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A Brief History of Tech-Enabled Ignorance

Growing up, I don’t recall the words “disinformation” and “misinformation” being in common usage.  While deception has been with us since the Garden of Eden, it took the advance of information technology to fully weaponize it.  Yes, we had “modified limited hangouts”, misdirection and conspiracy theories, but by modern standards these were clumsy and easily seen through.  Moreover, they were typically applied to limited ends; on the theater of political and cultural warfare, they were tactical, not strategic, weapons.
The advent of the internet, smartphones and social media changed all of that.  The ability to traffic in falsehoods is no longer limited to one’s own circle, or to media outlets which once had an incentive to moderate fallacious and disprovable content, and malefactors can now flood the zone with a narrative before any counterattack (the …

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