Brace yourself for campaign worthy of Orwell’s 1984

McKay Coppings, The Atlantic, March 2020, writes that the Trump campaign intends to deal a death blow to fact-based journalism in the 2020 election. During the impeachment hearings, the Trump camp effectively flooded the social media with clips and videos that recast damning testimony into exoneration. Rather than shut down the opposition, autocrats are using the social media to drown out dissent. “Every presidential campaign sees its share of spin and misdirection,” writes Coppings, “but this year’s contest promises to be different. In conversations with political strategists and other experts, a dystopian picture of the general election comes into view—one shaped by coordinated bot attacks, Potemkin local-news sites, micro-targeted fearmongering, and anonymous mass texting. Both parties will have these tools at their disposal. But in the hands of a president who lies constantly, who traffics in conspiracy theories, and who readily manipulates the levers of government for his own gain, their potential to wreak havoc is enormous.”

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