Global Gaslighting

Sometimes it is amazing to let the scales fall from your eyes. To venture into the depths of the internet and see what other people are seeing.

Bad news everybody, I think we may be completely screwed. I wish more than anything in the world that we aren’t, today I went down the mother fudging rabbit hole.

It started in a political group on Facebook; as all these things surely do.

I can’t even remember what the thread was about originally. It descended into cries that if we don’t stop immigration Muslims will destroy our culture. Then two people came onto the thread, they had Arabic names and their response to the Islamophobic nonsense was to wind them up more. They said some horrific things. I don’t know if they were trolls who thought it was funny, genuine fundamentalists sowing division, normal people baited by the sheer amount of hate on the page to take the piss, or someone else entirely with a vested interest in making us hate each other.

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Gods be good, sometimes I think the latest season of South Park got it right, and we’re all just being trolled into division, fear and hatred. 4Chan rules the world. Maybe.

I got so angry I rage quit the group. The presence of these mother fudgers was undermining every argument that I made in defence of fellow human beings who come from a Muslim background. My GP isn’t trying to trick me into thinking she is a good person, only to reveal she is a secret infiltrator here in the name of Daesh. What a twist!

My colleagues, my neighbours, my Uber drivers, the guy who owns the corner shop and greets me with a smile and a joke whenever I go in.

These people aren’t untrustworthy.

And those reprobate trolls on social media, either pretending to be Muslim or actually Muslim, are undermining every defence I make of people I enjoy sharing my society with.

The most interesting thing; the only people calling these guys out on their BS were Trump supporters and leave voters.

They weren’t fundamentalist Christians on the hard right. Some of them identified themselves as atheists. These are the people we need to reach, but I’m afraid that we are all being sold an agenda of hate and we have bought it hook, line and sinker. These people were manipulated into having a go at Muslims, reinforcing their belief that Muslims pose a very serious threat. Reinforcing my biases. If I was suffering from severe cognitive dissonance I may have labelled these people racist, and confirmed that I was a “loony” lefty, brainwashed not to see the threat and shutting down their legitimate fear. I believe this chain reaction was the entire purpose of these comments.

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I rage quit the group and reported it for hate speech. When Facebook asked me what type of hate speech I was reporting it for there wasn’t an option stating “for hate speech directed at everyone.” That is what I saw, hate speech directed at every human being on the planet. When we use social media as a platform to solely lead people down a path of hatred it is damaging to us all.

I wish I had taken screen shots before I rage quit. But I am not going back to be baited with inflammatory memes, and to frustrate the situation with my own inflammatory memes.

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After leaving I found another group that promised posts that incited hatred would be removed by admins.

The post at the top of the group feed was a link to this article.

Please read it fully. I can wait…

***

[Disclaimer about the group, now I have dived in there, it is a bastion of debate, of people playing the role of devil’s advocate properly, to generate discussion, and to help people stop responding with negativity to their triggers.]

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There isn’t much for me to say really, the article speaks for itself.

Here is another link to the “manifesto” of the website that published the above article.

Are you starting to see my train of thought?

Promote the need to use violent force against everyone we label as “left-wing” and protect the identity of the speaker behind a pseudonym. Protect the legitimacy of allowing this article to be published under the name of free speech. Free speech is sacrosanct.

My favourite part of the manifesto:

“we believe not only that you should be comfortable with anonymous speech in such an environment, but that you should be suspicious of any speech that isn’t.”

In the name of objectivity and fact checking, dressed up as a legitimate independent news source, they are telling people to only trust things that come from an unknown speaker.

There is a place for anonymity for sure, but unless the people running this site are completely ideologically misguided, they have an agenda.

Maybe the majority of voices on this website are actually just people too scared to have their voices heard publically.

So far we have trolls on social media, pretending to be real people, riling people up, and feeding a narrative of distrust and hate.

We have a news site that is hiding behind the shield of free speech to put into the world a diatribe that promotes gunning down any “left wingers” as soon as we push them too far.

Now I feel scared for my safety.

***

Next I am going to turn to the mainstream media in the UK. We have had the same narrative from certain media establishments for years. No links required. You know it verbatim.

“Blame Muslims”

“It’s Political Correctness Gone Mad!”

“Blame the Poor”

“It’s Political Correctness Gone Mad!”

“Blame Muslims”

“It’s Political Correctness Gone Mad!”

“Blame the Poor”

“It’s Political Correctness Gone Mad!”

“Blame Single Mothers”

“It’s Political Correctness Gone Mad!”

You know the drill.

The left hasn’t helped. We got dragged into identity politics and became so focussed on giving voices to minorities that we alienated majority voices.

Why in the hell did we scorn #not all men on social media?

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I scorned it because I already knew that not all men are misogynists. I thought it was obvious.

It’s obvious to the people who know me.

Was I baited to decry #not all men in an effort to alienate supporters of equality?

Why in the hell did we scorn #all lives matter?

I scorned it because I already knew that all lives matter. I thought it was obvious.

It’s obvious to the people who know me.

Why did we so harshly ridicule the fears of people we were supposed to be representing?

I ridiculed it because I thought my perspective was obvious.

“It’s Political Correctness Gone Mad!”

“Blame Immigrants”

“It’s Political Correctness Gone Mad!”

“Blame Immigrants”

“It’s Political Correctness Gone Mad!”

“Blame Immigrants”

“It’s Political Correctness Gone Mad!”

“Blame Immigrants”

I KNOW THE DRILL.

***

This next piece of evidence is the lynch-pin. Without it, my whole theory that we are being deliberately manipulated to hate each other falls apart.

Big data is being used to determine our personality profile, and this is being used for political campaigning. When I first read that article it seemed far-fetched so I Googled the CEO and I found this interview.

Again, I think it speaks for itself.

***

So we have manipulated everyone to hate each other, possibly intentionally, potentially by accident. Most likely a combination of the two.

While we were doing this we all became slaves to social media, which allowed people of questionable morals to collect and analyse large swathes of data about us.

All the while unintentionally creating a discourse that could be likened to a snake eating its own tale.

We had Gamer Gate.

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We had the Sad Puppies.

We have this: The Red Pill.

I don’t want to say much about this last one because I don’t have the energy to discuss the contents of this particular post. I just want to know who the people behind this thread are. Not so I can pillory them publicly, but so I can understand what lived experiences this stuff is coming from; if it is written with any sincerity at all.

I used to write The Red Pill off as not worthy of my time or attention. Now we have pussy grabbing advocate Donald Trump in a position of immense power.

Donald Trump and his administration have been able to get away with conflating outright lies with bias. We have reached the point where his supporters see those who criticise him as the mysterious “elite.”

When The New York Times and the BBC, for all their foibles, are written off as propaganda and lies, we have a serious problem.

***

Every time I try to call out someone’s bigotry. Or even just critically analyse art through a lens of social justice I get told I am a “snowflake.”

I get told that by voicing my criticism of someone’s speech, I am shutting down their right to free speech.

Every time I speak out for someone who doesn’t have it as good as me I am virtue signalling.

***

Next, during a very delicate time, we go and protest an appearance by Milo Yiannopoulos at a university; it turns into a riot. Supporters of Milo were pepper sprayed.  Removing any doubt that the “left” aren’t dangerous.

These people were not acting in my name, but their actions can now be used to justify hatred of people like me. Just like the actions of the Rotherham sex abuse ring can be used to justify hatred of Muslims.

It also got Milo a lot of media publicity.

The tragedy here; the people who think I am dangerous are as scared of me as I am of them. I’d like to think most of us don’t have anything to fear from each other. My interactions in the real world don’t align with the kind of discourse I see on the internet. It’s hard to reconcile these two realities.

There is a lot of talk at the moment comparing what is currently happening in the world to dystopian literature. It’s not dystopian. It is Phillip K Dick 101.

I sound very paranoid.

“Gaslighting is a form of manipulation that seeks to sow seeds of doubt in a targeted individual or members of a group, hoping to make targets question their own memory, perception, and sanity. Using persistent denial, misdirection, contradiction, and lying, it attempts to destabilize the target and delegitimize the target’s belief.”

I got that from Wikipedia.

***

See how easy it is to take a small slice of the internet and find a narrative that not only reinforces your own biases but also leaves you shaking in your boots? The worst of this stuff comes from people hiding their true identity.

I’m not convinced I am gaslighted on purpose by that enigma known as the “elite.” Not yet anyway. Just like our lack of parliamentary sovereignty, it feels that way sometimes.

Final thoughts?

 “we believe not only that you should be comfortable with anonymous speech in such an environment, but that you should be suspicious of any speech that isn’t.”

#not all humans.

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