How to Recognize a Whisper Campaign and Help Stop It

by | Dec 27, 2021 | Politics & Corruption

Image: bowie15, iStockphoto

How to Recognize a Whisper Campaign and Help Stop It

by | Dec 27, 2021 | Politics & Corruption

Image: bowie15, iStockphoto
There are simple things we can all do to derail and end evil whisper and propaganda campaigns.

We have evolved from high school kids passing notes or whispering to each other in hallways, from neighborhood women gossiping over the back fence to office water-cooler intrigue. But not that much, at least in mentality.

According to the Urban Dictionary, the definition of Whispering Campaign is

“A method of persuasion in which damaging rumors or innuendo are spread about the target, while the source of the rumors seeks to avoid being detected while spreading them (for example, a political campaign might distribute anonymous flyers attacking the other candidate). It is generally considered unethical in open societies, particularly in matters of public policy. The speed and anonymity of communication made possible by modern technologies like the Internet has increased public awareness of whispering campaigns and their ability to succeed. This phenomenon has also led to the failure of whispering campaigns, as those seeking to prevent them are able to publicize their existence much more readily than in the past. Whispering campaigns are defended in some circles as an efficient mechanism for underdogs to attack the powerful while lacking resources.”

Whisper campaigns take on a new velocity and intensity when propagated on social media and use the misplaced trust people give to “that cool meme I saw.”

Whisper campaigns are weapons in the hands of forces like the Internet Research Agency in Russia and the rabid lemmings of Qanon—in case anyone wonders, their motto of “where we go one we go all” is how lemmings reputedly commit mass suicide. But the purpose of whisper campaigns is pretty much unchanged: create outrage and use it to smear someone, something, an idea or principle, a brand, a (insert anything here)—you get the idea.

We see these around everywhere when we know what to look for. And once you know, you can do something really important: recognize the attempt to manipulate you and ignore it. Better yet, look a little deeper and see if you can find who paid for it. There is usually some kind of entity that benefits from the outrage generated.

On social media channels like Facebook and Twitter, the first step in realizing you are being manipulated is to recognize if you’re suddenly feeling pissed off or outraged about some subject.

You can also recognize other signatures like a “controversial” headline. And the next thing is a link to what looks like a reputable site for more information. But the name’s a bit off like Washington Times instead of Washington Post.

Okay, so now you see it for what it is. What do you do? The first thing I do is hit the little “3-dot” menu on Facebook for example and report that post as misinformation. This actually works.

If the offending post comes from a friend and you want to keep that friend, then just ignore it and even hide it from your feed if you like. Arguing, however much fun it may be at times, doesn’t really do much.

The fact is the person sending you the link already got duped and is showing that by forwarding it. Telling them they are wrong is the exact wrong thing to do. If you’ve got a fact that targets the false information in the article, respectfully let them know.

Major clue here. All whisper campaigns are at least partially lies or carefully altered facts.

The best thing to take the wind out of the sails of these campaigns is to not forward them. Like the chain letters of old, don’t be afraid to just toss it.

Encourage your friends to do the same and this weapon of mass disinformation can be made useless.

Marty Kassowitz

Marty Kassowitz

Marty Kassowitz is co-founder of Factkeepers. As founder of Interest Factory and View360, he brings more than 30 years experience in effective online communications, social media management, and platform development to the site. He is a writer, designer, editor and long time observer of the ill-logic demonstrated by too many members of the species known as Mankind. After a long history of somewhat private commentary on a subject he totally hates: politics, Marty was encouraged to build this site and put up his own analyses as well as curate relevant content from other sources.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Follow Us

Related Articles

Feb 03 2023

Private Medicare Advantage Plans That Stole Money From Medicare Are Being Allowed to Keep It

In a dizzying display of twisted “logic,” the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services are not requiring repayments of funds stolen through rampant...
Feb 01 2023

Ethics Concerns at the Supreme Court: Roberts’ Wife Is the Latest Flap

The wife of Chief Justice John Roberts, like insurrectionist Ginni Thomas, apparently has been utilizing her position of being “married to the Court” for...
Scott Jenkins, sheriff of Culpeper County, Va., is one of a large number of so-called ‘constitutional sheriffs’ in the U.S. Eva Hambach/AFP via Getty Images
Jan 31 2023

Barrier to Gun Control: The Delusional Authority of Constitutional Sheriffs

The Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association has spent more than a decade actively recruiting and training sheriffs to believe that their office is more...
Jan 30 2023

More George Santos: His Top Donors Don’t Seem to Exist

The burners under the pot of questions and investigations surrounding the lies and possible crimes of George Santos appear to have been turned up full blast.
Jan 29 2023

GOP House Goes Big on Hiring Big Oil Lobbyists for Staff Positions

It’s no surprise that Big Oil is infiltrating the halls of Congress after spending millions to elect some of the most extreme legislators in American...
Jan 25 2023

Election Denial Has Been a Lucrative Business for Kari Lake

Kari Lake raised over $2.5 million after her election loss, but less than 10% of her post-election spending went to lawyers.
Jan 24 2023

New Brett Kavanaugh Documentary Hopes to Spark a Full Investigation

A surprise documentary about Brett Kavanaugh reveals disturbing new evidence of misconduct by Kavanaugh and his associates surrounding the right-wing justice’s...
Catherine Engelbrecht, center, founder of True the Vote, and Gregg Phillips, right, at a news conference in Las Vegas Credit: Bridget Bennett/Reuters
Jan 24 2023

Election Deniers True the Vote Sought Funds for an Abandoned Hospital Project in Ukraine

True the Vote, a group that spread discredited election conspiracy theories, “abandoned” The Freedom Hospital in April 2022, according to its lawyers. Yet board member...
Jan 17 2023

Republicans Focus on Gutting Medicare and Social Security

Republicans plan to destroy Medicare and Social Security because their fondest wish is to protect the wealth of the rich. Thus they are prepared to ignore the...
Jan 17 2023

Medicare Advantage Is Nothing but a Money-Making Scam. I Should Know. I Helped to Sell It.

I am a former health-care executive who helped develop PR and marketing schemes to sell private Medicare Advantage insurance plans.
Subscribe for Updates!

Subscribe for Updates!

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from our team.

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This