Dr. AnnaMaria Bliven Examines the Age of Fake News – HOMEFRONT BATTLEFIELD: Defending Against Deception


Dr. AnnaMaria Bliven

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LOS ANGELES, CA, UNITED STATES, August 8, 2023/EINPresswire.com/ — Deception is a battle scheme that has been used historically to mislead the enemy. This scheme was used by George Washington (https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2018/11/george-washington-was-master-deception/576565/), in WW2 (https://www.nationalww2museum.org/visit/exhibits/traveling-exhibits/ghost-army-combat-con-artists-world-war-ii), and in the “Chinese Way of War (https://www.usni.org/magazines/proceedings/2017/february/deception-chinese-way-war).

According to an article written November 17, 2011, by Richard Baker, U.S. Army Military Historian titled: The Lost and Found Art of Deception, the following statement summarizes the use of this scheme for battlefield warfare:

Efforts to deceive, persuade, confuse, and befuddle one’s opponents have been practiced by military leaders throughout the ages. Examples range from the Greeks’ Trojan horse to the “Hail Mary” ploy of the Coalition forces in Operation Desert Storm. Sun Tzu best expressed the martial role of deception in saying “All warfare is based on deception.” Deceptions can involve false maneuvers, feigned attacks, misleading orders of battle, and creation of deceiving indications of strength or weakness in attempts to influence an enemy’s actions. Deception can strengthen an offensive or weaken an enemy’s defense.

Fighting for survival on the home front battlefield today, people are bombarded and saturated with news and announcements designed to mislead, misguide, misdirect, and mistake them to draw conclusions which are followed by emotions and actions that inevitably get us into trouble. In the days and times in which people are living and fighting to survive, the arsenal by which people are attacked is mostly social media. Social media is what the masses are paying attention to and relying on to know what is going on in the world, The perpetrators of fake news and announcements know this and are exploiting this knowing that humans will react accordingly.

Look at what took place on social media during the 2016 elections. An article in the Journal of Economic Perspectives, written by Hunt Allcott, and Matthew Gentzkow, titled: Social Media and Fake News in the 2016 Election, reported “the average American adult saw on the order of one or perhaps several fake new stories in the months around the election, with just over half of those who recalled seeing them believing in them.” The outcomes of believing the fake news stories were anger, rage, and in some cases, violence. There were verbal and physical assaults and stories of families and friendships breaking apart due to the ideological differences being more pronounced as arguments ensued with “rapid fire” from false media continuing to “turn up the heat.”

The battle rages on for the peoples attention and emotions believes Dr. AnnaMaria Bliven. Only this time, the perpetrators have Generative Artificial Intelligence (GAI) to assist them. Very recently there have been articles written about how GAI was used to recreate moments in history, only this time the recreated moments were deliberately made to be false. An example of this is a newly recreated John F. Kennedy speech that looks very real, like he made this speech to us today (https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/retropolis/wp/2018/05/10/is-technology-bringing-history-to-life-or-distorting-it/). If these are the technical advances that can recreate and distort history, just think of how it is being used to distort the truth and deceive the masses today. This deception is what people must be aware of and fight against.

See this article written by Chris Meserole, “How Misinformation Spreads on Social Media – And what to Do About It.” https://www.brookings.edu/blog/order-from-chaos/2018/05/09/how-misinformation-spreads-on-social-media-and-what-to-do-about-it/. Chris describes the reporting of an eyewitness story of an attack on citizens in a city with one news posting as real and the other news posting of the same instance as fake news. As you might have guessed, the fake news story was reposted, commented on, and went viral within minutes while the real news story was all but ignored. In the first posting, it was a fake news story with the mention of a demographic involving a Middle Eastern who was angry. In the second [real] news story of the same incident, the demographic of the attacker was reported to be “white” and angry. The basis for the virality of the fake news story is biases.

Having biases gets people into trouble and makes them weak in the defense against deception. Fabulous Traveler (https://www.thefabulous.co/s/Ybv3ztdrX3) writer, Amber, tells us about Charles Munger, a close friend and partner to Warren Buffet. Charles learned of Mr. Buffet’s system for decision-making and that involved living without biases. In fact, Charles referred to them as “mental biases that get us into trouble and turn our brains into mush.” This article exhorts us to “Catch our biases before they take hold.” According to this article, there are five big biases by which people take hold of: (1) Loving/Hating Bias, (2) Contrast Bias, (3) Authority Bias, (4) Social Proof Bias, (5) Loss Bias. These biases can cause us to make irrational decisions “in the heat of the moment.” (Sounds familiar?)

The heat is raging in the battle to capture our thoughts, beliefs, biases, and emotions with GAI FAKE videos, news bulletins, news stories, announcements, pictures, speeches, interviews, songs, etc. This is being done through broadcasting mediums including television broadcast news, radio, and prolifically, social media. As you have learned in this article, people can successfully win this battle and be the victors and not the victims. To win this battle it’s going to take all us fighting against the perpetrators and not fighting against each other. People must be on our guard to not react irrationally to what bombards us in the media.

Abraham Lincoln warned us with the phrase “a house divided against itself cannot stand” (https://www.nps.gov/liho/learn/historyculture/housedivided.htm). Division is the ultimate goal of the perpetrators of deception. Dividing the masses and causing polarization is what the enemy is all about in the home front battlefield. People must stand against this deception and not allow it to defeat our goals to survive, thrive, and flourish presently and in the future. People must band together and when tempted to spread news and announcements making them go viral, check to be sure they are real and not fake. Check to be sure you are not falling prey to any of the five big biases. Make sure that reactions to what people see, hear, and read are measured, tempered, and civil. People must stand together, because, “divided we fall,” and people fall prey to the perpetrators’ attack, making it so that they win, and others lose. This is war and society faces this battle on our home front battlefield every second of every minute, every minute of every hour. Stand strong, and let’s stand strong together.

Amanda Kent
Boundless Media USA
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