In 2021, propaganda is used widely. In a world where social media dominates the lives of millions and politicians are more likely to win an election based on how many followers they have rather than their policies or beliefs, it’s hard for us to determine what facts we can trust anymore.
Take Dr. Founchi as an example: there were three different sources reporting his involvement in the debate over gain-of-function research with wildly differing accounts about whether he was supportive or against GAFR development (or if he ever even debated this topic).
Propaganda isn’t just limited to politics–it affects all aspects of our life from food labeling and weight loss commercials that promise miraculous results overnight but don’t deliver anything close after you buy into them.
Propaganda is a way of influencing an audience and promoting agendas. Propagandists may present facts selectively to encourage the perception that they want you to think about, like how Dr Founchi’s gain-of-function debate was reported in these different ways:
The Washington Post made it seem as if this research could save millions from future pandemics because “the virus cannot replicate without its central protein”. However, there are many other viruses with similar proteins who would be unaffected by such changes.
In a world where misinformation and propaganda are used to sway public opinion, it’s hard for us to determine what facts we can trust. The truth is that there are many different perspectives on the same issue – some of which may be true but others not so much. However, as I said in my introduction, this doesn’t mean you should just believe everything you read or hear because people will always try to manipulate your beliefs about an issue. At the end of the day, take time before making any decisions based off information you’ve heard from someone else and think for yourself!