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Sunday, April 14, 2024
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HomeCulture WarLiars who accuse the truthtellers of ‘misinformation’

Liars who accuse the truthtellers of ‘misinformation’

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THE word ‘misinformation’ is bandied about a lot at the moment. Perhaps not surprisingly, considering the technological explosion which enables people across the globe to put in their pennies-worth of information, ideas or opinions in a way which has never been possible before. All this without even having to leave their own home. But are we any more knowledgeable? Most importantly, are we any wiser?

Unfortunately, the worldwide web, though good for many things, has also become a useful place for influencing people in certain directions by preventing debate. Instead it constantly feeds certain views, attitudes and ideologies into the hearts and minds of all people, but especially the young. Such influencing can have detrimental effects for the individual and ultimately for the wider world.

But let’s get back to that word ‘misinformation’. What does it mean? A dictionary definition is ‘False or inaccurate information, especially that which is deliberately intended to deceive.’ To me, that basically means lying with the intent to propagate something which is untrue. If that is true, there is a big problem with how that word is being used in today’s world when anyone who dares to question certain things which are being done by the powers that be is accused of ‘misinformation’. Most notably, during the covid years, scientists who held a different view on how to manage the virus based on their own knowledge and experience were said to be dangerous because of their ‘misinformation’. Yet there is plenty of evidence that they were correct in their views.   

In all things, no man has all the right answers, especially in something new and unknown, and so it is all the more important that debate is permitted and open. We must be able to share ideas freely so that the challenges which need to be faced in life are dealt with sensibly, responsibly and truthfully.  However we appear to have arrived at a world in which truth can be suppressed under the unsubtle use of that word ‘misinformation’ when all the while it is those calling the shots who are deceiving themselves and us. As it says in Isaiah 5:20: ‘Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who put darkness for light, and light for darkness; Who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!’

It is ironic that in a world where speaking wisely and alternatively can get you called a deceiver, silenced and no longer able to speak, yet there are plenty of people out there who are freely influencing millions in negative and deceitful ways, even if not always intentionally. The internet is a place where anything can be made to appear real, from video footage to emails. Nothing is exempt from being doctored or tampered with, so anyone with the know-how can create whatever they want to influence news and politics. We must therefore be on our guard that we are not taken in by the actual ‘misinformation’ which does aim to deceive us and which is neither silenced nor classified as such.

Have we ever been in an age where so much discernment is needed because deception is so easy? For my own part, as a Christian, I know that ‘the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom’. (Proverbs 1:7) Yet whether we are a person of faith or not, we can still be deceived by what we hear or read. No one is exempt. It also takes courage to stand against the tide and speak against what appears to be the only way to think.  Crucially, we must stand firm in upholding what we know to be good, right and true in an ever-changing, confusing world. 

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Gerardine Stockford
Gerardine Stockford
Former children and families social worker, now pastor's wife and school support worker.

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