Recently the USA has established a controversial “Disinformation Governance Board” under DHS. Therefore it is in the news for all the wrong reasons. We, Indians, are often the victims of such disinformation campaigns and cannot ignore that. There are terms like disinformation, misinformation, and fake news being dropped flippantly these days. Very few people I have talked to can distinguish between them. According to the University of Washington Bothell website, misinformation and disinformation are both false information, but disinformation is spread deliberately while misinformation may not always be intentional. Similarly, fake news is defined as “crafted, sensational, emotionally charged, misleading or fabricated information that mimics the form of mainstream news.”
From these definitions, there are a lot of questions that can directly arise. There seems to be a lot of emphasis on the word mainstream news. This is pretty hard to define when thousands of news portals are generated every month. So how should one define a news mainstream? Viewership, accuracy, size, anything can be a measure of that. But since the left (never liberal) has a monopoly over a huge portion of this arena, all right-leaning, centre-right, and centrist news sources become “fascist” and NOT mainstream.
It becomes more interesting. Rumours used to spread from the beginning of the human race, but social media has accelerated it. Rumours are generally misinformation. But what if the rumour about a political party or an organization or a person is disguised as misinformation but actually is disinformation? Will the “mainstream” have the guts to call a spade a spade? From an Indian perspective, it does not seem like it. As an example, we can always cite RSS. The illiberal, islamophobic, Brahminical, patriarchal tags thrown by the left cabal can be proven untrue in every step of the existence of this organization.
So essentially, the crocodile tears of the left about being the defender of truth become a sham by their own agreed-upon definition. In the pre-internet era, we could have given them the benefit of the doubt by calling these tags misinformation. But now, when ample, easily accessible evidence is contrary to it, we have to call out their disinformation campaign. So the news media that, no matter how mainstream it is, spreads such adjectives are by definition spreading disinformation and has to be stopped.
Another example of a disinformation campaign disguised as misinformation is the Covid death toll in India. Wild statistical analysis with little to very less credible data and nonsensical assumptions were making headlines every day. Any serious scientist will always become conservative when making a real-life prediction and always look at the error variation. But since that restraint was not there among the “scientists” and “experts” of the left cabal, we must call this instance a disinformation campaign. This type of fearmongering has serious consequences for the country’s law and order, which makes it criminal. This instance is actually an abuse of basic statistical principles where conclusions are made very carefully and with proper justification. The “mainstream” news media amplifies such wild pseudoscience in the name of science without asking about the validity of the method and credibility of the data making them a party to the disinformation campaign to malign the present Government. Can we call the “mainstream” media “trusted” from the previous two examples?
Wikipedia amplifies these so-called “trusted” media by blocking the voices questioning them and maligning other media portals without providing a fair trial. The wiki editor cabal abuses their power daily to suppress news that is uncomfortable to them or dilutes it so much that it becomes a footnote. So, should we not call it a disinformation campaign?
Then there are “Fact-Checker” websites which are the loudspeakers of the so-called mainstream. The existence of fact-checkers is a symbol of the low public trust in the “mainstream.” The certification process for the fact-checking website is very lenient but ideologically driven to say the least. The problem is that people associated with these websites abuse the certificate and peddle their opinions as facts. But the certification agency does not seem to be worried about that. They put a deliberate blind eye to the problem; they do not even hold the “Fact-Checkers” to a stringent and uniform standard. For example, many websites tried to save Tahir Hussain in the Delhi riot despite having video evidence of his involvement using so-called “Facts.” The observation of the court was otherwise. Should the certification agency now do its duty and reprimand the portals that abused their certification? It does not seem like it.
Indians, especially Hindus, face many consequences of such a corrupt system worldwide. Any Hindu who stands up for their root, ritual, Sanskriti, and dharma is tagged as the equivalent of a white supremacist. We used to call it Hinduphobia, bigotry, etc. Now by the new definition, this is also a disinformation campaign. We must fight back with a counter-campaign because the truth needs its marketing as it stands now. Free speech should be there, but at the same time, we have to be careful about disinformation that has the power to threaten the life, livelihood, and moreover existence of a community. Free speech cannot include incitement or threat against Hindus.