Propaganda and Disinformation

The world appears to be in a state of flux. Just when we are seeing the end of a two-year pandemic, now comes a new war and fears of an escalation into a world war. This has led to many being worried, scared, and sadly, misinformed. This is on both sides and points to the root of the problems we see online today. The internet should not be a place where there is only propaganda and disinformation, but instead, should always be open to provide connectivity and an ability for all sides to be heard.

While many in the Solcial community have been asking for us to discuss the Russia/Ukraine war, Solcial is an open platform, allowing anyone to express their opinion (however silly they may sound) therefore Solcial will remain neutral — a bit like Wikipedia.

But the people behind Solcial have opinions, and in times of conflicts like we are experiencing now, it's difficult to remain silent.

Solcial helps create a new way for people to interact online. Give an opportunity for voices to not just disagree, but to discuss issues and potentially see each other’s side (which btw is the most difficult, for anyone). We do not want the current state of the internet where one side silences the other.

People following us are already familiar with the fact that the kingmakers of today's world are the social media algorithms — because whoever controls the narrative, controls people's minds.

We’ve seen examples of false stories on both sides of the Russia/Ukraine crisis, with propaganda being distributed to support existing narratives. Pieces on content like this go viral on Twitter and TikTok with many sharing them amongst their friend groups. Sadly, days later we hear the truth about various stories not being fully correct or exaggerated, but given the viral growth, the narrative is already out there.

This problem is only propagated by the algorithms that promote such pieces of content, and the lack of user feedback to inform individuals if something might not be as it seems. However, current social networks are only part of the problem.

What happens when even social networks themselves are being censored and people are banned from using them?

We all know that China and Iran, which tightly control the internet and censor foreign websites, have now become almost completely separate from the Internet over the years, with few overlapping services and little direct communication.

It is now Russia's turn to follow and in the same direction starts to completely censor foreign social networks:

Russia shuts itself off from the world’s internet
The country blocks Facebook and limits other tech platforms in an attempt to insulate its citizens from Western media during its invasion of Ukraine.

We also see a different side of the same coin when looking at calls from politicians in the west for the de-platforming of networks that support Russia like the network Russia Today. The issue here is not the information being shared, but the limitation of different opinions and the little trust we give to people to hear different opinions and make decisions for themselves.

Most people would agree that the moment your country is adding censorship (i.e. cutting access to the broader internet, imprisoning journalists, or banning people's accounts on Twitter or youtube), then you should have far less trust in your government — in fact, you should have no trust at all.

In times of uncertainty, where disinformation is the norm and fake news is everywhere, the guiding rule-of-thumb is if your government is censoring free speech, then you shouldn't trust your government.

Free speech provides individuals with the ability to decide what they think, and make a decision for themselves. Free-thinking individuals shouldn't be tricked or forced to take one side over another.

By removing the ability for dissenting voices to be heard, governments are creating an environment where only one side can share information, and there is no ability for someone to disagree with that side. If almost everyone in a given country can only gain access to one set of thoughts, then it should be no surprise when they all have the same conclusion on an issue. If the governments share one set of opinions, social media networks share only one set of opinions, and all voices who question the status quo are silenced, then maybe the citizens of a given nation should start to question what they are being told.

Propaganda is nothing new. We experience propaganda in almost everything we do. Propaganda is also powerful. It can be used to help end wars, or start them. The internet should be a place where propaganda can be challenged, questioned, or supported. We should not allow the internet to become a place where only one side hears one set of opinions depending on the users’ geographic location.

Therefore, if you're not sure whether you should trust what your government or state media channels say, check these lists:

2020 World Press Freedom Index | Reporters Without Borders
Reporters Without Borders (RSF) presents the 2020 World Press Freedom Index.

Internet censorship and surveillance by country - Wikipedia

If your country is ranked poorly, then be aware that you probably don't have access to unbiased information before forming an opinion about any topic. Try to access information from news outlet where journalists are free to report and do they jobs without governmental interference.

Solcial is building to help provide a neutral voice where all sides are allowed to speak freely. Imagine if instead of resulting to name-calling, we as a society could instead listen to those who might not share our views. Imagine if on our social networks we weren’t forced to hear only one set of opinions, but instead had an ability to access all sides. Maybe free speech is exactly what the world needs at this moment. When we have freedom of speech we have the ability to support the truth and decry the lies. We are not forced into hearing propaganda from our governments and can share information without fear of persecution. This is the future Solcial hopes to build. For us at Solcial, this is what we see when we envision the Solcial Revolution.

Stop the propaganda, stop the censorship, support free-thinking individuals. Join the Solcial Revolution.

About Solcial

Solcial is a permissionless social network that gives users the power of web3 by allowing people to interact with each other without fearing censorship, and allowing content creators to be rewarded fairly at market value.

Get in Touch

Email: [email protected]

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