Statistics

Debunking Prebunking & Other Disinformation Scams

An article in Psychology Today, a deeply earnest and condemnatory article on disinformation and the brave efforts to “fight” it using “prebunking”, contains the following sentence: “Every day around 9 p.m., Joan Donovan bids her wife good night, heads into her home office — which she calls the ‘dungeon’ — and binges white supremacist videos and conspiracy theories on YouTube.”

Well, you have to laugh.

Tell me if you heard this one before: any official definition of disinformation must necessarily rely upon a list of Official Truths. Official Truths are statements the regime insists you must publicly believe, statements which may or may not be truths.

And are likely not truths, because there’s little to no need for a well run government to police truths. While there are endless reasons for an incompetent, inept, weak, hostile, evil, or unhealthy government to punish and control thought. You can pick just which of these adjectives applies best to our regime. Whichever it is, the rot spreads, hence the growing pressure to condemn disinformation.

Let’s finish the joke started above before moving on to prebunking. After the quote, the article continued like this: “Donovan was among the earliest to predict the rise of COVID-related xenophobic conspiracies and the spread of COVID-related medical falsehoods.”

Funny!

All right, “prebunking”: “the process of debunking lies, tactics, or sources before they strike”.

You will not have missed the martial, or violence, connotation. It is, of course, true that an immoral agent bent on malice may strike with disinformation, such as our CIA or propagandists famously do.

But so can you strike, dear reader, by sharing a forbidden meme about virus lab leaks, say, or how it is impossible two women can marry, or vote stealing. Striking is an act of violence, and so words and jokes become violence, which “endanger the safety” of those who see them. Striking with words is a crime, even a hate crime. Hate crimes are, of course, political crimes.

Most accused officially of disinformation have only canceled for their political crimes. But some have been arrested. The punishment depends on how threatened the regime feels. The further they flee from Reality, the more is that is stolen, the more threatened they feel. Expect fretting about disinformation to become louder.

The idea behind “prebunking” is called inoculation theory: A small amount of a virus can help our bodies build antibodies against future exposure to that virus. In a similar way, exposure to the workings of disinformation can help build resistance to future exposure to disinformation. We develop skills to make sense of the deluge of information that is our online life. And Bad News is one possible prebunking tool.

Bad News is a game in which you can spread in-game “disinformation” to gain likes, the more the higher the score, or whatever. The “researchers” think that if you see how fake disinformation (!) works, you’ll become less likely to use officially defined disinformation in real life.

Well, that is how researchers think. They never reach awareness that some, or much, of what is officially classified disinformation is true, or largely true. Which is why most pass such information on.

Enter Stephan Lewandowsky, a man whose testes flee into his inguinal canal each time he hears somebody say global warming is exaggerated. He’s got a peer-reviewed article on misinformation and prebunking with Sander van der Linden.

Lewandowsky’s thinks the phrase “carbon tax” falls in the misinformation category. Because it can make “people who oppose new taxes think about climate change mitigation as a greater threat than climate change itself”.

You don’t say.

“Carbon tax” has to be prebunked because “the climate crisis is now considered an acute emergency by many scientists”. The many who don’t count it an “acute emergency” don’t count. Or are spreading disinformation, according to Lewy.

Well, 3% can play at that game. And we have. We de- and pre- and post-bunked the idiocy of the “97% of scientists agree” meme, a Lewandowsky special. We did this years ago in our own peer-reviewed article. I emphasize peer-review, which means you can’t dispute it. Right? (See also this peer-reviewed paper.)

The only thing I learned from Lewy’s new paper is the term “refutational preemption”, which what you put on grants instead of “prebunking” to sound more learned.

Bonus: Late Addition!

AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

What did I tell you about official disinformation? Official Truths certified by Experts is used to decide what to censor.

The journal authors have expertise, but are not Experts, which are those with expertise aligned with the regime. The regime says vexxines are Panacea, so all must believe.

Buy my new book and learn to argue against the regime: Everything You Believe Is Wrong.

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Categories: Statistics

16 replies »

  1. I refuse on principle to have “truthiness” predetermined for me by anyone, but especially by anyone in an obvious and protracted struggle with reality and their own biology.

  2. I’ve noticed that Psychology Today has a complete area of their website dedicated to the support of official truths. AKA the so-called “Misinformation-Desk” containing such profound revelations as:

    “There are three main categories of untruths based on the intention behind the lie.”

    Oh. So intentions determine just how untrue a “lie” may be; ie some anti official truths are worse than others. Especially on the internet.

    Kind of like a murder driven by hate is worse than murder by other causes, because it is better to murder with love, yes?

    See the nonsense and gobbledy-goop in real time:

    https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/misinformation-desk

  3. Come the Restoration the entire psychiatric profession will be locked up in loony bins.

  4. So, of course, there is precedence for the having a set of Official Truths: Index Librorum Prohibitorum.
    But the Entity that created the Index, so that the humans may see references back to Official Truths, have seemed to see fit that that no longer is necessary.

    And, yes, Teilhard de Chardin should have been plastered all over that Index. Transhumanism and the Omega Point?

  5. Hagfish / Robin

    Where’s L Ron Hubbard when you really need him?

    Time to rewatch Battlefield Earth

  6. One of the best recent examples of pre-bunking was Event 201 the six hour
    World Economic Forum extravaganza debuting the corona doom psy-op.
    They covered ever inch of ground from generating maximum public fear
    compliance to debunking conspiracy theories. There was a special focus on
    the media’s role with cuts to staged broadcasts which later mimicked real
    world broadcasts a few months later. It truly is prima facia evidence of a
    criminal enterprise out in the open for all to see but very few seem to have
    even bothered to watch the entire production much less connect it to the
    destruction of modern civilization currently underway. The beatings will
    continue.
    Don’t much care for Dore’s unicorn politics but he’s honest & often right:

    “Disease Mainly Of The Elderly, Kind Of Like The Flu” Says Bill Gates
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NNiiuygF_HQ

  7. What we propose to do is not to control content, but to create context.

  8. Jeffrey Epstein did not kill himself.

    Everyone with common sense prebunked that one before it didn’t happen, so I’d say we’re doing pretty well! Get lost gub’mint! We’re on to you!

  9. Chinese Wet Markets – Bat Soup Delicacies – Zoonotic Transmission – Pangolins are a bridge animal – Plagues Historically Alter The Course of Societies – Perpetual mRna gene therapy injections are necessary to Save Lives Globally – Lock Down Policy Is Good Government – We Must Follow The Science – Health Passports will protect us from exposure to contagious people

    Wuhan Institute of Virology is a BSL-4 lab performing Gain-of-Function-Research – w/ NIH Funding – w/ Int’l Military Consortium Relations – Herd Immunity alone explains species replication durability despite recurrent (mostly seasonal) communicable diseases – Liberty is Productive and Sane

  10. It looks like prebunking isn’t so much early introduction of specific narratives, but training the public to which sources they should rely on. A 2017 paper called “Social Media and Fake News in the 2016 Election” used snopes, politifact and buzzfeed to determine what is or is not fake news. It has been cited over 1600 times. Dr. Briggs will not be surprised to note the abundance of statistical models. . https://pubs.aeaweb.org/doi/10.1257/jep.31.2.211 It appears grounding studies in fact-checking is widely accepted. I haven’t found much doubt is expressed about the viability of this approach, notwithstanding the odd mention en passant.

    The studies’ core reliance on “fact checkers” begs a questionL How much interest has been shown to the particulars of the information affecting belief rather than the correlation between beliefs of the public and statements by authorities? James Lyons-Weiler’s critique of the psychological approaches to the vaccine “hesitant” suggests the answer is: not much. https://popularrationalism.substack.com/p/the-pathologization-of-reason-logic?s=r
    Instead of examining what evidence people base their view on, they are examining correlations of personality and character traits.

    The WHO has apparently taken it as a foregone conclusion that behavioral manipuation rather than persuasion should be the focus going forward. This change in emphasis appears to stem in part from
    the partial failure of authoritative statements to persuade. https://www.who.int/news-room/events/detail/2022/05/27/default-calendar/world-health-assembly-strategic-roundtable-on-behavioural-science-for-better-health

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