Web Resident Marloes de Valk

How to Escape…

…reality in 10 simple steps! Who needs facts when we can have stories? This is a blog about the methods used to spread false information and doubt in the eighties, drawing parallels to today’s technologically enhanced media landscape that does not cause, but greatly facilitates the spread of false information. A project by web resident Marloes de Valk, software artist and writer chosen by curator Tatiana Bazzichelli on the topic »Blowing the Whistle, Questioning Evidence« for call no.1 2017 by Solitude & ZKM

The 10 Strategies: #8

Strategy #8: create government dependency. Make sure the government depends on you financially through revenue generated by taxation of your product and investments. That way it becomes unappealing for the government to push for regulations that might harm your business. Tax increases on cigarettes in the 1980’s were threatening to dramatically lower cigarette sales. That was the goal of the increase, to discourage tobacco use. It is a very successful method, and the tobacco industry knew this. There was no

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The 10 Strategies: #4

In the series of 10 strategies to manipulate public opinion, it’s time to show an example of strategy #4: manufacture facts. Don’t wait for other parties to come up with research data that might hurt your agenda, produce your own! Fight science with science. In 1980 the National Academy of Sciences was authorized by Congress to undertake a comprehensive study of CO2 and climate. The report would be written in an unusual way, not written collectively, reviewed by all committee

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The 10 Strategies: #3

I’ve been diving into the whereabouts of Alan Katzenstein, the Tobacco Institute consultant we came to know in strategy #2 and found footage of him in action. A skillful demonstration of strategy #3: convince the media to present both sides of a story. Remind journalists of the 1949 Fairness Doctrine, requiring them to present matters of public concern in a balanced matter, making sure each side of a topic is fairly represented. Don’t focus on how ›fair‹ or ›unfair‹ it

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The 10 Strategies: #2

As part of the research for the essay How To Escape Reality in 10 Simple Steps I’ve begun to collect strategies used in the eighties to manipulate public opinion. In the course of this month I will link each strategy to specific uses of them by different branches of industry and government. To bring the strategies to life I’ll look for parts of documents that put the sometimes abstract strategies into words. The online document listing my sources will grow

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How to Escape Reality in 10 Simple Steps

Since last year’s presidential campaign in the US and Donald Trump’s election victory, the debate around (social) media and fake news or false information has kept the Internet busy. But although it’s complicated and exhausting to research what we can trust, its more important than ever to be able to recognize, understand, and deconstruct strategies used to manipulate public opinion. Only recently the independent right-wing opinion platform Breitbart announced the plans to open a German desk this year when the

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