Opinion: don’t believe everything you read…

No Planet B

By Peters Matthews 

It must be the internet – so much information so easily.

I don’t remember being as suspicious of news sources in the days before the internet as I am now.

It doesn’t seem to matter what your view is on any given subject; if you search it on the internet you can find plenty of material to back it up.

Just out of curiosity, I did a search using the words ‘climate hoax’ and was surprised to find that there is nothing to worry about. Forests are regenerating faster than ever before, polar bears are thriving and their numbers rebounding, and CO2 emissions are, in fact, not a problem at all. It’s all just the natural rhythms of the earth. This latest bout of climate change (which happens all the time) is due almost entirely to the changing magnetosphere of the earth, and the resultant cloud formations.

No problem there then.

And, as is usually the way with factually accurate and responsible websites, this one was fairly bristling with links which alerted me to the conspiracies and subterfuge threatening to undermine society as we know it.

How could I not have known about these things?

How could I not have known that the pandemic is a hoax foisted upon the world by the makers of Covid tests and personal protective equipment?

It’s all to do with which rabbit hole you go down. Every time you visit a web page your movements are tracked by the search engines, social media companies, and internet robots (I’ve read about it – it must be true) and that information is used to present you with further viewing options which are deemed to be suitable for you. In other words you are very likely to have your views reinforced if you simply follow your nose in cyber space.

This is how misinformation spreads and gains traction.

Obviously, people who take the trouble to pick up and read a newspaper are less likely to be led up the garden path, so you are safe. But spare a thought for the unthinking credulous multitudes who trawl the visually lurid and socially shady corridors of the internet becoming more convinced with every mouse click of the veracity in their unquestioning minds of the gospel truths they lap up from every screen.

Sorry, was that a bit much? I don’t know, surely this can be the only way that just under half of all Americans have reached the conclusion that Donald Trump is an appropriate leader for the United States. And while I am on the subject of Trump, must he not be held to account  if he, as the president, supposedly responsible for looking after the country, goes and plays golf while one citizen of America dies of Covid every minute?

He may yet get the chance to fix everything though, since I have learned from (my part of) the internet that the election, which he won by the way, is far from over.

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