Weaponizing Social Media

By Ron Mullins and Thom Bolsch

Influence.  Getting someone to act or react in a manner suited to the influencer’s objectives.

Most tools of war were originally developed to help with the survival of the species.  The axe was designed to cut lumber and parcel meat.  The arrow was designed to make it easier to bring home larger game.  Both were weaponized for war.

The same holds true for information.  Information, disinformation and deception are all tools used by differing camps as propaganda to influence the outcome of public opinion.  A tool turned into a weapon.

In the past, a subject matter expert had education, experience and credentials to validate their expertise.  Today, subject matter expertise is based on the number of people that follow someone that posts material on a particular website.  No credential required.

Can we be certain that the information presented on a social media site is factual and without bias?  Should we consider that the so called ‘expert’ might have an alternative agenda than just providing factual knowledge?

There are posts available on various social media sites that are filled with errors, inuendoes and misinformation.  Is this a result of gross negligence or by design as a form of distractive propaganda?  A tool in the war of public opinion!

Should we be concerned that the uninformed are being misled by those ignoring truth, twisting facts or stating outright lies?

Yes.  We should be concerned.

There are players trying to change public opinion and the culture of the United States; some of these players are local and home grown; some are military elements of foreign entities.

When social media is used as a propaganda tool to fabricate deception and influence opinion; it becomes weaponized – a tool of war!

While social media has beneficial values; elements of that social media is ripe with falsehoods, twisted facts and lies promoting a misinformation and disinformation campaign.  The propaganda of disinformation promotes an action or reaction from the reader.  If the reader is not fully versed on the subject matter; a twisted perception is developed based on irrational thought associated with corrupted data. As a result; the uninformed are influenced by a distorted and perverse perspective.

A specific subject for which there is vast amounts of misinformation pushed on social media is the firearm.  From revolvers, to pistols to long guns and modern sporting rifles.  There is a campaign of deception to position the firearm as a demonstrative tool of Satan.  And while traditional media plays a roll in this game of disinformation; social media expands the breadth and impact of the campaign.  And those imposing more ridged gun control laws are leading in this propaganda war.  Influencing the uninformed, exploiting events, twisting facts and promoting a deception to take away your guns.

So, the next time you see something posted on social media consider the following:

  • Ask yourself:
    • Why was this shared?
    • Is this original content?
    • Are the facts verifiable?
    • What is the source of the content?
    • Are the promoters real or bots?
  • Then; what should you do:
    • Don’t share unverified information.
    • Don’t share highly charged memes.
    • Don’t repeat false information, or information you find questionable.
    • Diversify the accounts you follow to broaden your perspective of information. Have an open mind for rational thought.
    • Insure you have the facts; and share the truth.

We suggest that you be an advocate of truth and understanding on this subject matter.  Promote facts, expose the bias and encourage others to see a rational and practical perspective.

Share this article with your non-gun owning friends.  Introduce them to Saddle River Range and set up a session with an instructor that will provide unbiased, factual information on firearms and their safe operation.

You just might find a new shooting partner.

Stay Safe and Stay Alert,



© Copyright 2022 Ron Mullins and Thom Bolsch

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