden. The case exposed the incredible lengths to which the Biden White House and its federal agencies have gone to bully social-media platforms into removing political views they dislike. The White House is appealing and attained a stay, hoping to retain this powerful tool of thought control right out of 1984. A victory for censorship of Americans and their thoughts could be the greatest threat to free speech in American history.

 

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Copyright © 2020. All rights reserved. The views expressed here are solely those of the author(s) in their private capacity.

6 Comments

  • John Poole on said:

    If Biden truly intends to run for another four year second term and stays upright during the campaign he might now be tasking the FBI to “Spiro” Kamala. Half black and female may have helped him somewhat in 2020 but he most likely sees her as a liability for 2024. While many worry about a Trump 2nd term I worry about a second term of Joe Biden. His veiled autocratic appetite suggests he is capable of prepping the country to accept an Executive branch uncontested domination as the norm and far beyond Trump’s purported aspirations. A win for Biden perhaps would be a rueful irony- the people thinking “democracy” has been saved from an ogre fascist.

  • Rich Bauer on said:

    Peter is in the same employ as the rest of the media whores, paid to push an agenda.

    Peter: Under President Joe Biden, the government has undertaken “the most massive attack against free speech in United States history.”

    Orwell would be proud of Peter’s erasure of history like the Bush disinformation the media spread like shit to its mushroom brain readers to justify war crimes against the Iraqi people, the Anthrax terror letters that the Bush disinformation pushed the ahem Patriot Act for spying on all Americans.

    The greatest threat to this country is disinformation. WMW sadly is doing its part.

  • Rich Bauer on said:

    “In simple words: the government is using social media companies as proxies to censor the contrary thoughts of Americans, all under the guise of correcting misinformation and in direct contrivance of the First Amendment.”

    Why don’t you put a face on that disinformation? Cant mention Demented Trump, hmmm? Or would that upset your AMCON readers?

    WP: When The Washington Post Fact Checker team first started cataloguing President Donald Trump’s false or misleading claims, we recorded 492 suspect claims in the first 100 days of his presidency. On Nov. 2 alone, the day before the 2020 vote, Trump made 503 false or misleading claims as he barnstormed across the country in a desperate effort to win reelection. This astonishing jump in falsehoods is the story of Trump’s tumultuous reign. By the end of his term, Trump had accumulated 30,573 untruths during his presidency — averaging about 21 erroneous claims a day.

    But yeah blame Biden. If it wasn’t for the rigged election, which Demented beat Biden in every state, there wouldn’t be any disinformation…like on honest sources like WMW, right?

  • John Poole on said:

    Bauer- we’re all massively disinformed daily. Will the 2024 POTUS election convince enough Americans that the office of the POTUS is an embarrassing artifact of a sham representational democracy? Doubtful, but so far I’m allowed to entertain such a whimsical fantasy that we can as a nation self correct and try something different.

  • Geoff on said:

    In this bullshit blog contains the most disinformation…and this has to end…NOW!!! LOCK FUCKING ORANGE MORON DONNIE UP!!!

  • Rich Bauer on said:

    “Orwell, again. 1984 was prescient on so many concepts that it seems it was written for the Biden era. Underlying it all is the concept of disinformation, the root of propaganda and mind control. So it is in 2023. “

    For the Biden era. Peter uses a long-term memory hole that Orwell would be envious. Disinformation (read:lies) is the tool of con men just trying to fleece their marks. Give some love to the Trump con artists who are just trying to make a buck. Unfortunately there is a price when the liar is caught.

    “A federal judge ruled Wednesday that Rudy Giuliani is legally liable for defaming two Georgia election workers who became the subject of conspiracy theories related to the 2020 election that were amplified by Donald Trump in the final weeks of his presidency.

    In an unsparing, 57-page ruling, U.S. District Court Judge Beryl Howell said Giuliani had flagrantly violated her orders to preserve and produce relevant evidence to the election workers, Ruby Freeman and Shaye Moss, resulting in a “default” judgment against him. She also ordered him to pay Freeman and Moss “punitive” damages for failing to fulfill his obligations.”

    All is Orwell that ends well.

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