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Debating online? You’d better read this.

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milstar:

--- Quote from: The Legendary Shark on 25 July, 2021, 06:45:58 PM ---This document is quite useful as a basic introduction but is quite skewed.

On page 5 it states: "Misinformation damages society in a number of ways. If parents withhold vaccinations from their children based on mistaken beliefs, public health suffers. If people fall for conspiracy theories surrounding COVID-19, they are less likely to comply with government guidelines to manage the pandemic, thereby imperiling all of us." (My emphasis.)

This presumes that governments neither misinform nor disinform and that their guidelines are the best possible strategies (appeal to authority). It also presupposes that all counter-arguments to official arguments are, necessarily, conspiracy theories (a hasty generalisation).

Also page 5: "Misinformation is also often steeped in emotional language and designed to be attention-grabbing and have persuasive appeal. This facilitates its spread and can boost its impact, especially in the current online economy in which user attention has become a commodity."

This is a very important point and must be kept in mind when accessing any source from the MSM to the independent media. I don't watch much BBC, as just one example amongst many mainstream sources, for this very reason.

In short, there are some excellent tools in this little kit - tools which must be used across the board to assess all sides of any issue and not, as the very title suggests, to debunk arguments without first exploring them. Of course, censorship currently hobbles this process very effectively.

--- End quote ---

I remember in the earliest days of lockdown, I've broken the rule once and me and me mates were outside, enjoying our ale. Two coppers came and demanded we go to our homes. One of the pals started arguing against lockdown restrictions and one of the coppers responded with "I don't trust these government measures like you, but I trust our doctors". And he was right obviously. In the government are all bunch of fuck-ups, twits and twats, but whom else to turn to other than medicine men (and women)? Better listening to them even if they disagree among themselves than big man Boris.

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