Misquotation Pandemic and Disinformation Polemic: Mind Pollution by Viral Falsity

Misquotation Pandemic and Disinformation Polemic: Mind Pollution by Viral Falsity

Misquotation Pandemic and Disinformation Polemic: Mind Pollution by Viral Falsity

Conceived by SoundEagle🦅ೋღஜஇ in the year during which coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) became a pandemic ravaging humanity, Misquotation Pandemic, Disinformation Polemic and Viral Falsity are three neologisms that aptly reflect the centrality of human behaviour in perpetuating and accelerating not only the spread of communicable diseases via human settlement and migration, but also the dissemination of misquotations and disinformation through social media, news platforms and mass communication, thus polluting the mind, media landscape and information ecosystem to the point of inhibiting or impairing civil discourse, human rights, democratic governance, social cohesion, community psychology, critical thinking, critical consciousness and sociopolitical development. The systemic production and dissemination of misquotations and disinformation are often not merely the result of ignorance, the absence of experience, the lack of acumen, the decline of rectitude, the dearth of morality, the rise of iniquity, the product of mendacity or the upshot of enmity, but also an outcome of the struggle and polarity in socioeconomic, cultural and political domains involving unequal access to and corrupt manipulation of power, information and resources.

The phenomenal rises and impacts of Misquotation Pandemic, Disinformation Polemic and Viral Falsity have been so embedded and pervasive as to render or qualify them as highly corrupting forces and exacerbating factors in the broader sociopolitical environment. The sheer extent and potency of 🧠 Mind Pollution by Viral Falsity 🦠 in atomizing and polarizing people into schismatic and ill-informed individuals, as well as in fomenting and extending people’s misguided, perfidious, disruptive, destructive, provocative, reactionary or counterproductive behaviours into the nooks and crannies of everyday life, have both unveiled and unleashed the language of misperception, cupidity, corruption, deception, antipathy, antagonism, resentment, inequality, identity politics and ideological extremism, often manifesting as dramatic forms of misrepresentation, sensationalism, cognitive bias, selective empowerment, discriminatory practice, invidious policy, historical negationism, social amplification and cultural tribalism — ones that are unflatteringly ill-equipped to address or moderate, but unenviably well-equipped to worsen or contribute to, the wider structural causes of complex, partisan or contested issues, especially those pertaining to homophobia, xenophobia, racism, ageism, sexism, religion, abortion, vaccination, genetic evolution, climate change, the environment, the economy, as well as civil and political rights. The outstanding effects and ramifications of Misquotation Pandemic, Disinformation Polemic and Viral Falsity have become so far-reaching and wide-ranging that they are (im)posing considerable disruptions and existential threats to humanity, as they inject layers of complexity and even intractability to diverse matters pertaining to information literacy, media literacy, sociopolitical impact, sociocultural disturbance, foreign interference, information warfare, knowledge security, social integrity, electoral integrity, media integrity and diversity, as well as conflict resolution, civic engagement, democratic resilience, public health, epidemiological response, sustainable living, environmental protection and ecological crisis.

Many users and consumers have come to depend on information sources not filtered or managed by information professionals, especially when opinion pieces trump factual reporting, when public respect for scientific authority wanes, and when entities proffering and preserving authoritative news and trustworthy information attenuate in number and influence as they are subject to adverse government meddling, sanction and even persecution, or are weakened by dwindling subscriptions and advertising revenues due to the ascendency of social media that allow original contents to be scraped from any sources and shared by users without permission or recompense. Even when information literacy and media literacy are not at issue, the quality, validity and reliability of information sources are themselves increasingly at risk of being undermined whenever media integrity and diversity have been tarnished or compromised by the concentration of media ownership (also known as media consolidation or media convergence) and the formation of media oligopoly or monopoly, all of which can dent the ability of media outlets to serve the public interest and democratic process, to resist institutional corruption within the media system, to withstand economic influence, political clientelism and conflicts of interest, and to curtail excessive instrumentalisation of the media for particular corporate demands, political goals, partisan strategies or sectarian ideologies that are contrary to the democratic role of the media and detrimental to net(work) neutrality.

Polluting the terrains of information landscape and muddying the waters of social discourse, innumerable online sources of misquotations and disinformation use fraudulent techniques and unethical ways to fool users into thinking that dubious blogs, sham news sites, fake accounts, social bots, deepfakes, astroturfing operations and front organizations are legitimate and that the information generated is factual or unbiased. They also play significant roles in shaping (outcomes of) public opinion and social behaviour by acting as incessant and pertinacious influencers, manipulating people on social media platforms, supercharging memes and cultural trends, even limiting free speech, suppressing important messages, stoking animosity, dismantling trust and inducing chaos by creating a deluge of bogus accounts, fake identities, automated messages and social spams to deliver profanity, threats, hate speech, insults, damaging quotations, cyberbullying, clickbaiting, social hacking, malicious links, unsolicited content, misleading claims, fraudulent reviews, fabricated news and conspiracy theories.


6 comments on “Misquotation Pandemic and Disinformation Polemic: Mind Pollution by Viral Falsity

  1. To me the busyness of this graphic reflects the myriad pieces of information out in cyberspace. The inclusion of technological touch points connect the concept of the post with the viewer, introducing tangibility. Also, I like the juxtaposition of structure and chaos.


  2. Well said, SoundEagle. This is a critical issue. Finding the truth is a real challenge in our time.


  3. Thank you Sound Eagle. I think you have pinned down some important concepts and connections that are worth naming in terms of what is happening in our world. This can contribute to resolution of issues. I love the thoroughness of exploration and presentation.


  4. The following quote describes the general problem “Many users and consumers have come to depend on information sources not filtered or managed by information professionals” (SoundEagle – Misquotation Pandemic and Disinformation Polemic: Mind Pollution by Viral Falsity)

    Historically, our ancestors “information professionals” were the people that had particular expertise in some learned skill. Whilst the authority was a tribal leader (or later a king, etc).

    Today – most humans generally continue to accommodate information from trade professionals (e.g., electricians, plumbers, mechanics, etc). The “leaders” are now people that have political or business agendas. So, whilst trades professionals are, generally, reliable sources of information because their standards are regulated – the political organizations or industries, are, fundamentally, regulating themselves (to some degree or another).

    This “self-regulation” is the fundamental problem. For example, if a car trader is found to be lying when selling cars – their behavior will be mitigated by the law. If a Doctor is found to be lying to patients – they will lose their medical license. If a scientist is found to be making up “data” – the peer review process will eventually discover their fraud.

    But, (some) business people, politicians & celebrity social “influences” regularly lie and intentionally use misleading misinformation. For example, greenwash and saying they are the “greenest politicians ever” – and then investing in fossil fuels behind closed doors. And even when their deception is investigated and reported – because this news isn’t usually reported in the mainstream press (e.g., because who owns the media organizations?) – their corruption goes unpunished (i.e., the general population remains ignorant of the liar’s transgressions). Therefore, deceitful politicians or industries keep committing the offense (e.g., greenwash and climate “blah blah blah”).

    And the severe (costly) criminal offense against humanity that these corrupt people sell (e.g., disinformation) – is that the people should not trust the experts ( e.g., the Earth system scientists, the medical professionals, etc). And why do these corrupt crony “leaders” try to make the people doubt the science – because there are simply greedy immoral people that have far more money than sense (it’s a “game” of money & social power for them). I actually pity them. Some of the extremely rich people have sold their souls (integrity) to the “devil” (greed). It can’t be that nice being them!. At least we can try to avoid immoral people. They can’t avoid themselves.

    So, thank you for your prudent words SoundEagle. May you continue to soar! “If music be the food of love play on”
    (William Shakespeare’s – Twelfth Night)


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