Day 544 – Misinfo, disinfo

The pandemic has brought with it an equally* horrific wave of misinformation on social media. If there is one plus side to all this, it’s that it’s become more clear who is spreading the misinformation and why they are doing it. Forewarned is forearmed, as they say, and so you can now identify these people more often and challenge, ignore, pity or ridicule them as you so desire.

The first sort are undoubtedly the most dangerous. They are intelligent enough to know what they are sharing is wrong, but they do it because it suits their agenda and it gives them a sense of power. More often then not, these will be wealthy, white, Christian women in America (or their SA wannabe counterparts) or they will be middle-aged men who have a podcast or radio show on some unknown mid-West radio station like KayEnOhBee or some such. Or maybe they’re a writer for a website with a name like “Freedom News” or “Rebel Dispatch” (they always are).
They are being nefarious in spreading their bullshit, because they know it’s not incorrect and morally wrong, but they do it anyway.

Then there are the ones that don’t analyse stuff, because it suits their chosen narrative. Ivermectin stats, Covid deaths, Vaccine side-effects. They see it being posted by their pseudo-celebrity heroes and they just hit SHARE. If they had the inclination to delve a little deeper and get past their biases, they might understand that it wasn’t actually true, but they don’t want to be bothered with that much effort when there’s a Retweet button to be clicked right there. Just lazy.

And then there are the lowly third group. So utterly thick that you could put them together and make one long plank. They are so deeply unintelligent, so completely down the rabbit hole and so far up the arses of the first lot that they don’t have a clue what’s real and what’s not anymore. They think that the sky is making them sick and that the earth is flat. Easily manipulated and radicalised, they are the foot soldiers of the movement, undyingly paranoid and loyal to causes like ‘5G killed my poodle’ or ‘Space may be the final frontier but it’s made in a Hollywood basement’.

And the stuff they are posting is so easily disprovable. Look at this, shared just two days ago:

Yeah. That looks pretty bad, until you take into account a couple of things. Like the death rate from Covid-19 in the Western Cape, which has been higher than that worldwide figure just about every day for the past couple of months.

Aaand, it’s disproven. That really wasn’t so hard, was it?

But how can that be? Is the figure above incorrect? No. The figure above is from (as you can see in the bottom corner) 8th March 2020. Before the pandemic really got started. You can’t apply that to now. Things change. That’s like making a calculation of how many people have died from planes crashing into buildings in New York, but choosing to look at it on September 10th 2001.

World War 2 wasn’t so bad: only 68 people were killed… (in the first two days).

Because Covid-19 comes in waves and hits various countries at various times, the daily death rate also varies, but the daily average since March 2020 is well in excess of that TB figure at the top of the chart.

[Can we agree to just ignore the outlier?]

And while I’d certainly rather that it didn’t, I can see how an extra 10,000 deaths each day might affect the world economy.

And the guy who shared the table about ‘crashing the world’s economy’?
I would have popped him in the middle lot I described above, but then to make what is basically a hundred-fold mistake on the widely publicised death statistics seems more than lazy, it seems criminally stupid or entirely deliberate.
So… you decide.

* not really