Life Imitates Bots and Trolls: Deceiving the Public through Fake Crowd Creation and Other Lies

Fake crowd creation is powerful enough to change our political beliefs, our elections and our government. Opinions can be deceptively made to appear as if they are widely held when they are not.

I feel sorry for the anti-Clinton video creators at Vanity Fair. If one looks at social media, or even mainstream media, it appears that Hillary Clinton bashing is a no-lose proposition, a theme that would propel magazine subscriptions to new highs. How were the video creators to know that this was partly a fake crowd, an illusion?

People want to join or root for the team or opinion that’s getting all the cheers. It’s as contagious as wanting to eat at the most popular restaurant. It must be great, or else why all the cheers? People start to wonder what’s wrong with the team that’s constantly being booed. There must be something wrong with that team, or else why all the booing?

We swim in advertising like fish swim in water. It feels like a normal part of our environment. Some people first become aware of how pervasive it is, only when they vacation in a wilderness area without cell phone, TV or Internet coverage. It seems so normal that we only notice it if it becomes absent. We’re like fish being thrown out of our usual cloudy water into clean water.

It isn’t just stupid people who are fooled by propaganda. That belief could not be more wrong. New York Times managers, editors and readers are not stupid people They are simply naïve, like most Americans, about propaganda.

Traditional mainstream media editors and producers are asleep at the wheel. They plod along in their habit of seeking “balance” by “covering both sides”, even if one side is lies. That habit creates a crowd of viewers, listeners, or readers who believe lies.

That’s the problem here, in a nutshell. Life imitates bots — thus Dividing and Conquering real citizens.

If anyone wants to sow division within the political Left, it would be easy to do so, by creating a fake crowd of Far Leftist trolls and bots who are angry, distrustful and extremely insulting toward mainstream Democrats — exactly what we have on Twitter right now.

Reporters are also clueless about propaganda’s effects. We know that they are clueless because they almost never ask the interviewees what their primary sources of news are. The reporters’ failure to ask this, implies that one’s source of news has no influence on one’s political beliefs.

If we citizens want to be free to determine the fate of our nation, we will have to find ways to stop falling into fake crowd traps. We will have to find ways to make conscious choices, rather than to just unconsciously go along with crowds that could easily be fake.

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