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Disinformation, fake news
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Ross: It’s never been easier to spread disinformation

Spreading lies across the globe has never been easier. (Getty Images)

We are now being told that Russia isn’t just limiting its disinformation to politics, or to stories scaring us about the measles vaccine.

Ross: It’s up to us to battle social media manipulation

According to the New York Times, RT, the English language Russian TV network, has been spreading disinformation about 5G antennas.

Those are the antennas which will soon start beaming unlimited media, including instantly-available full-length hi-def movies, to our smart phones.

The stories claim the 5G waves can jiggle the innards of human cells and lead to blindness and tinnitus. As evidence, they link to a detailed letter from a researcher at Washington State University who appears to be real. Naturally, we are trying to track him down.

In any case, the Times says these stories are bogus, and we mustn’t pay attention, so here I am not paying attention.

But this is the problem with our connected world. Media transmissions themselves may not be scrambling our brains, but some of the content they carry certainly is.

Don’t like YouTube’s hate speech? Don’t watch it

Back in the days of the un-connected world, for Russia to bombard me with propaganda, a newsboy from the Kremlin would have to load up his newspapers, stow away on a freighter with his bike, pedal to my neighborhood, and toss a copy of Pravda on my porch. Which almost never happened.

Now Putin just presses a button and we’re terrified of our phones, our vaccines, our politicians, and our Twitter feed.

Listen to the Seattle’s Morning News weekday mornings from 5-9 a.m. on KIRO Radio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

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