Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Hypermodern Disinformation

Albert Frank Headshot by Albert Frank

We know that the information given to us by the media is dangerous: Any fact can be presented in several ways, in several contexts, and can lead the spectator to different, and sometimes opposite, conclusions.

As an example, pictures of a fire, according to how the pictures are taken, the comments, the context, can lead one to think it’s just a little fire or it’s a real disaster.

Up to a few years ago, the spectator still had the possibility of saying to himself, " I’ll record these images, later I’ll look very carefully at them, and I’ll make an interpretation as near as possible to the reality,… "

Now, a big step (if we can say that) has been taken place: We all know that we have the technical capabilities - it’s possible and easy for a lot of people - to change some parts of a video, or even to fully create one, with anything on it. If it is well done, only specialists would maybe be able to realize the manipulation that has been done (for instance change one person's head with another).

I will only consider the following websites (I have read details there): Dailymotion and Youtube : If anyone accepts the conditions of utilisation (we know them: no incitation to hate, no racism, nothing pedophilic,…), anybody can send them a video, for free…and anyone can see them, also for free..

So, more and more often, we can see/hear affirmations (on any subject), together with " proofs," like this: "Look at the following video," with a reference to a video from one of the two above web sites. A big majority of spectators have no special reaction, they just say, "Here we see the facts, let’s try to understand them properly."

An example that I have seen recently (I am absolutely not into politics): A video "showing" the French President apparently a little drunk after a meeting with the Russian President (True? False? It does not matter. The video is there.)

I consider this new total possible disinformation (and the acceptance of it by most of the people) as a real horror.

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