(Cartoon by Lu Lingxing)
By Zhong Sheng, People’s Daily
An American journalist recently made public a series of “Twitter Files” that exposed the U.S. government’s involvement in social media platforms and their deceptions in publicity.
As a matter of fact, the U.S. government has long been spreading fake information and weaving a net of rumors to manipulate public opinion, demonize other countries and maintain U.S. hegemony. It is completely a “lie maker.”
Fabricating and spreading fake information is a common practice of the U.S.
During the Cold War, the United States launched the tion Mockingbird, which enlisted at least 400 journalists and 25 large organizations around the world to fabricate fake news and manipulate public opinion.
In 2003, only with a test tube of undetermined white powder, or what some describe as “washing powder,” the country accused Iraq of developing weapons of mass destruction and provoked the Iraq War. In 2016, it galvanizes Syria’s White Helmets into making fake videos and spreading misinformation in an attempt to smear the Syrian government. Besides, it resorted to a “presumption of guilt” against China when tracing the origins of COVID-19.
Former U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo admitted that “We lied, we cheated, we stole…It reminds you of the glory of the American experiment.”
Over the recent years, the U.S. has launched frequent public opinion and cognitive warfare to maintain its hegemony, taking fake information as a tool to oppress and contain other countries. It instigated color revolutions around the world, oppressed other countries’ enterprises in the name of so-called national security, and fabricated big lies about China’s Xinjiang such as “genocide” and “forced labor.”
The country has time and again whitewashed its subversion and infiltration efforts, bullying and robbery practices and trampling on lives, calling them “democratic progress,” “maintaining justice” and “safeguarding human rights.” This fully exposed the country’s hegemonic, domineering and bullying mentality.
Gordon Adams, professor emeritus with American University, noted that “concealment, deception and outright lies have characterized U.S. national security policy for decades.”
Framing other countries with fake information in cyberspace has become a weapon of the “New Cold War” of the U.S.
A study by Australia Institute, a Canberra-based think tank, identified 5,752 accounts that spread mis- and disinformation regarding the novel coronavirus in 2020, many of which were bot-like accounts that had connections to the U.S.
To spread fake information, the U.S. establish a rumor network by launching covert influence operations and other similar strategies.
According to the report “Unheard Voice: Evaluating five years of pro-Western covert influence operations”, which was jointly issued by the Stanford Internet Observatory and Graphika, a social media analytics firm, accounts used in covert influence operations created fake personas and posed as media outlets to disseminate news materials of low credibility, and smeared and attacked relevant countries in a targeted manner in at least seven languages, including Russian, Arabic and Urdu.
The fabrication and spreading of lies by the U.S. have led to a constant decline in trust in the country among the international community, including the American public.
According to a survey by Gallup and Knight Foundation, half of U.S. respondents disagree with the statement that national news organizations do not intend to mislead, misinform, or persuade the public.
Another survey conducted by U.S. & World Report and Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania also indicated a 50 percent drop in the world’s trust in the U.S. from 2016, the largest decline in the world.
U.S. Senator Rand Paul said during a hearing last year that the American government is the world’s “greatest disseminator” of misinformation.
Fabricating and spreading lies would never expand U.S. influence, but only lead to the bankruptcy of the country’s credibility. The country should stop fooling the world and quit smearing other countries.
(Zhong Sheng is a pen name often used by People’s Daily to express its views on foreign policy and international affairs.)