It became increasingly easy to misdirect and redirect the attention of the average viewer. Humans by their very nature sought to avoid distasteful and uncomfortable things, so it was only a matter of offering something more amusing than the dismal news of war and death for them to switch over. With no one critically analyzing the information, it was a small jump to start inserting all manner of contradiction and misinformation into once-trusted broadcasts.
By the middle of the decade people were using link-sharing as their primary source of information. Gone were the hours spent reading newspapers or trusted articles, replaced by viral video and algorithm-driven aggregation. The more "liked" a piece of information was the more likely the viewers were to believe it, and further spread it as the truth.
People ended up lobotomizing themselves through these practices. All we'd had to do was give them the slightest nudge and off they went.
Where we went wrong though, where we really underestimated our efforts, was in the awareness of the affected. We never thought that people would wise up to what we were doing. We thought the trends would hold, grow stronger, and become entrenched. Such was not the case. Over the span of a mere half generation a whole subculture of truth-seekers arose, rejecting the forms of dissemination we'd made popular and returning to the old ways of asking questions and not stopping until the answers satisfied an understanding of the truth. And it was in this way that our efforts were undone and we once again had to resort to using shadow agents.
2014.07.24 – 2023.03.25