But back to the comments on Facebook and Twitter where the double wide trailer story is still going strong.
A Twitter user says: Police finding 39 children in a trailer is of course not on the news because it doesn’t fit their anti-police AGENDA! Can you see how biased the media is yet?
Another offers: MSM rarely reports on these things.
Yet another writes: Look at the top stories on news websites until you get to 39 missing children found in a trailer and tell me again how the media isn’t the problem.
When it’s pointed out to outraged folks on Twitter and Facebook that the whole “39 kids in a trailer” story is completely bogus, the consensus is, well, even if all the facts weren’t *exactly* right, the story is true enough. Weren’t 39 children rescued from bad men, you monster?! Why isn’t this on CNN? (It is.)
Yet another person pipes up: “What do you mean, it isn’t true? Come out from under the bed and realize that many and more are stolen daily. To even think about those little ones with their little hands and feet or no matter if they’re even bigger and the fear that they go through. Please pray for the protection of our children.”
This social media user gets hundreds of likes and shares because who wants young children trafficked for sex? No one.
Another insists angrily, and without any evidence, that mainstream media ignore the issue of child sex trafficking. THEY DON’T CARE!
39 Kids Rescued from a Double Wide Trailer has now reached millions of people. What effect will it have on the Americans who already believe COVID-19 is being overhyped? Will they wonder what else journalists are keeping from them? Will they now believe there’s no need for mail-in voting? How many of them believe journalists deliberately downplayed the story? Will they now question an incriminating story about President Donald Trump?
It’s that easy. This little disinformation campaign achieved what it was supposed to. Who knows where the double wide trailer story originated (Russia wouldn’t be a bad guess, you think), but it worked. The Georgia “Operation Not Forgotten” story, in its manipulated form, is just one simple example of how trust in journalists and news media can be gradually chipped away, unfairly and without any basis, until there’s nothing left. It’s happening every day on social media in plain view. All the Dr. Fauci memes, or anti-vaccine anecdotes shared by your college roommate or uncle seem harmless, but over time, they have the power to bring down a democracy.
Shannon Gillies lives in Toronto, Canada, where she spent more than a decade in the publishing industry. She’s currently an English language teacher.