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How Bad Is The COVID-19 Misinformation Epidemic?

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24 May 2020 22:03 #352217 by Br. John
How Bad Is The COVID-19 Misinformation Epidemic?
fivethirtyeight.com/features/how-bad-is-...nformation-epidemic/

The Uncounted Dead
Why some people who likely died from COVID-19 aren’t included in the final numbers.
fivethirtyeight.com/features/coronavirus-deaths/

Founder of The Order
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25 May 2020 01:10 - 25 May 2020 01:34 #352224 by OB1Shinobi
This is exactly the sort of thing that I was talking about in the Constructive Argument thread.

OB1Shinobi wrote: What i will say is that Trump’s “Fake News” is one of the signs and symptoms of [living in the] post truth [era]. The basic notion is that everything is propaganda. There are no facts, anymore. Its a battle of who is going to shape whose perceptions. My propaganda has to defeat your propaganda and because propaganda is fundamentally deceptive and manipulative, the actual truth will get in the way of winning the war. Its impossible for a society to be rational or functional in these conditions. I'm sure many of you think im jumping at shadows but i think i just described the actual, real-life political landscape of America to a tee.

Anyway, the short version is that I see something that i believe is a threat to my society and it appears that social media is the front-lines of it.


If you look closely at the misinformation and the question of how seriously we should take the coronvirusp you will find it is split down party lines. Democrats and generally left-leaning people took the position that we should be listening to the medical experts. Some GOP supporters also took that position but EVERY SINGLE PERSON who i have encountered who was advancing BS conspiracy stuff were Trump supporters and GOP loyalists who were immersed in the right wing propaganda machine. Also, the anti-lockdown protests were organized by people on Trump’s re-election team.

We live in an age where even the few people who are basically trustworthy when it comes to reporting the facts are untrustworthy when it comes to which facts they report and how they weave their own narratives of what the facts mean into the reporting.

The question is what should be done about it?

If you cant breath then none of us can.
Last edit: 25 May 2020 01:34 by OB1Shinobi.

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25 May 2020 01:36 - 25 May 2020 01:47 #352225 by Kohadre

OB1Shinobi wrote: This is exactly the sort of thing that I was talking about in the Constructive Argument thread.

OB1Shinobi wrote: What i will say is that Trump’s “Fake News” is one of the signs and symptoms of [living in the] post truth [era]. The basic notion is that everything is propaganda. There are no facts, anymore. Its a battle of who is going to shape whose perceptions. My propaganda has to defeat your propaganda and because propaganda is fundamentally deceptive and manipulative, the actual truth will get in the way of winning the war. Its impossible for a society to be rational or functional in these conditions. I'm sure many of you think im jumping at shadows but i think i just described the actual, real-life political landscape of America to a tee.

Anyway, the short version is that I see something that i believe is a threat to my society and it appears that social media is the front-lines of it.


The question is what should we do about it?


The solution is easy; albeit problematic.

Shut down internet based communication channels; including forums, chat rooms, social networks, social media accounts, voice (VOIP) networks, email groups, and associated boards.

Create a thoroughly vetted and externally audited news network, which will broadcast stories checked by an external source for accuracy, validity, and comprehensiveness.

However, the problematic element comes in the form of human interface; as it historically always does and will. Communism seem(ed) great until it was put into practice, and human greed / ego warped the system into a regime seemingly purposed to violate basic human rights conventions. Capitalism seem(ed) great until it lead developed nations onto a path of manifest destiny, therein acting as a driving force towards seemingly endless ideological wars based on the merits of financial capacity (WWI, WWII, Cold War, Vietnam, Iraq, Afganistan, etc.)

Government control of surveillance seem(ed) great until it manifested itself within the UK in the form of a camera attached to every street lamp, post box, doorway, and toilet. The type of society forewarned by George Orwell* came into being with a type of accuracy that should have gripped the UK public into instantaneous revolt.

Government control of media outlets, news sources, and public access to the internet seem(ed) great until the Chinese* government utilized it to dictate how/what/when the public could access and use information, in addition to locating political opposition which would then be "disappeared".

Everything (in theory) seems great, until humanity is brought into the equation and seemingly; as an inherent part of our overall trait as a species, fucks it up.

We deserve this, because we not only allowed it to happen, but encouraged it to happen as a society by habitually downplaying conspiracy theorists, downplaying the risks involved with granting continued and excessive powers to our government(s), and adopting a cultural mindset of "not my problem"; otherwise manifested in the form of "not in my backyard". We have passed unprecedented amounts of legislation designed to reduce or eliminate the rights of others, based on a foundation of "I don't like that, so make it illegal / ban it".

Welcome to America, where you are free to choose Mint Ice Cream or Strawberry; Cheeseburger or Goulash; and Christmas Vacation or The Grinch. Will that be cash or credit?; paper or plastic?

The threat to our society goes much deeper than social media, which is merely a peephole to view into a much larger and more frightening set of threats undermining both the security and longevity of this nation.

Unless we change how we address these much more serious threats, they will reach the outcome of destroying this country, through one means or another; one outcome or another.

More of a rant than I intended, but perhaps not enough given the severity of what is upon us.

Remember the doctrine; embody the code.
Live the creed; embrace the 16 teachings.
Honor your vows.
Last edit: 25 May 2020 01:47 by Kohadre. Reason: Name correction; additional info.
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25 May 2020 01:48 #352226 by Rosalyn J
I think we'd better do our best to learn from works like 1984 and perhaps Brave New World (though I haven't finished it, so I am not sure it considers the matter of deliberate misinformation). Alexandre Orion also suggested SImulacra and Simulation (an inspiration for the Matrix) but it was a bit beyond me.

The only thing that we can do is get access to as many news sources, as many sources as we can to suss out the truth. The further we are from an actual event, the less likely we are to get the truth. And lets be real, in a lot of cases we want truth to match our narrative regardless of party line.

But the potential to be fed a lie exists on both sides of the isle because of confirmation bias, because of party lines and party ideas. Its why critical thinking is so important. "Could this be wrong?" is what we have to be asking ourselves. And why is it that there is such a push in such and such a direction.

I'm not going to lie and say that this doesn't feel like some hunger games, hand maiden's tale, jumanji stuff, but I also am an essential worker and so I have a job and money coming in and I have 8 hours of time where i don't have to be at home. This is not true for quite a few of our population who are relying on unemployment (which is so backed up it is unreal) and other benefits to make it. So a lot of their frustration may not even be do to the guidelines, but their helplessness in all of this. Their frustration at looking at four walls and not being able to really visit friends and family (something that we are all dealing with to some extent, but can we agree that for these people it might be a little worse?)
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25 May 2020 04:37 #352228 by Adder
Social media is not a news platform really, its just used by organizations to advertise their products because it happens to be a way to have good community reach. Obviously then for media organizations their product is news.

Soooo, perhaps news organizations shouldn't use social media for anything but advertising their productivity and content type, as advertisements for content - rather then abridged content as advertisements for content.....

.... since half problem seems to be that advertisements are hyper-sensationalized and lacking in accuracy or detail, often deliberately misleading for click bait quotient. People stop going to the more detailed, accurate and clear landing pages at the news sites and rather just read the crazy adverts as news!!!!!

The other half of the problem might be that the platform where people get their 'news' (ie clickbait adverts about news) is the same platform where conspiracy theories run wild (for individual expression is encouraged as part of being a user of those platforms, the social in network).. the result is a Pavlov'ing baying for attention, which easily translates to rallies and politics, manipulation, (brainwashing and mind washing LOL) etc.

Knight ~ introverted extropian, mechatronic neurothealogizing, technogaian buddhist. Likes integration, visualization, elucidation and transformation.
Jou ~ Deg ~ Vlo ~ Sem ~ Mod ~ Med ~ Dis
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25 May 2020 04:43 #352229 by Rex
Any time you decide one group of people are the arbiters of what's truth, you get problematic situations like in the Philippines where Facebook was essentially censoring anti-Duterte content.
If you guys are interested in learning about legal developments in the information space, Lawfare is a fantastic resource.

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TM: Carlos Martinez
ὁ δὲ ἀμυχηδόν νεξέταστος βίος γίγνομαι βιωτὸς ἀνθρώπῳ
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25 May 2020 16:49 #352238 by TheDude
The misinformation out there is genuinely potentially dangerous, but so is the worldwide approach to COVID. I think the entire situation is a mess from all angles.

In fact, I'd say that the long-term consequences of both COVID and the response to COVID will be pretty bad in general. We have never been in a situation like this. Not as a country, not as a planet. The kind of restrictions put in place in the US and other nations are legitimately unprecedented. I suspect that social anxiety, depression, loneliness, and PTSD will be major issues in huge portions of the entire planet following the eventual end of the COVID threat. Suicide rates have already skyrocketed. And the economic impact? The economic recession which has already taken hold of some first-world nations? The pause in food production among those who supply donation efforts in the third world? These things can lead to real disasters and should not be brushed aside.

Misinformation is bound to appear from time to time with regard to major world events. I don't need to provide you a list of "9/11 truths", I'm sure you've heard people on street corners shouting them at you already. Unfortunately this disease is not a one-off event which can be retrospectively analyzed by conspiracy theorists. It is a virus which has the potential to kill in mere days following infection. Schoolyard jokes like "licking the flagpole will make you immune to covid" or "just drink bleach" have convinced panicked people into infecting or poisoning themselves.

Now how is one to suss out what information is false and what information is true? When multiple world governments report different infection rates, different death rates, different measures to prevent the spread, and different medications to cure it, who do you trust?

Are the American people supposed to now, after years of propaganda painting a picture of Trump as literal Hitler, trust what their president says over what Xi says or what Macron says? Are we supposed to trust the CDC, even after it failed in its basic duty as an organization and gave out conflicting advice over long periods of time? And how am I supposed to react when social media platforms choose to remove or ban people who say things contrary to the CDC, even when their local news networks say the exact same thing? You show me which set of data and which organizations are genuinely unbiased and accurate and I'll find some other medical doctor who thinks they're full of crap and has their own data to prove it.

Moreover, here in the US our constitution clearly does not allow our government to take the actions they have taken. What message does that send? That it's okay to ignore the established supreme law of the land when it's convenient to do so? All of my rights are there on that sheet of paper and our leaders have demonstrated that in a SHTF situation they're more than willing to ignore that sheet of paper. So, does that mean that I don't actually have rights? Or do I? Are these rights now conditional, whereas they were unconditional before? Now I feel even less informed and prepared.

Misinformation doesn't help anyone. Certainly, intentionally misinforming others is not acceptable. But until there are consistent reports about the features of COVID -- more consistent than mere symptomatic reports -- I have no idea how to determine which sources are legitimate and which aren't. Normally the majority of these healthcare organizations tend to agree on things. We now have wildly different claims from different professional and respected organizations. Consequently, how someone is to avoid unintentionally misinforming people? And how can we measure the actual impact of misinformation if there is such confusion among professionals?

tl;dr: I think the whole situation is a mess.

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25 May 2020 20:58 - 25 May 2020 21:35 #352246 by Rosalyn J

Moreover, here in the US our constitution clearly does not allow our government to take the actions they have taken. What message does that send? That it's okay to ignore the established supreme law of the land when it's convenient to do so? All of my rights are there on that sheet of paper and our leaders have demonstrated that in a SHTF situation they're more than willing to ignore that sheet of paper. So, does that mean that I don't actually have rights? Or do I? Are these rights now conditional, whereas they were unconditional before? Now I feel even less informed and prepared


The short answer to whether rights are conditional in America is a resounding yes! In the spoiler below I have highlighted the various relevant articles of the constitution and some of the loopholes that historically and presently are being used to conditionalise rights

As it were, the US, since its inception has had...shall we say, difficulty in defining 1. Personhood and 2. Citizenship. It’s lofty ideals about All men being created equal an endowed with inaleable rights as indicated in the Declaration of Independence did not extend to Native Americans, Women or African Americans or we would not have had the Trail of Tears, Women’s Sufferage and Women’s Rights Movements or the Civil Rights Movement and the necessity to outlaw the exceptionally cruel practice of chattel slavery and rather rapid successors: share cropping, jim crow and mass incarceration.

We wouldn’t have such ridiculous questions as do individuals working in the same job deserve the same wage irrespective of gender? or whether individuals outside of heterosexual relationships can enjoy a civil union with another consenting human being irrespective of gender or sexuality

We wouldn’t have individuals being called 3/4ths of a person for the purpose of politics but then being denied basic human rights and relegated to the status of property on the basis of skin color.

And what defines humans? Are humans only existent in the US and allowed to be exploited in other parts of the world? Are humans those who work to pick our food for pennies on the soil of the USA in shacks because it's good business? And what about if they committed a crime? Are they human? How far does humanness extend? Can they be exploited and disenfranchised if I put them here in this prison?

We as a country are now grappling with what some oppressed classes and people have been grappling with for generations since our founding. We wish for our humanity and the basic rights that come with it to be granted without conditions, without loopholes. We have been bringing to the attention of America what it has said on paper since the beginning when it began to erode the rights of groups and classes based on circumstances of birth. Those of us who were not on the front lines while battles were waged for basic human rights have to have at least read the books or listened to the stories. I did. That’s why this does not shock me. This massive over-reach by the government is what we mean and what we feel when we say that certain privileges are accorded to certain groups and yet some groups are oppressed. Battles we thought were long over are still not over for some groups. And if we say in our doctrine that there is inherent value to all life then the rights that come with human life should not be abridged regardless of circumstance.

As it were I am glad we are having this discussion because if this trial can help us develop some empathy it will have done its job

If this pandemic has taught us anything it has got to teach us that we are all in this together. Or as others would say it:

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_they_came_…


and

www.africa.upenn.edu/Articles_Gen/Letter_Birmingham.html



Warning: Spoiler! [ Click to expand ]
Last edit: 25 May 2020 21:35 by Rosalyn J.
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25 May 2020 23:15 - 25 May 2020 23:30 #352247 by OB1Shinobi
Rosalyn J
Holy cow, that was one the best posts ive ever read. Theres a way to make a really long post thats actually worth the time it takes to read it, and you just showed us what it is. Thank you for that.

If you cant breath then none of us can.
Last edit: 25 May 2020 23:30 by OB1Shinobi.
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26 May 2020 02:56 - 26 May 2020 04:17 #352254 by OB1Shinobi
Also - this is going to be a very long post and it may not be worth reading :P

Dude: i respect you and Im not trying to pick a fight. My position is different from yours and I feel that I have to reply to what you said.

TheDude wrote: We have never been in a situation like this. Not as a country, not as a planet. The kind of restrictions put in place in the US and other nations are legitimately unprecedented.



Spanish flu 1918 was like this. We even had the same issues of protests about social distancing and masks. Government put restrictions in place, numbers started to show some hope, People wanted to be able to get their hair cut and go to the bar again so they started protesting (although our protests today were manufactured by Trump’s re-election campaign). The restrictions were lifted and the death toll catapulted. There was a point where a thousand people died in a day just in Chicago.

Are the America people supposed to now, after years of propaganda painting a picture of Trump as literal Hitler, trust what their president says over what Xi says or what Macron says?


First of all, no one should be looking to Trump or Xi or Macron for answers to medical questions. They are politicians, not medical experts. Defer to the people who have the appropriate expertise in the relevant fields. Ignore everyone else.

I realize the bias of CNN and i admit that TDS is real. I would still say the that the worst of the propaganda is coming from the Fox crew who are selling their viewers on the idea that the orange, monkey-god and his cult of tin-foil soldiers are actually good for us.

But to answer the stated question: god, i hope not. This is a guy who suggested to medical experts that they experiment with ways of injecting disinfectant into our bodies. Yes, he did. No, it wasnt sarcastic. He really said that and he really thought that it made sense when he said it. Here are more examples of factually inaccurate and in some cases, profoundly stupid things that he has said in regards to coronavirus:
“We have it totally under control. Its one person coming in from China and we have it under control. Its gonna be just fine.” Jan 22
“We pretty much shut it down coming in from China” Early February.
“When you have 15 people, and the 15 within a couple of days is going to be down to close to zero, that’s a pretty good job we’ve done.”Feb 6
"The virus that we're talking about, a lot of people think that goes away in April... as the heat comes in. We're in great shape.”February 10
“We’re going down [in cases] not up. We have it well under control. I mean we really have done a very good job.” Feb 25
“Its going to disappear. One day its like a miracle it will disappear. It could get worse, it could just go away, nobody really knows” Feb 27
No, Im not concerned at all. No, I’m not; we’ve done a great job.” March 8
“You can call it a germ, you can call it a flue, you can call it a virus. You can call it many different names, im not sure anybody really knows what it is.” March 27

There’s no escaping the fact that at best, he is a buffoon. The real truth is that those quotes dont represent only his stupidity, they also represent his dishonesty. His big-brained science people briefed him. Well (or as he would say, “bigly”) Throughout the entirety of this pandemic he has been downplaying the severity of the virus and hyping himself up while shifting the blame of the real-life impacts off to other, mostly China, at this point.


Are we supposed to trust the CDC, even after it failed in its basic duty as an organization and gave out conflicting advice over long periods of time?



From my understanding that this is a right wing trope that oversimplifies the reality. Like, i know theres a quote from Dr Fauci going around among the Tinfoil Army where he says something like “we have nothing to worry about at this time” that is being used to undermine be and the CDC in general. The words “at this time” are an important piece in that sentence. The basic point here is that data changes. As the virus effects more people, as more information is shared between professionals and as new studies are conducted, we learn new things. This makes old answers obsolete.

And how am I supposed to react when social media platforms choose to remove or ban people who say things contrary to the CDC, even when their local news networks say the exact same thing? You show me which set of data and which organizations are genuinely unbiased and accurate and I'll find some other medical doctor who thinks they're full of crap and has their own data to prove it.


Theres always going to be a quack who lambasts The System. There is GOP senator who is also a family Dr. who is suggesting the death rates may be inflated. I did a lot of digging on if they are inflated or not and what Ive ended up with is, yes, sometimes they are, and also they're sometimes underreported. If you want to convince me that the people at the CDC willing to fudge numbers, im willing to be convinced but i need to see sources. I can tell you this, Florida government (GOP state) ordered the state medical examiners to stop releasing coronavirus info to the public. It just so happens that the numbers produced by the actual medical examiners were consistently higher than the numbers released by the state. Hmm


Moreover, here in the US our constitution clearly does not allow our government to take the actions they have taken. What message does that send? That it's okay to ignore the established supreme law of the land when it's convenient to do so?



Convenient? Convenient. That seems like a hell of a word to use when almost 100,000 Americans have died in a span of three months. We are facing a choice between suffering a temporary economic downshift which, btw, everyone else in the world is also experiencing, or throwing up our hands and allowing a massive death toll of people who we care about and love, to sweep over our country.

All of my rights are there on that sheet of paper and our leaders have demonstrated that in a SHTF situation they're more than willing to ignore that sheet of paper. So, does that mean that I don't actually have rights? Or do I? Are these rights now conditional, whereas they were unconditional before? Now I feel even less informed and prepared.


I admit it is a horrible conundrum. I have to say this: “I must be able to work so I can pay rent and electric and feed my family” is an argument that i am 100% sympathetic to. “UUUIHHH, MUH RIGHTS, I want to go back to the gym” is not an argument that i am sympathetic to. These lockdown measures are not permanent. No laws are being changed, there are no legal or civil measures being proposed which will ultimately reduce your power as a citizen. Rights are a passport to total destruction if you don't understand that personal responsibility comes with them. This is a moment where we owe each other the responsibility of doing the right thing to slow the spread of this virus.

I know for a fact that there are members of this community, long standing members, people whose names we all know, who have comorbidity conditions or who have family members with comorbidity conditions. One example:

steamboat28 wrote: I just love that all the healthy people in the world are freaking out over a disease they'll probably never see and buying up all the hand sanitizer I need to keep my immunocompromised family safe.

www.templeofthejediorder.org/forum/Healt...irus?start=10#350371

I dont know the structure or numbers of steam’s family or the nature of their particular compromises but I get the impression that if coronavirus hits his household, there is a very real chance that multiple people in his family are likely to die. Thats a real thing. I hope this isnt just me but it seems to me that years of continual interaction with each other has built a sort of appreciation for one another. A sense that even though we dont agree and even if we sometimes get on each other’s nerves that we are all connected because of this community.

There are also people in this community who smoke, who have diabetes, asthma, cerebral palsy, obesity, cancer or cancer survivor, high blood pressure, heart conditions. There are important members of this community who have “underlying conditions” which greatly amplify the likelihood of dying if they catch the virus. Exposure rates are about to explode in America as we open our country back up. The numbers are going to jump. This is not a subjective opinion, it a mathematical certainty. If you are exposed to the virus you will be contagious for perhaps as many as 14 days before you begin experiencing symptoms. If you are contributing to the movement which resists taking the measures necessary to prevent the spread of the virus and a few months later, people in this community, people who you respect and care about, start reporting that their family members have died

Misinformation doesn't help anyone. Certainly, intentionally misinforming others is not acceptable.


If that is the standard then i have already produced enough material to condemn the orange, monkey-god. He intentionally misinforms people, constantly.

But until there are consistent reports about the features of COVID -- more consistent than mere symptomatic reports -- I have no idea how to determine which sources are legitimate and which aren't. Normally the majority of these healthcare organizations tend to agree on things. We now have wildly different claims from different professional and respected organizations. Consequently, how someone is to avoid unintentionally misinforming people? And how can we measure the actual impact of misinformation if there is such confusion among professionals?



This may be the moment where you pick my post up and drop it on its head lol. There are people who will enjoy that. Could you please share the trail of information that led you to draw the conclusions of this paragraph? Basically, sources.

Im pretty lazy. The only aspects of corona that i care about are the ones which do or potentially could relate to me, personally. How does it spread? How can we reduce the spread? How can i protect myself? What will happen to me if i get it? How do i prevent spreading it to others if i do get it?
I have found the answers to be pretty consistent in these areas. Again, data changes.

tl;dr: I think the whole situation is a mess.


DUDE!! Holy hell man, i dont know what we’re in for but good luck to you, sir, and to your family. Sincerely.

If you cant breath then none of us can.
Last edit: 26 May 2020 04:17 by OB1Shinobi.
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