Whisper Campaigns — How to Recognize One and NOT Become a Part of It

by | Feb 16, 2021 | Money and Politics

Whisper Campaigns — How to Recognize One and NOT Become a Part of It

by | Feb 16, 2021 | Money and Politics

Click here to Donate to Factkeepers.
Whisper campaigns took on a new velocity and intensity with the advent of social media and the misplaced trust people give to "that cool meme I saw."

According to the Urban Dictionary, the top 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.”

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

Whisper campaigns took on a new velocity and intensity with the advent of social media and the misplaced trust people give to “that cool meme I saw.”

Whisper campaigns are now 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 commit mass suicide. But the purpose of whisper campaigns is pretty much unchanged: create some 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, it is usually the entity that benefits from the outrage generated.

On social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, the first step in realizing you are being manipulated is to recognize if all of a sudden you’re feeling pissed off or outraged about some subject. You can usually recognize other signature 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 these weapons of mass disinformation can become useless.

0 Comments

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published.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

Related Articles

black and brown assault rifle
Dec 05 2021

Living in the “Guns for Everybody” World of the NRA

The NRA and its supporters simply believe that their ability to own guns is more important than the lives of your children. Your children. Perhaps theirs, but...
Dec 04 2021

The Pillow Guy Wants to Sell You Pillows and Trump, but Dr. Oz is Peddling the Whole Bed

Dr. Oz, like many TV personalities, is really a pitch man. He’s there to sell products for advertisers or those of his guests. But his real business is the Dr. Oz...
polling station poster on clear glass door
Dec 02 2021

How Do We Restore Public Trust in Elections?

Against all odds, election officials delivered a safe and secure election during a public health crisis. But a year later, they are looking for innovative ways to...
Dec 01 2021

Climate Emergency: Researchers Find that PR Firms Have Spent Decades Fueling Climate Misinformation

The best time for PR firms to stop working for fossil fuel clients was 20 years ago, when we had much more time to stop the climate emergency. The second best time is...
Nov 30 2021

How Steve Bannon Exploited Google Ads to Make Money from Extremism

Google kicked Steve Bannon off YouTube because of his violent rhetoric but still sent ad dollars to his website that promotes misinformation about the election and the...
white and red van parked near bare trees during daytime
Nov 19 2021

What is Behind the Effort to Destroy the United States Postal Service?

The capability of the United States Postal Service to ensure timely and reliable delivery of letters, packages and even “junk” mail is absolutely critical...
Nov 18 2021

The Manufactured Crisis on the Belarus-Poland Border

Images of migrants camped at the Belarus-Poland border, trying to force their way into Poland and being deterred by water hoses, have gained international attention in...
Nov 18 2021

Rights Groups Push for Expulsion of Paul Gosar from Congress

Rep. Paul Gosar’s violent video has spurred widespread backlash and many thousands of people have signed a petition urging his expulsion from Congress.
people standing near brown concrete building during daytime
Nov 17 2021

Republicans and Qanon — Turning Crazy Into a Brand

Nothing coming from the Q “channel” actually makes sense. And that is pretty much the point. Qanon isn’t so much a movement, but a way of capturing...
Nov 14 2021

Steve Bannon and the Truth About the Alt-Right

In terms of attitude and character, there is no difference between Nazi, white supremacist, KKK, Proud Boy, Oath Keeper, Three Percenter—except spelling. With...
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