Analyzing the resemblance of cults and authoritarians

By: Markus Spiske via Pexels

You’ve probably heard Donald Trump’s swath of ardent followers be described as a cult. Groups of people searching for an identity in a world that has seemingly forgotten them, rallying around the one person who promises to never leave them behind. Not all cults take the form of people desperately…


Efficiency through disenfranchisement

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Nearly five months after the presidential election in November of 2020, there are still those claiming that the election was filled with voter fraud. …


High scores don’t equal success

Photo by Martin Sanchez on Unsplash

In 2019, experts from the Nuclear Threat Initiative(NTI), Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, and The Economist Intelligence Unit teamed up to create the first Global Health Security Index(GHS). Analyzing 195 countries, they used a six-step measurement system to determine which countries were the best and worst prepared to…


Ashutosh Sonwani via Pexels

In her book, Twilight of Democracy, Anne Applebaum delves into what is alluring about authoritarianism and the subsequent reasons as to why democracy has declined around the world. One of the most useful tools in propping up authoritarianism has been conspiracy theories. Applebaum writes, “The emotional appeal of a conspiracy…


Taken from the authoritarian handbook

By Life Matters via Pexels

At a Trump rally in Ohio in 2018, two men were spotted wearing t-shirts that read, “I’d rather be a Russian than a Democrat.” Luckily for them, they just need to move to Florida. In April, Governor Ron DeSantis signed an “anti-riot” bill into law specifically designed to suppress protestors…


How much influence do bots really have on disinformation?

By: Tima Miroshnichenko on Pexels

It is cinematic to think of someone sitting in front of a trove of monitors somewhere in Eastern Europe commanding their virtual soldiers, promising that the Covid vaccine makes you magnetic. The image of an army of automated bots infiltrating your timeline with fabricated information has overtaken the narrative on…


Understanding the impact of “security”

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States across the country have embarked on new voting endeavors to ensure “election integrity,” as FiveThirtyEight notes, “253 bills to restrict voting access had been introduced in 43 state legislatures as of Feb 19.” Most of the attention has been placed on Georgia with the passing of Senate Bill 202…


By Nate Hovee

On Wednesday, I published an article questioning the sacredness of American democracy when one political party does everything in its power to suppress minority voters. Cited in the article was a quote by the chairwoman of the Gwinnett County Republican Party where she said that Georgia had to change some…


“Of course, it is impossible to explain to Ukrainian society why, when America and Europe are not giving you vaccines, you shouldn’t take vaccines from Russia.” — Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky

Ukraine has been embroiled in a war with Russia that is nearing seven years. Competing forces of oligarchs, politicians…


A surprise for some, a regular day for others

Photo by Aditya Joshi on Unsplash

Maybe I’m ignorant, or stupid, or naive, or all three.

I go on Twitter and see that “We’re Being Hacked” is trending. It was an op-ed published in The New York Times by former Homeland Security Adviser to Donald Trump, Thomas P. Bossert, detailing the recent hacks on the US…

Matt Spengler

Disinformation researcher. The Disinterested Substack.

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