Sick Marketing: War on Science has been a Big Contributor to Today’s Fake News Cycle

February 21, 2018

“The real opposition is the media. And the way to deal with them is to flood the zone with shit.” — Steve Bannon

When my Father used to tell me about Joseph Goebells and the “Big Lie” technique, I viewed it as an historical oddity, not something that could be a serious part of modern politics.
Our experience with “Obama was born in Kenya” has been instructive in that regard – because those of us who saw it as a joke for years have come to realize that it was, in fact, Goebbel’s very technique being empowered by Fox News repetition, and the amplifying power of the internet.
Goebbels understood that the “Big Lie” was the best, because, if you can get just a fraction of a population to buy into it, you effectively split them off from objective, consensus reality, and they become helpless and compliant, almost as if under a subtle hypnosis – ready for further, and wilder, suggestions.

That’s one reason why conspiracy theories have always been a part of partisan politics, not just in the US, but across the planet.  As the quote above demonstrates, political operatives with no scruples have always known that destroying people’s ability to distinguish fact is an effective control strategy – it is Putinism 101.
Social media has brought a new dimension to the art form.

During Bill Clinton’s presidency in the 90s, there was a cottage industry ginned up accusing the Clinton’s of several murders as well as a number of other crimes. There’s always been a ready audience for this among the “None Dare Call it Conspiracy” crowd, but Russia’s recent forays show us just how dangerous it can be.


I remember when Hilary Clinton hosted some workshops by Margaret Mead protege Jean Houston, using standard self actualization practices of visualizing leader of the past, say Abraham Lincoln, or Eleanor Roosevelt, and asking them for perspective on an issue.
It’s a way of accessing internal resources, standard fare at corporate team building retreats – think “What would Jesus do?”
Naturally, reported as seances by right wing nuts, and amplified by a childlike, totally clueless media.

The 30 year campaign by fossil fuel interests to degrade credibility of mainstream science and reliable evidence has only added fuel to the fire.


1. What was the scope of the Russian effort?

The Mueller indictment permanently demolishes the idea that the scale of the Russian campaign was not significant enough to have any impact on the American public. We are no longer talking about approximately $100,000 (paid in rubles, no less) of advertising grudgingly disclosed by Facebook, but tens of millions of dollars spent over several years to build a broad, sophisticated system that can influence American opinion.

2. What kind of content did it rely on?

As the indictment lays out in thorough detail, the content pumped out by the Russians was not paid or promoted ads; it was so-called native content—including video, visual, memetic, and text elements designed to push narrative themes, conspiracies, and character attacks. All of it was designed to look like it was coming from authentic American voices and interest groups. And the IRA (Russia’s troll farm “Internet Research Agency) wasn’t just guessing about what worked. They used data-driven targeting and analysis to assess how the content was received, and they used that information to refine their messages and make them more effective.




4 Responses to “Sick Marketing: War on Science has been a Big Contributor to Today’s Fake News Cycle”

  1. Sir Charles Says:

    If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it.” …

    The original video got blocked in the US and A (NSA?), but this mirror below should work:

  2. grindupbaker Says:

    The old guy in the garage doesn’t even remember ordering the 67 Grand Prix pistons off the internet.

  3. The very fact that this utter twaddle appears on a site that is supposed to be about climate change is proof (if any were needed) that the latter is not environmental, planet-saving philanthropy at all but just a part of the USA’s long term policy of global control and domination.

    For the past century the USA has used cinema, radio, TV, aid, military force, bribery, blackmail, threats, fear, paranoia, and every other possible tool to interfere with and control and manipulate other nations and populations and now it is making a huge fuss about allegations that the Bogies (sorry, “Russians”) have used social media posts to influence an election. This is hypocrisy taken to extreme lengths even for the USA.

    The rest of the world is laughing at you! Whether the allegations are true or not is of no importance, the real underlying allegation is that the American public are so utterly Zombie minded that they are fooled by any daft tweet. If that is true, then the USA does not deserve to continue its existence, let alone “leadership of the free world.” If the US public is really that stupid, who has got them into that condition but the very Elite who are now complaining about it so vociferously?

    The power and effectiveness of the Human-driven Global Warming Religion is a million times greater than that of a few Russian computer geeks stumbling about in the dark.

    • botterd Says:

      These “Russian trolls” are working for click bait farms. Their object is to catch people’s eye with trending memes and get them to click on other stuff to generate ad revenue: they’re content agnostic, as long as it works. The idea that a few pennies (compared to millions of dollars is being invested for political ends) has momentous consequences is contrary to common sense, but isn’t even correct — they’re trying to earn money, unlike the billions that the US intelligence community actually does spend on “influencing” social media narratives. There will always be conspiracy theories because there is in fact so much conspiracy. Tamping down on the room authorities wherever allow for people’s room to express opinions is contrary to human freedom and the first amendment. It’s everybody’s right to express political opinions even in other countries. Let listeners decide what they believe for themselves.
      These magical Russian bots with their occult causality is exactly like a witch hunt, hunting for invisible causality.

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