(es) Vienna, July 29, 2021
It is no longer politically correct to use the word “gullible”, and there are no doubt some who believe it’s already been banned from dictionaries. Thanks to the abuse of social media, (some) people can be persuaded to believe just about anything, however ridiculous.
The Daily Beast has published an excellent report about how far Russia has gone in encouraging the Trumpist anti-vacc movement and confused thousands of Europeans and Americans. It is cruel, and a simple and inexpensive form of warfare.
The paper says the strategy includes using the Moscow marketing agency Fazz to bribe the ridiculous new army of online “influencers” to spread dirt about the deadliness of Pfizer etc.
Fazz simply paid “influencers”, greedy for hits, to spread misinformation on YouTube and Twitter, apparently to make Moscow’s own COVID-19 jab seem more appealing.
Jack Stubbs, director of the social media analytics firm Graphika, said Fazz seeded misleading “talking points” into American talk-shows, and used pay-to-publish pseudo-news sites, and fake personas on Facebook, to spread the message that western vaccines were dangerous or even deadly.
“This campaign shows how low the barrier to entry has fallen for marketing firms planning to engage in online influence operations,” Stubbs told the paper. The only effective weapon is ridicule. But how much of a dent is it making, either against Vladimir Putin or Donald Trump, or the befuddled army of anti-vaccers and QAnonners?