The masses were always easy to manipulate, like sheep. The word
'sheeple', a cliche now, was first coined in 1945. But things have
evolved. People being addicted to a constant stream of social media
bullshit, glued to their phones, are more fluid in their opinions
than ever. Like a swarm of bees, they will happily echo whatever
shows up in the feed on their screens.
Anyway, this is old news. Plenty of people have written about
that phenomenon. What I haven't read about much however, is how it
seems that manipulation of public opinion, which used to be
considered a manipulative game played by the most vicious entities,
like oppressive governments or military psyops is now a game played
by average joe citizen for fake internet points.
First it was aggressive marketing departments using fake reviews,
and manipulative language to trick people into purchasing more
product. But it's evolved even beyond that. The gamification of the
social system is now a thing you see eager participation in by even
people that used to be the good guys, like open source developers, in
order to convince their peers that their way of doing things is
better than established tools.
END OF RANT