The use of a popular social media site to cause widespread fear and horror. Not yet considered an Olympic sport…

I post regularly on Facebook. That’s the benefit of having enough books in my library and enough fibre in my diet. You can always squeeze something out.

The widespread wide spread of fake news and political propaganda together with panic posting might seem to relegate any individual post to insignificance – lost in the rush through the sewer, as it were. But here is where years of diligent training combined with dedication pay off – a really well-written lie can always gain traction amongst the gullible. If it is written about maritime birds it is readily believed by the sea-gullible…

Boom. Boom.

The trick to selling sensation is to make it readable by the dimmest lamp. Short words, bright colours, startling revelations. Play upon greed, need, and fear, and make it fast. The lie has to be in the first sentence – all the rest of the words just bolster it. Think of an internet rumour as a literary anti-tank shell ; a hard nose and a small charge to penetrate thick armour.

If it all goes viral and causes untold damage and misery – and you are finally identified as the source of the trouble – say you didn’t know it was loaded.

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