Technology now permits and encourages anonymous lies and attacks. It is a bonus for cowards, fools, and crooks. Just witness its role in the rise of people like Farage, Trump, and Johnson. It has exposed the soft underbelly of democracy – enough people may be credulous enough to get you a very bad result. Are we only as strong as our weakest link? The democratic process is vulnerable because of its very openness.
Many lies were told during the last election. That is about par for the course. But it has been made much worse by corporations like Facebook. It participated in lie that said that one party intended to introduce a death tax. When challenged on this, Facebook responded:
I understand that your preference would be for Facebook to remove all content that you believe constitutes misinformation – which in this instance mean all content that discussed whether or not Labor intends to introduce a death tax – rather than demote it; however Facebook only removes content that violates our community standards.
Calling a lie ‘misinformation’ is enough to expose the credibility of the author. We are talking about a straight lie, and if the original author was Clive Palmer, it could hardly be anything else. We are in the distressingly familiar area of a contempt for truth.
Then there is that weasel term ‘community standards.’ But it is here qualified by ‘our’. Who are we? Not bloody me mate. And if your community standards allow for barefaced lies – and they do – you have a problem and you are a problem.
The Hungarian government denies it is trying to shape the way that history is written. In a blog post, government spokesman Zoltan Kovacs characterised the 1956 Institute’s absorption by Veritas as ‘a minor administrative change to make research more efficient by integrating related fields into the same structure’.
Financial Times, 26 July, 2019
Greg Sheridan visited Hungary as a guest of the MCC Hungarian think tank.
The Weekend Australian, July, 20-21, 2019
And, he delivered on that investment. MCC acolytes did not mention Orban’s name.
Yet according to the high organs of international liberalism, Orban is a fascist. Surely fascist leaders promote a cult of personality? Yet there are no statues of him in Budapest, no great memorials, and supporters of his government seem to be just like supporters of any other government.
Becoming a paid propagandist is does not look good for a journalist.