My new column is in The Drum discussing the rise of alt-right propaganda, anti-vaccine misinformation, and flat-earth conspiracies.
So I was walking with a friend to see Avengers: Endgame a week before Holocaust Remembrance Day here in Israel. On the way, he told me something completely out of the blue: ‘The Nazi Party was liberal!’ He said he learned it online.
My friend had always been conservative. But one day, he had decided to become more ‘spiritual’. He had started to watch ‘documentaries’ on politics and ‘mystical’ Judaism. On the positive side, he stopped smoking and exercised more. But then he started to talk about esoteric mumbo jumbo and drift increasingly rightward to the point where liberals had evidently caused the Second World War.
That is not being ‘conservative’ – it is becoming brainwashed.
It is sad that – in 2019 – I need to remind anyone that the Nazis were far-right, genocidal ultra-nationalists. Further, Adolf Hitler’s main European ally, Benito Mussolini, led the National Fascist Party in Italy. Their opponents? Centrist democracies and the communist Soviet Union. Seriously – did schools stop teaching this at some point?
Human stupidity reinforced by YouTube’s algorithm may kill us all because the company’s recommendation engine is helping to spread a series of unfortunate far-right events.