Republicans use disinfo to hide their guilt in savage attack on Paul Pelosi. Test your skills with this quiz to spot their tricks.
This quiz is based on the Paul Pelosi attack in which a radicalized MAGA supporter viciously attacked Paul Pelosi, the 82 year old husband of Nancy Pelosi, the Speaker of the House. This follows years of the GOP demonizing Nancy Pelosi. Republicans and their media supporters have used several disinfo tactics to hide their guilt and distract the public from the crime.
- What About-ism: Compare the attack with sometime else as a false equivalency
- Distract: Make up a false story to distract the public from the facts of the attack
- False flag: Say the incident was staged by the victim to hurt you
- Mockery: Make fun on the victim
- Straw man: Develop a bogus argument and attack that instead
Learn how to spot the disinfo being used to manipulate you
Have you no shame?
This quiz is based on comments by Republican leaders and their conspiracy minded media supporters.
- Elon Musk: The House speaker’s husband was brutally attacked in his home by a hammer-wielding lunatic who was shouting “Where is Nancy?”. Elon Musk tweeted unfounded rumors with a link to an extremely thinly sourced story from a fringe news outlet with a tarnished past, a story that suggested the attack resulted from “a dispute with a male prostitute.”
- Kevin McCarthy: "Democrats failed to condemn the violence that followed the murder of George Floyd, they say, so they have unclean hands". Kevin McCarthy, the man who would like to be the next speaker spoke against violence a few days after the attack but listed only Republican victims.
- Donald Trump Jr. posted ugly memes about the attack. One, apparently lifted from a Twitter user, featured a hammer on top of a pair of white underwear and said, “Got my Paul Pelosi Halloween costume ready.” Another featured two male “South Park” characters fornicating with one holding a phone while telling the police, “I’m being attacked!”
- Ted Cruz appears to push GOP conspiracy theories about Paul Pelosi attack. The Texas senator shared a tweet that called into question the suspected attacker’s affiliation with right-wing conspiracy theories tied to Covid-19 and QAnon. - The Independent.
- Jesse Watters, FOX News Host gestured in the direction of some of the above conspiracy theories, suggestively asking how DePape could “even get inside the house.” - Washington Post.
- Kari Lake joked about the attack on Paul Pelosi, an 82-year-old man lay in intensive care. He was attacked with a hammer by a right-wing nutjob who broke into his home in the dead of night. David DePape, 42, who posted conspiracy theories about the 2020 election, COVID and the Jan. 6 insurrection, is accused of breaking into the Pelosi home, hoping to kidnap House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and possibly break her kneecaps as a lesson to Democrats. - AZ Central
- Glenn Youngkin: “Vega’s gonna hand Pelosi a plane ticket with her and send her right back to be with her husband in California", said Youngkin at his rally with Yesli Vega and Ted Cruz. Ted Cruz struck a harsher tone, saying that Pelosi would ride her broom back to California. - Washington Post
- Devin Nunes, CEO of Truth Social and former GOP Congressman finds the home invasion hammer attack by a Donald Trump supporter suspect on the husband of Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi hilarious. He posted a photo of a man in a monster costume wielding a giant mallet. - Rocket News
- Marco Rubio sees parallels between canvasser injured in Hialeah, assault at Pelosi home. The canvasser Monzon, was then a member of the white supremacist League of the South, used a Confederate flag to attack protesters in 2017 in Hollywood. - Local 10 News
- Tucker Carlson: Fox host justifies Paul Pelosi conspiracy theories: “All the misinformation is out there because they have not told the facts” - Media Matters
Twitter spreads more racism and disinfo after Elon Musk purchase
It’s not just Musk’s tweets that are causing problems. Some analysts have seen a surge in hate speech and misinformation since he took over — including a 500 percent increase in racial slurs, according to the Network Contagion Research Institute, an independent center that tracks online trends. And Twitter’s head of trust and safety said they’ve removed 1,500 accounts that spread hateful content since Saturday.
Advertising is Twitter’s lifeblood — making up 90% of revenue. Musk has said the platform’s “commitment to brand safety is unchanged” since he took over five days ago. But over the past weekend, he tweeted — and then deleted — a false story about Paul Pelosi’s attacker, touching off a flurry of controversy. One of the top four largest advertising companies — IPG’s Mediabrands — is advising its clients to suspend their ads on Twitter for the next week due to trust and safety concerns under the leadership of its new CEO Elon Musk, according to a person with direct knowledge of the decision. - Politico
- Disinfo artists first persuade people that only he (or she) can be trusted (ethos) and attacks the real experts to make them less believable.
- Disinformation is aligned with what the target audience's emotions (pathos) making it more likely to be believed.
- Facts are twisted or alternate facts created (logos) to create the disinformation.
Original: "Queen Grimhilde disguises herself (ethos) to trick Snow White. She knows of Snow White's romance with the Prince (pathos) and tells her that the apple will grant wishes (logo), and persuades her to take a bite of the apple to get together with the Price. Snow White, fooled, makes her wish and takes a bite." - Fandom
Manipulated: Snow White actually poisoned herself to appear more sympathetic (False Flag). You think the with was bad, what about the dwarfs that made Snow White work so hard (Whatabout-ism). Should Snow White have been living with seven dwarfs? (StrawMain).
- Attack scientists. Emphasize flaws in scientific studies such as sample size.
- Promote your own 'would-be' experts. They don't even have to be experts on the topic.
- Misrepresent data. Cherry-pick data to deceive and dilute the work of scientists.
- Bury bad news. Deny it any public exposure. Catch and Kill the story.
- Push alternate facts. Create your own truth and spread it to misinform and distract people from the facts.
- Hide your intent. Don't reveal your agenda or who's funding your disinformation campaign.
- Use harsh language.
- Shift the blame. Blame alternative causes for bad things. Deny any responsibility.
- Claim you are being censored. Demand equal air time to spread your alternate facts.
- Exploit people's lack of science knowledge. Use conspiracy theories to confuse people.
- Pretend you're defending the truth. Claim that everyone else is lying.
- Obscure your involvement. Use attorney-client privilege to hide your role in events.
- Weaponize media outlets. Use media outlets that support you to spread your story.
- Claim equivalency. Appeal to journalistic balance. Invoke the fairness doctrine.
- Take advantage of your opponent's lack of money and influence.
- Silence individuals by outspending them. Use Non Disclosure Agreements (NDAs) to gag them.
- Make bad things your cause seem normal.
- Reduce the importance of bad things happening. Make them seem inevitable. - DemLabs
This @CogSec newsletter by Rand Waltzman is a wonderful resource on understanding disinformation and how it is used to manipulate people. It helps you to understand and recognize cognitive attacks and attempts to manipulate you from an offensive perspective. The success of such attacks heavily depends on you NOT understanding and recognizing them.
TakeAway: Learn to recognize how you're being manipulated, before you're arrested for attempted murder.
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