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Political Spin and Media Manipulation with Pseudoscience, Sensationalism, Alternative Facts and Conspiracy Theories

Political Spin and Media Manipulation with Pseudoscience, Sensationalism, Alternative Facts and Conspiracy Theories

Whether deliberate or not, many quotations and much information can be so problematic that they themselves become fallacies proffering untenable or inconclusive arguments, (in addition to) being too tenuous, flawed or fallacious to prove or support certain (view)points, agendas or conclusions. Such quotations and information need not be confined to, associated with or characterized as sophisms, which are clever but unsound arguments used with the intention to deceive or mislead. Indeed, the intention is of secondary importance when quotations and information by which people deceive or mislead themselves (as a result of reasoning flaws, wrong ideas, biased views, faulty judgements or mistaken beliefs) are much more dangerous, alarming, treacherous or undependable than the others, given that they are far more common than sophistries, whether quoted or shared online and offline. As a result, there has been a pandemic of misquotations, misinformation, false statements, misleading data, hasty generalization and glittering generality in the era and context of post-truth politics, fake news, disinformation, sensationalism, alternative facts, false reality, conspiracy theories, pseudoscience, yellow journalism, astroturfing, historical negationism and anti-intellectualism, readily created, condoned, manipulated, exploited, disseminated, consumed, believed or touted by not just narrow-minded, prejudiced, ill-informed, illiberal or misguided individuals (ranging from certain politicians, marketers, advertisers, influencers, media personalities, publicity agents, niche bloggers and lifestyle promoters to special interest groups, climate change deniers, conspiracy theorists, cultish believers, pseudoscience peddlers and anti-vaccinators as well as bigots, sexists, racists, xenophobes, hatemongers, disinformers, obscurantists, profiteers, malefactors, trolls, scammers and scoundrels), but also those who support, defend, practise or subscribe to demagoguery, ochlocracy, oligarchy, plutocracy, kleptocracy, kakistocracy and narcissistic leadership, often much to the chagrin or exasperation of many conscientious scientists, trustworthy experts, fair-minded citizens and far-sighted persons.

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