As President Donald Trump and Congress weigh e-cigarette bans amid an outbreak of deadly lung injuries, a fight has erupted over whether vaping supporters online are real people - or bots funded by an industry under attack.
The fight was sparked by a controversial report released two weeks ago by the Public Good Projects, a public health nonprofit. Its analysis - which looked at 1,288,378 tweets related to e-cigarettes or tobacco sent between Feb. 1 and June 1 - concluded that nearly 80% were likely generated by bots, or automated accounts, “posing as passionate pro-vaping individuals.” The findings have been called into question by experts skeptical about its methodology.
The bots report sparked panic among public health officials who are suspicious that the vaping industry, backed by Big Tobacco, is using shady marketing tactics to sway public opinion with misinformation about the dangers of nicotine. But it has also triggered furious backlash online from e-cigarette users concerned about losing access to potentially life-saving vapes. This group has flooded the #NotABot hashtag with conspiracy theories and political threats aimed at the Trump administration, which is grappling with a proposed ban on flavored e-cigs.
George Orwell is rolling in his grave and saying, “I warned you all. I told you precisely how they would do it. Did anyone listen? Did anyone read what I wrote?” They sure did George…the people doing it read you closely.
You might appreciate my 2006 “imaginary discussion thread” wherein the words of Adolf Hitler and George Orwell are aligned in a “conversation” (with notable relevance to current events surrounding gov agitprop).
I’ll read it later tonight. It’s coincidental as I was reading something yesterday, I think, about Orwell and an essay he wrote. In it he expounds on why people followed Hitler and the Nazis. I tried finding the article but only found reviews of it.
I read it and found it interesting. I’m not the most intelligent or well educated person around, but I have a bit of both. I’m finding that more and more I wish I were blissfully ignorant of most that goes on around me.
I’ve been reading Thomas Sowell recently and his work is appealing but disheartening at the same time. I just don’t encounter enough people who put much effort into thinking about the world and the information that bombards them. I’m not trained in the scientific method and I regret that at times. I do try at times to disprove my beliefs and theories, but I’m just as susceptible as most to all the tricks we play upon ourselves, such as bias confirmation. Maybe it’s just an age thing. When I look at my country, which I haven’t live in since 1997, I always feel sad and wonder where is it going.
I like this one.
“The greater our knowledge increases,
the greater our ignorance unfolds.”
Since it is all out in the open now I might as well come clean…
Probably for the same reason they follow crazy people today. The craziness has become completely normal.
If they had depicted the situation of today in a soapserie 50 years ago and told people that’s what’s going to happen in the future, they would have pissed themselves laughing, no fucking way!
I liked the blogspot. I’ve always thought that sports was the first step, my team is better than yours lets beat the crap out of each other, will lead to my country is better than yours lets have a war.
People are utterly indoctrinated, a lot more now than in Hitlers time. The majority of people sits in front of the idiot box and soaks up whatever comes out of it and I can’t talk to them anymore.
My own sister has gone quite mad. She’ll be on her hind legs about something different every time I talk to her and has no memory of it a week later.
It’s just a repetition of slogans.
The latest was that she thought the police needed more power.
When I asked her what power they were lacking to be able to do their job, she went blank.
I have stopped talking to her about anything other than chitchat because there is no point. I can talk my ass off and it’s just not going in, she will always end with repeating whatever it was she said at the start.
It’s eerily like 1984, albeit a lot more scary because GO hadn’t envisioned the technology they have today.
As a child of the late 1960s and Nixonian regime in the early 1970s, reading Orwell then, what has amazed me the most is how the “populace” could be conned into corporate/state surveillance and mind-control regimens that they PAY a lot of $$$ (for the privilege of being screwed). I still shake my head over this.
Not unlike in the early 1980s - when marketeers made it fashionable and extremely profitable to sell things such as clothing (and other sundry ego accouterments) prominently emblazoned with corporate logos (thus assuring free public advertising via “status symbols”). The “baby boomers” forgot their roots and invaded Iraq. The generation that came of age in the 1980s has associated corporate advertising technology “chic” with fashion for all of their formative lives. Paying out one’s own money - just to be “sold out” - is a now well established consumer ritual that fuels a “race to the cultural bottom” of expensive idiocy funding self-privacy invasion by nefarious entities. Today’s youth will not miss what they never had (privacy, or liberty). Chilling.