How does disinformation end?
March 24, 2022 6:26 AM   Subscribe

The last years have shown the destructive potential of weaponized disinformation. To feel less hopeless, I'd like to read ideas of how society can move through this challenge. I'm open to any sources: futurists thinking about a post-truth society, science fiction writers on the end of memetic warfare, military strategists on responses to Soviet disinformation campaigns, cult deprogrammers on tackling QAnon, anything.
posted by philosophygeek to Society & Culture (7 answers total) 25 users marked this as a favorite

QAnonAnonymous podcast does some of that.

Critical Theory and its relatives seek to return the means of cultural, textual, and informational production to the hands of those the mis- and disinformation would seek to capitalize on. It's focused on education, but Paulo Freire's Pedagogy of the Oppressed forms some of the foundation of this and might be interesting for you.
posted by Snowishberlin at 7:41 AM on March 24, 2022

And to add on, there's Critical Mimetic Literacy, a part of Critical Theory that works specifically with memes and social media.
posted by Snowishberlin at 7:51 AM on March 24, 2022

Steven Hassan's blog is full of interviews with notable deprogramming and social phenomenon authors in the area. Some recent topics include:

* religious freedom vs religious dominionism
* prevention and rehabilitation of terrorists
* how to debunk conspiracy theories
* the public health disaster of Donald Trump

and so on
posted by kschang at 9:39 AM on March 24, 2022 [1 favorite]

You could consider reading some history of the Soviet Union from the perspective of the people living under it. Whether that would help you feel hopeful depends on your personality. On the one hand, we know that Russia has not become a beacon of enlightenment. On the other hand, the history demonstrates that a part of humanity will always resist censorship. Once you know a little history, read the novel The Master and Margarita so you can appreciate the famous line, “Manuscripts don’t burn,” which essentially means that the truth cannot be extinguished. Some amazing literature came out of this period.

An additional benefit of learning about this history would be a more nuanced understanding of current events.
posted by Comet Bug at 11:15 AM on March 24, 2022 [2 favorites]

I've been meaning to FPP this, I've just been busy:

It works, apparently! Here's some science!
posted by Shepherd at 11:27 AM on March 24, 2022 [1 favorite]

Education. One of my work colleagues who's 15 years younger than me said "society will grow out of it, kids today don't buy the bullsh_t."

Agency. We went to think our lives have consequence and our choices matter, but that's an idea that lacks traction to the point of it feeling like a scam by those to whom we delegate democratic power by giving them elected office. We need problems fixed, locally, nationally and internationally and they're not getting fixed. So promises of special knowledge that amplifies our agency (I've bought an NFT of Jessamyn to protect my comments from being deleted!) will be compelling if useless: real meaningful agency in the world will show the bullsh_t for what it is.
posted by k3ninho at 1:41 PM on March 24, 2022 [3 favorites]

« Older Why is London suddenly full of fake ice cream...   |   Help me build my brain surgery playlist? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.