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The UN is tripling down on its role as an important global player in the “fight against online misinformation” and amplification of the narrative of a supposedly serious threat this allegedly new phenomenon brings to humankind.
Thus UN peacekeepers are adding another task to the duties the member-states fund when they approve their missions meant to help people and countries devastated by war and other disasters: they are now also “building a digital army.”
And according to a writeup on the UN website, “misinformation” is viewed by the world organization in exceedingly alarmist terms as, “deadly,” and posing “existential” risk to such core building blocks of modern societies as democratic institutions and fundamental human rights.
They really do make that connection, verbatim. And they now use the term “war” and “battlefield” to describe (mis)information and other goings on in the media, too.
We’ve heard this before, of course, from the Biden administration regarding the Covid vaccines/pandemic – but the identical wording may or may not be a coincidence.
In order to justify as much as it can this considerable shift in policy and focus from UN’s traditional operations and purpose, the UN article doesn’t talk only about things like undermining epidemic(s)-containing efforts, protecting scientific truths and facts (and, as recent experience has shown, “facts” as well ), and the like.
To prop up the argument, it is claimed that the peacekeeping work itself, and the safety and lives of peacekeepers are also falling victim to “large scale misinformation.”
The UN’s solutions: effectively testing “proactive” approaches to the problem they defined, and doing this in a number of war-torn African countries.
Leading the charge seems to be the UN mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, known as MONUSCO (a French-language acronym).
Then there’s something called the UN Verified initiative, which offers a course free of charge that is supposed to “educate” people in these physically dangerous places on how to keep themselves safe from – online “misinformation.”
This effort expands on several basic topics, including how to recognize “disinformation,” and the UN will also tell you why it is being spread.
Another one is to be able to discern emotional, dramatic, and provocative content (some might say the article from the UN site referenced here might easily qualify.)