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What one tweet can teach us about “Fake News”

Kit Knightly

Three days ago this tweet turned up on OffG’s timeline:

At the time I just laughed it off. It’s an absurd little piece of propaganda, but hardly the most egregious.

But, for some reason, it stuck in my head and started bothering me. After 48 hours or so I realized what about it was bothering me, and that it is actually an interesting microcosmic case study on what the era of “fake news” really means.

Everything about this tweet is fake. Everything.

The letter itself is obviously fake. The absurd zenith of the “children being precociously political” meme that became a running joke years ago.

Even if “Charlotte” exists, those aren’t her words, just a rough regurgitation of her parents’ brainwashing. And Charlotte almost certainly doesn’t exist.

There’s no reason to even suppose any physical letter exists at all and it isn’t just a photoshopped CG image. It easily could be.

The tweet itself is also fake – or at least pretend – because there’s no way President Biden operates his own social media accounts. I honestly doubt he’s even mentally capable of doing so. Rather, as Five Times August points out in another tweet, the Whitehouse employs a few “platform managers” and “social media directors”.

These are people who pretend to be Joe Biden online:

Further, the replies and reactions are largely not real. Many are bot accounts or employees of the US equivalent of the 77th Brigade. According to Twitter’s own figures around 50% of Biden’s followers are fake.

And finally, the gender pay gap does not exist. It is simply not the case that men earn more than women for the same job – that is literally illegal, and has been for nearly 60 years.

Rather the “gender pay gap” is defined as:

the difference in the average earnings of male and female employees either in a particular organisation, or the average for the whole country.

To use the most common example an airline might have a “gender pay gap”, but only because the mostly-male pilots are paid more than the mostly-female cabin crew.

Female and male pilots are paid the same. Female and male cabin crew are paid the same. The difference in average by gender is purely down to the choice of career.

In short, “the gender pay gap” is statistical nonsense invented through torturing numbers, and deployed solely so fake “progressive” politicians can pretend to be outraged about “inequality” without ever coming close to an actual threat to the establishment.

So, to sum up, here is the reality of “Biden’s” tweet:

  • It was written by someone pretending to be someone they’re not;
  • In response to a made-up letter;
  • For an audience of fake people;
  • About a problem that does not exist.

It is entirely unreal. The apotheosis of Karl Rove’s “created reality”.

And this is true of a lot of media narratives – maybe even the majority of them. Most especially on the internet.

The object lesson to take away from all this: Adjust your worldview. Never accept the underlying assumptions with which you’re presented.

Anything and everything could be false, and you lose nothing by asking questions or requiring proof.

That level of cynicism – or, more accurately, skepticism – is not only justified but required in order to maintain your sanity in a world that’s gone crazy and isn’t in any hurry to go back to normal.

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