Every 2020 disinfo thing you were warned about is happening

But @JoeBiden isn’t doomscrolling America, and neither should you

Biden understands the corrosive effect that Trump’s presidency has had on all of us—and a way out, maybe

My latest for @SURfdn
Pretty much EVERYTHING that every disinformation watcher warned you was going to happen is happening (except deepfakes):

1-malign foreign interference continues
2-POTUS drumming up rumors of election fraud and rigged results
3-“poll-watching” will add to the mess+intimidation /2
4-fears of inevitable violence and unrest are amplified from all directions
5-spurious Biden health rumors
6-Russia, others amplifying our attacks on each other instead of making their own
7-POTUS wackadoo conspiracies-of-the-day are getting way more extreme, pro QAnon /3
8-BUT HER EMAILS is now BUT THE “LAPTOP” with Rudy playing the role of Assange
9-forgeries and altered content
10-pro-Trump actors still aim to split Democratic vote and amplify intra-D divides
11-social media response is still uneven
12-media still unsure how to cover /4
Among others.

Only it’s worse in 2020 than 2016 because one party (Republicans) is totally open to using disinfo. And part of the other side doesn’t hear it when they echo it back just as loud.  /5
What we see every day is an endless series of stories about the stories that seek to influence us & what that means.

Is it true, manipulation, conspiracy?

It’s an exhausting process that leaves us frayed, frail, frustrated, deep in our own doomscroll of American decline. /6
You’ve constantly heard me and others speak about how vital and essential leadership is to fixing the problem of the effectiveness of disinformation — in terms of establishing values, calling balls and strikes, setting us to the task of building instead of tearing down. /7
Now, I have an example of this to show you. Biden, in his half of the “dueling town halls” on Thursday night, repeatedly avoiding taking swipes at Trump supporters or Republicans, or saying that all is lost or that we are close to the abyss. /8
Over and over, @JoeBiden didn’t go for a zinger or a throat punch.

He spoke of a better America. Offered a way out of polarized congressional discourse, poisoned media discourse.

Reminded us that—despite what we see on twitter—everything doesn’t need to be the bloody Alamo /9
Biden repeatedly avoided blaming the challenges we are going to face on any one faction — he just accepted that they will be his burdens to carry, his problems to solve.

@JoeBiden is serious about unity. I think maybe we are all underestimating how serious he is about unity /10
Probably no one will be ready for a president actually focused on unity — at least, not initially.

But maybe Biden can turn down the temperature enough that we can focus on the hard work that needs to be done instead of just living in the adrenaline haze of the last 4 years. /11
The Kremlin hacked our perceptions of who we are and what we can accomplish

Trump hacked our perceptions and convinced Americans of a sense of doom & powerlessness that simply isn’t real /12
Maybe @JoeBiden can convince us the American demise is not imminent and turn us back to the hard, non-reality show work of building a functional country that will lead the way through these coming decades of transformative human transition before it’s too late /13
It’s time to unhack our perceptions of ourselves and our nation and limit the power of disinformation to shape reality

Read more: /14


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More from @MollyMcKew

21 Oct
On @NewDay, widow of police officer who died of COVID, on POTUS recovering from COVID:

“...and I thought then, wow, he could really show a human side. Well, I didn’t really think that. I would be silly to think that... He’s really spitting on all these loved ones graves... /1
...He had a choice to be more human and to show empathy. But it’s not possible for him to show empathy. I don’t think he can feel that emotion. He only thinks of one person, and that’s himself... He hasn’t called me to wish me his sympathies... /2
... I’ve heard from the governor of New Jersey. I’ve heard from Joe Biden. They showing empathy and caring and kindness, and that’s really lacking in the president.” /3
Read 7 tweets
18 Oct
Strong intv today w/ @ABlinken on the foreign policy of a Biden presidency:

“America & liberal democracy remain the system of choice for people who can choose. And I think if anything what the last 4 years have shown is not their failure, but rather how important they are.../1
... to the strength of our democracy, and the vitality of our leadership is to our own country and the world.” /2
On engaging China from a position of strength:

“How do we put ourselves in a position of strength from which to engage China so the relationship moves forward more on our terms than it does theirs. And here’s the problem... /3
Read 7 tweets
16 Oct
It’s truly hilarious watching conservatives lose their minds about the “repression of conservative speech on Facebook and Twitter” because they seem to have forgotten that Donald Trump is only president because of Facebook and Twitter.
Oh, are they finally ready to stop clowning in hearings and wasting time asking about bullshit conspiracies and Alex Jones and whatever, and actually show up to real hearings about how to regulate this nightmare? Cool. They weren’t before when social was the lifeblood of Trump.
Yes, let’s have an adult conversation about the nightmarish power of these platforms, which we in part have come to understand because they helped make Trump president and act as his conduit for comms every day. Let’s talk about social control and behavioral influence.
Read 4 tweets
16 Oct
Some updates from the covid townhall in my dad’s county in Idaho (which is like the one blue-ish county). I wonder how representative this is of other places that are less transparent and responsibly-led.

Current number of cases higher than in early months of serious spike
This is a resort area, so there’s great sensitivity to the “keep the economy open” idea, bc otherwise the whole area is toast

Emergency room lead says it’s bad enough to “only do essential errands, & if someone walks into where you are without a mask, leave. Leave immediately.”
The only hospital in the county is full. So are the neighboring ones. They don’t have options on airlifting people out because to where? No one knows.

Lots of questions on testing. There’s only one lab doing the processing in Idaho so it’s slow.
Read 10 tweets
16 Oct
Watching both townhalls

-refused to denounce QAnon
-says his RT of bin Laden conspiracy is 👍
-refuses to say he won’t claim elex rigged, spreads disinfo
-references Russian campaign agst Biden as important
-claims Obama spied on him despite failure to find any evidence
That’s minute 20

It’s a firehose of angry falsehoods, and I’m not going to post more

He’s angry and combative

Biden is engaging and gracious and informed
Ok sigh

POTUS says his $421mil foreign debt doesn’t matter. Like a mortgage, no biggie 🙄
Pivots to usual nonsense about IRS demons and his actual massive wealth that no one has ever seen

Honestly who believes any of this
Read 21 tweets
11 Oct
I love this story, @MrJonCryer!

Here’s my mom’s:

She had a beautiful but modest diamond wedding ring (the diamond was a gorgeous cut) because she & dad got married when they were grad students.

Dad always wanted to get her a new one later on, but she loved it, said no /1
35 yrs later, it was an awful winter in Ohio, feet of snow, ice everywhere, everything covered in road salt in that unnecessary Ohio way

She stopped to get gas in the blowing snow, looks down, realizes the diamond has just fallen out of its setting—onto the salt-strewn ground /2
It’s dark and wet, those terrible salmon-ish “low light pollution” light-post bulbs at the gas station, making everything on the ground look like dirty road salt.

She despairs, thinks she will never find the diamond. She looks around, nothing. Some other ladies help. Nothing. /3
Read 5 tweets

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