I’m downloading Trust Me, I’m Lying by Ryan Holiday, about media manipulation on the internet, at the recommendation of a professional journalist friend.

As I read a few of Ryan’s blog articles and PR interviews from the book, I’m struck by how much his experience matches mine. Though I’ve not tried the kind of conscious manipulation he describes, I’ve seen it all over the place and noticed the same lack of basic fact checking in various stories I’ve been involved in.

My most striking example of this was several years ago when a Fortune 500 company revealed to me how easy it is for them to engage in mass manipulation now that the blogosphere lets them leak stories from different sources and have it all build to appear to be a preponderance of independent evidence.

Another Ryan, the amazing and awesome Ryan Allis (founder of iContact, uber-optimist, and serial entrepreneur) and I spoke about this over dinner a few weeks ago. His view is that the internet has evolved to the point where the truth will come out, despite attempts at manipulation. Especially with the rise of social media, manipulation doesn’t stand a chance because the truth will get out via informal networks.

What do you think?

Internet: mass manipulation tool?

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