US failure to predict Taliban takeover may — in part — be because we underestimated Taliban propaganda one last time
US leadership consistently underestimated the role that information operations played in the Taliban’s power. Although we identified this misstep over a decade ago, it appears we may have erred one last time.
It doesn’t matter if the lie is easily rebutted. Indeed in one sense rebuttals are part of the plan because they result in the subject of the lie being amplified and kept on, or near, the top of the news agenda. The ultimate goal of strategic lying is to have an impact on the salience of issues.
Former President Trump shared a new survey with over a million of his followers on April 12th saying it was the “ONLY way to make sure I hear your voice.” The survey was rife with divisive rhetoric, disinformation, and dark patterns used to trick people into donating more than they intend. Dark patterns are ways websites and apps trick people into doing things like subscribing or donating money. Often companies that do use these patterns issue an immediate notice so you can cancel it then, but many people reported only realized it once thousands had gone missing.