Tuesday, 18 December 2018

Russia weaponises humour, claims BBC

Olga Robinson, BBC's Senior Journalist Disinformation (yes that is her title), reports that the Kremlin has a new tool in its disinformation tool kit: laughter. The dastardly mastermind, Putin, is exploiting mockery and ridicule as weapons in the information war. Instead of taking seriously western allegations of his malign activities and fessing up to his obvious wrong-doing, he, and his army of trolls and bots, are laughing!

Theresa May told parliament and the world that it was highly likely that Russia had poisoned Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia. The pesky Russians outrageously turned the phrase "highly likely" into a joke, mockingly prefacing every evidence free accusation against Russia with the phrase. Robinson quotes from a Russian Embassy (United Kingdom) tweet to illustrate this mockery. "In the absence of evidence, we definitely need Poirot in Salisbury." For her, and the BBC, such a mocking response to the British evidence free narrative is simply not cricket. How dare the Russians laugh at risible assertions?

Of course Robinson provides expert opinion to support her argument that mockery is Russian state disinformation. Enter Roman Dobrokhotov, who has a website, so he must know what he is talking about. She cites his opinion that such Russian mockery is designed to lower the debate (from the very high standards routinely employed by the corporate media and their anonymous sources presumably). The purpose he explains is to "sow doubt" - apparently, if anyone doubts the evidence free allegations against Russia, it must be because Russian propagandists have lowered the debate, creating doubt and scepticism - obviously it couldn't be because the allegations lack evidence, are internally inconsistent or have even been disproved. No, it has to be the result of Putin's masterly propaganda. After all, with minuscule number of social media ads Putin's trolls managed to persuade millions of Americans to not vote for Hilary Clinton, who only spent $1.2 billion on her election campaign and merely had the support of over ninety percent of the mass media. Obviously, such a master of propaganda could easily use laughter to create doubt and dissension, to undermine the people's faith and trust in their selfless leaders, who are only motivated by a desire to improve the lives of the ignorant, unwashed masses, who weirdly keep voting the wrong way - no matter how many times things are explained to them.

And they wonder why people laugh at their narratives.

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