There are lies, damn lies, and statistics.”
It starts with peer pressure
There is no pressure like peer pressure.
”Everyone is doing it” is more than a young teen’s cry when trying to get by with wearing a too-short skirt or drinking or smoking weed at a party. It is the pressure we all feel.
Not only is everyone doing it, but those who don’t do it are a detriment to society and a threat to its general wellbeing. Think about the pandemic and the pressure to get the vaccine. Then you have to get the booster. You have to mask up. You have to keep your distance. I am not writing to endorse or deny the virtue of any of these measures, only to remind you of the pressure you feel to conform.
Even as I write this, I have tp consider whether to share my opinions and thoughts on some platforms, like LinkedIn. What are the dangers of sharing an opinion in a place where business is conducted?
Isn’t that the Devil in society?
“It’s ok to believe whatever you want. Just keep your mouth shut about it, especially if you happen to be a conservative, a Christian, or, God help us, both!
Turn up the heat with poll pressure
Have you ever seen two polls on roughly the same subject but each offers opposing results?
Most of the polls we encounter in our daily walk – e.g., TV ads, Internet polls, and political polls – are of the nonscientific variety. They can be easily manipulated and then weaponized to isolate or even crush those whom the pollsters oppose.
Britannica.com provides excellent insights on the subject:
Straw polls and other nonscientific surveys are based on indiscriminate collections of people’s opinions, while responsible surveys are based on scientific methods of sampling, data collection, and analysis. Yet, because they are so easy to obtain, data derived from nonscientific methods are often confused with responsible survey results. At best, they reflect only the views of those who choose to respond. But they are also used as tools of “spin” by those who wish to put forth a particular slant on popular opinion. Referred to as “voodoo polls” by some polling experts, they lack the statistical significance achieved through proven sampling methods, and they have grown increasingly prevalent. Given the number of online opinion polls that are nonscientific, communications theorist James Beniger observed that they are just as unrepresentative as call-in polls, pseudo-ballots, straw polls, and the “hands up” of a television studio audience. None of these approaches can properly measure or represent public opinion.
The limitations of self-selecting samples should be obvious, because the spread of views expressed will represent only those people who saw or heard the invitation to respond to the poll. Yet such polling practices remain popular. They are frequently the tools of radio and television programs and Web sites that wish to encourage listener or viewer participation. But instead of recognizing their entertainment value (many will agree that these polls ought to be fun) and treating them accordingly, reporters too often present the results as serious and objective measures of public opinion.
This encourages interested political parties, campaign managers, or pressure groups to manipulate the outcomes to their advantage. They may attempt to skew the results or administer their own competing straw polls with the goal of contradicting the outcomes of properly conducted representative surveys. To take full advantage of this manipulation, the straw poll sponsor often issues press releases calling attention to the results. To further lend the poll an appearance of credibility, its sponsor might also describe it as having been published by a reputable news organization, even if it appeared only in a paid advertisement.
This falls under the broad-brimmed hat “fake news”, so called by the redheaded president whose name must not be uttered. It is a bit of irony to be named Trump and then be trumped and thus defrocked and banned from the very social media platform you rode to the presidency.
This is the power of the poll, the pollster, and the platform.
Incinerate the opposition via platform control
You can unplug all you want, the power of Social Media has not waned nor will it. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Tik Tok…this is where the world gathers to cuss and discuss, bait and debate, decry, debunk, defraud, and denounce.
The Facebook rise of the “independent fact-checker” is another statement regarding the lengths to which those who have the power will wield it to control the conversation.
On their “transparency page, Meta (formerly Facebook) explains fact-checking like this:
Looks like they consider it their job to protect the feeble-minded user from being unduly influenced by facts that aren’t facts (aka, facts that don’t suit our narrative or opinions we don’t think anyone should ever have or share).
Notice they tout IFCN as the insurance against any and all nefarious or dubious dealings by the fact-checkers.
IFCN is not, however, an objective entity. They check bias against their bias and only allow the bias they are biased towards.
The following is from opindia.com:
The bias of IFCN
One of the ‘fact checkers’ they had accredited was Alt News, whose founders have a significant record of peddling fake news themselves. Their ideological orientation is well documented as well. Recently, they had justified Islamist Sharjeel Usmani celebrating the death of Rohit Sardana because of political differences.
Another IFCN-accredited ‘fact-checker’ Boom Live, too, has a track record of peddling fake news. Boom Live, in one such instance, peddled a conspiracy theory about Justice Muralidhar’s transfer days after it was transferred.
IFCN has denied accreditation to media houses in the past due to nothing more than disagreement over politics. OpIndia and Facthunt were denied accreditation citing reasons that undeniably bore the taint of bias. Our complete response can be read here.
Politifact is one of the first and foremost fact-checkers for Meta. Many conservative voices have decried this organization as having a liberal bias while every liberal organization I have read defends them as unbiased.
The following is from The Maciver Institute:
Don’t even get me started on Snopes. From 2016 to 2019, this radical Leftwing bunch served as a preeminent force in Facebook fact-checking. The merest effort on Facebook’s part to get the fact-checkers in check sent Snopes scurrying. They ended the relationship.
Control the conversation at all costs! Cancel, cancel, cancel!
During Joe Biden’s tenure as president, the economy has devolved into a depressing mess. It may not meet the criteria for an official Depression but don’t tell me you are not depressed every time you go to the gas pump or try to buy the simplest thing like baby formula. Don’t tell me your 401k hasn’t taken a bath. Of course, none of this is Biden’s fault, and you can still find plenty of people who voted for him. They haven’t gone underground or used an asterisk like, “Well, I am not in favor of the guy’s character, his apparent ties to China, or his downright meanness whenever he feels challenged, but I think he was the best choice for the country.”
No. There is no need to explain your support because no one – official or unofficial – is coming after you. You are not being throttled or bullied on Social Media. You are not being flagged by fact-checkers or suppressed by algorithms.
But…if you voted for Trump, you are a Trumper, dangerous, stupid, a blight. You must be canceled.
No matter how you vote or where you stand along the spectrum from ultra-conservative to far-leaning liberal, you have a voice until you don’t. You have a voice until fear mutes you.
Whatever the polls suggest, whichever way the winds of popular opinion blow, liberty is just an acquiescence away from oblivion. Surrender an inch and watch the voracious power brokers devour the mile.
I am not saying we need a revolution but I am saying we need the spirit of the American revolutionaries, the men and women who were ready to risk everything for the one thing they held dearest, their liberty. Like Patrick Henry, for instance, who boldly cried…
Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!
Stop playing Family Feud with your life. You are not Steve Harvey. Don’t try to find out what the survey says before you know what you believe.
Right is right if nobody does it and wrong is wrong even if everyone does it. Be a poll vaulter (yeah, another play on words; no need to be pedantic or anything). There may not be a soft landing awaiting, but jump that hurdle anyway.
Freedom demands it.