The Tools of Disinformation - Jeff Nielson

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Johnny Oxygen
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The Tools of Disinformation - Jeff Nielson


In the preceding piece to this, I introduced readers to the topic of disinformation. I pointed out it was a technique for psychological manipulation which was literally thousands of years old, and one which our governments have made a great effort to master – either out of desire, or necessity.

One problem with analyzing a topic of this nature is that people will naturally associate it with “conspiracy”, since there is specifically an element of secrecy to this form of propaganda. In turn, readers have been conditioned to immediately become suspicious of any/every “conspiracy theory”. Ironically, this itself is an illustration of the one of the largest and most successful disinformation campaigns in our societies, but I won’t go into detail in that respect until later.

...Such disinformation generally comes in two forms: false rumors and incorrect information. Regarding the former, obviously this tends to take the form of either a company is about to “do something”, or “something” is about to be done to them. Regarding the latter variety, incorrect information comes in an infinite variety of forms. Sometimes such false information is meant to make people think better or worse about a particular company, however very often the goal is merely to create confusion: the ‘deer-in-the-headlights’ syndrome, where conflicting information causes investors to be frozen in indecision – while the predators decisively engage in their buying or selling.

...First there is the contrarian argument. As every good “contrarian” knows, you can make more money as an investor by being right against ‘the run of the herd’ rather than with them. Because the natural growth of our economies tends to create an upward bias for share prices, being a “contrarian” typically means being a “basher”. Thus bashing “good” companies (or even bashing “bad” ones) tends to be more profitable than pumping bad companies. Only amateur disinformation-artists tend to waste their time in “pumping” good companies, since with the herd already positioned in such companies, this is where the least profit-potential exists.

...Because markets are almost entirely based upon the relative performance of companies rather than their absolute performance, those companies who are continually being forced to finance at unfavorable terms (because of constant bashing, and other “dirty tricks”) will be seen as “laggards” – and their share price will be punished even further, quickly becoming a “vicious circle” where the more companies “lag” the more their share price is punished, causing them to lag further still.

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