Peter Adamis 18 July 2014. In the age of technology, controlling the media and online social networks comes at a price to industry and to the consumer. For some strange reasons we are attracted to and gravitate towards human suffering. We want to know what is happening, to feel but not to be personally touched by the horrors that we watch and read on a daily basis. We all want to be informed, to be fed information that will help us create our own mind up and in most cases form an opinion based on what we hear, read and observe. Unfortunately we are fed only what those who control the information want us to see, hear and read in order to cultivate and influence public opinion to gain a moral, economic and global support. A copy of the complete article may be downloaded by clicking on: PROPOGANDA OR MERELY REPORTING THE NEWS.
The sad effects of such force fed online media is that it captures the hearts and minds of the gullible, the ill informed, the less experienced and the youth of today. Since the Syrian war began, the world has been fed daily images of atrocities on both sides of the civil war in Syria knowing full well that it is a proxy war between the super powers. Renewed interest in the Middle East has been since the ISIL (ISIL) terrorists have sprung unexpectedly on the our screen and we like fools clamoured to be fed more and more of the atrocities carried out by these new terrorist on the block. Like sheep we follow the stories and monitor the news on online media, newspapers (soon to belong to a bygone era), Social media such as Facebook, Twitter, Tumbler and a host o other like minded media outlets.
The recent hostilities between Hamas and the Israelis has caused the world to return back to the IPods, mobile phones, lap tops, personal computers and television sets to seek out the latest news. This in some cases has caused rifts between family members, ended long time friendships, created disharmony in our communities and overall creating an environment of an overdosed information population of human junkies waiting for their next online fix. Although we would all like to believe that the internet is free without any bias and that what we read see and hear is fact. Unfortunately that is not the case as technology has reached a pint where “EVERYTHING” can be mimicked and “EVERYTHING” can appear to be normal when the facts when they finally surface state otherwise.
The most gullible, intelligent and yet the less experinced of life are the restless intelligent, professional youth of today who are ready to believe that what they are being fed is in fact “the truth and nothing but the truth so help me God”. I write this with some concern as my experience on social media and long time blogger have found that it is easy to influence and capture the hearts and minds of those willing to believe the impossible and even to believe images and articles that appear believable because of their alleged eye witness account or because of their academic qualifications. Furthermore what is sad is that criminal groups have also recognised this and have taken to the airwaves to fleece the uninitiated and less experienced users of the internet, costing the public and nations billions of dollars in lost revenue and saving.
One case example was where I went to great pains to demonstrate to another online blogger that what they were being fed was based on false information and that images and videos could be faked. The online exchange in a number of instances became rather hostile and only be remaining cool and without reverting to profanities did logic and wisdom finally step in to diffuse the situation. This demonstrated to me that if you are to remain online and use social media is to be yourself, be sincere, be honest and be prepared to say that you don’t know the answer.
Don’t rely solely on social media programs or academic articles unless they have been proven to be without prejudice and based on facts. In fact those who create face book groups should seriously consider the implementation of a “Code of Conduct” for the Groups and periodically refer to it as a guide when recalcitrant members step out of line. This in my view has been self regulated and proven to be a very effective means of self censorship and of educational value.
In this age of technology, there is no platform, no online justice, no means of identifying a false image, article, video or audio unless an individual is prepared to outlay thousands of dollars to identify the real from the unreal. It all gets back to our own experiences of life, our morals, ethics and the values instilled in us by previous generations that had no knowledge or little knowledge of the information technology. It is easy therefore to side track and put aside those positive paradigms of the past on the basis that the previous generation has no idea and yet those same paradigms are more important now than they have ever been.
Having said the above, what is the solution one may well ask. Do we go along on our merry way learning by our mistakes and suffering the consequences of those mistakes or do we allow government agencies to filter online information to safeguard us against nefarious characters and the evils of this world. Is the Big Brother approach the best way of remaining safe and encroaching on our privacy? I think not. believe that it is the responsibility of governments to safe guard the interests of its people and the best method of doing so is by distributing relevant information and/or programmes to the general public in order to best arm themselves against criminal and information that is not in the best interests of its people and the nation.
The article below is but one of many examples that nations are using to influence the hearts and minds of the general public. In this case both nations are involved in a life and death struggle to gain the sympathy and the support in their endeavour to complete their missions and objectives. This particular conflict has been going on for so long that the public is sick and tired of the inability of both sides to come to an equitable understanding and bring about a peace by the recognition of both having the right to live in accordance with their beliefs.
If recognising Israel as a nation by the Arab countries is required it would then naturally follow that the Palestinians have a right to nationhood and not a State within a nation. Until that happens, we the general public will be subjected to more online information wars and we like online information junkies will be glued to our monitors and/or screens.
The Voice from the Pavement – Peter Adamis is a Journalist/Commentator and writer. He is a retired Australian military serviceman and an Industry organisational & Occupational (OHS) & Training Consultant whose interests are within the parameters of domestic and international political spectrum. He is an avid blogger and contributes to domestic and international community news media outlets as well as to local and Ethnic News. He holds a Bachelor of Adult Learning & Development (Monash), Grad Dip Occupational Health & Safety, (Monash), Dip. Training & Assessment, Dip Public Administration, and Dip Frontline Management. Contact via Email: [email protected] or via Mobile: 0409965538