There are currently over 500 wildfires burning in my home province of British Columbia, Canada. At the same time, Toronto, Ontario is experiencing floods due to heavy August rainfall. Around the world, extreme weather events seem to be becoming more common place. California, like BC, is experiencing wildfires, Sweden’s reindeer are starving after a severe drought, and Hawaii is in the path of a hurricane, just to name a few examples.
Despite all the wailing and gnashing of teeth about fake news, biased journalism, and journalists as “very bad people“, the very people complaining the loudest about the press seem to be those who are most adept at manipulating it. Take for example, the current President of the United States, who employs a combination of direct to consumer social media tactics, and also maintains strong relationships with non-professiona,l we-cannot-really-call-them (cough cough) news organizations like infowars, in order to perform the idea of news while supplanting the actual purpose entirely.
According to a recent report by the Pew Research Center that I, ironically enough learned about because it was shared on Twitter, “an estimated two-thirds of tweeted links to popular websites are posted by automated accounts” also known as bots.
To me, this means three things: