Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Narrative Warfare: Message Control Includes Silencing Others

Brietbart had a timely column on the removal of comments sections yesterday. The big reason is that these sections allow readers to call the media outlet out on its bullshit, bullshit often done to wage (you got it) Narrative Warfare. Vox Day also posted about this today. Respectively, they had rather poignant statements on the matter:

From the Breitbart article by Allum Bokhari:
It’s no accident that so many of the loudest voices against online comments sections are also political zealots. Jessica Valenti, Arthur Chu, Tauriq Moosa, Anita Sarkeesian: all have come out against comment sections. This isn’t an accident, of course. Psychologists have long been aware that political extremists have the most negative reactions to contrary information. Combine that with a disdain for free speech, a core cultural authoritarian value, and you get a frantic rush to remove the opinions of ordinary people.

But there are also more sinister, elitist motivations. A study conducted by The Washington Post and USA Today found that readers who viewed articles with comments sections were more likely to develop a negative opinion of the news media. Curiously, this effect was seen even when commenters praised the article in question. In other words, when the opinions of journalists and the opinions or ordinary members of the public are placed close together, it leads readers to question the competence of the mainstream media. What horror!

Another study found that reading assertive, aggressive comments could actually sway the opinions of readers. “Don’t read the comments,” warned Ars Technica, “they can make you mistrust real experts.”

It’s a piece of advice that captures the war on comments sections perfectly. Having initially cheered on the death of the “gatekeepers of information,” cultural elites are now scrambling to reinstall those barriers. Too late, they have discovered that people don’t always agree with them – and now they want to push that disagreement into the wilderness of the internet.

And Vox Day's post:
As most of you are aware, I am very pro-comments and pro-talking back. And while I have had to go to a higher level of moderation of late due to an unfortunate incident or two, it's always been my intention to return to unregistered commenting. Which I am doing so now.

However, I would strongly recommend continuing to comment with a registered name as any attempts to abuse the more open system will be met with an immediate response, which will include, but is not limited to, turning the registration requirement on for extended periods of time without warning. This is the last time that I will announce the status; in the future it will be simply turned on, or off, as the moderators and I see fit.

Free speech is important. So is complete anonymity. Respect and support that by refraining from trolling, from "just having fun", from "making a point", from "playing a role", and just as importantly, from responding to the occasional troll.

Notice the contrast? The folks waging Narrative Warfare are attempting silence those who would contradict the Narrative because of deleterious effects upon the Narrative done via talking back. You see the same thing with framing such talk-back as "harassment" while those who actually do it (proving Vox's Third Law of SJWs: SJWs Always Project) libel and slander those talking back and calling out their bullshit. All of it is meant to silence the Other--the targets of the Narrative--and that, if you know your history, should chill you to the bone.

It leads to genocide.

Most people are averse to killing unless they or theirs is immediately and directly threatened with death or similar violence. Getting them to kill on command takes a hell of a lot of mind-fucking, something that everyone familiar with the military and the Basic Training regime has a first-hand account of experiencing. Yes, even if there is long-standing animosity it still takes significant mind-fucking to turn that into a kill command. This is the role of propaganda, to lie--to gaslight--until the targeted population is conditioned to act as their masters desire.

The win condition for a population targeted by Narrative Warfare is to be conquered or destroyed, and the most competent practitioners always devise their campaigns so that either result is wholly acceptable. Getting the word out now prevents ganking later, which is why silencing those a Narrative Warfare campaign designates as Other is always a tell that (a) such a campaign exists and (b) it's a lead-up to the enslavement or extermination of the targeted population.

Narrative Warfare is still warfare. Just because you're not being shot at now doesn't mean you're not intended as a bullet magnet.

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