Who Determines What’s ‘Disinformation’?

Why are we being bombarded by fact-checks and “anti-disinformation” efforts in our timeline scrolls? When reading the news, we too often find that so-called experts are behind whatever claim media professionals make, no matter how outlandish or disconnected from reality such claims may be.

Through his concept and exploration of spectacle, a totalizing, negating force over our lives that results in what is really “unlife,” French Philosopher Guy Debord’s famous Society of the Spectacle (1967) and his follow-up booklet, Comments on the Society of the Spectacle (1988), provide insights into these and related phenomena. 

When it comes to “fact-checks” and “experts,” Debord is clear: in a society subjugated by the economy, where “everything that was once directly lived has faded into representation,” such professionals do not exist to provide us the truth — they exist to serve the state and media through lies and distortions spun into what appears as true. If the “experts” lose influence, it will be because the public learns and articulates that their job is to systematically lie.

“Disinformation” appears as one of the biggest bogeymen in today’s increasingly online world. Governments warn of the dangers it apparently poses to society and democracy, and mainstream media organizations in turn direct resources to counter-disinformation and to fact-checking. In the name of “being informed,” people cannot often go online without being bombarded by fact-checks or warnings about what content to consume and share with their social and professional networks.

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Author: HP McLovincraft

Seeker of rabbit holes. Pessimist. Libertine. Contrarian. Your huckleberry. Possibly true tales of sanity-blasting horror also known as abject reality. Prepare yourself. Veteran of a thousand psychic wars. I have seen the fnords. Deplatformed on Tumblr and Twitter.

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