Fake News: How Digital Sensory Manipulation has become a Cyber Warfare Tactic

We breathe combinations of H2 and O2… and W3

World Wide Web has within two decades become vital to our functioning in western societies. Societies have been digitalized in a way that makes internet a core structure of community participation. In 2023, Danish municipalities payed a total of 72 million Euro for a year’s worth of Microsoft solutions. A 70 % increase over the course of 5 years, due to a nearly monopolized market. But without it, schools, health services and public offices all over the little kingdom of Denmark would collapse. Digital access has become an integrated expense post on all organisations’ and household’s budgets. Without digital access, life would become so much harder. Wifi access is a life support nessecity, like the air we breathe.

Submersing under water for minutes at a time, to hear the weirdly distorted sounds above from a distance, requires an extraordinary effort. So does «going offgrid» to avoid digital services in everyday life. Very few people even see the point in trying. It is known to cause withdrawal symptoms in people, who involuntarily have had to give up their internet access for a while.

Some would even argue that we’re enabling eachother in the greatest shared co-addiction of all times. World wide web entertains us, inspires us and bestows upon us plenty of dopamine rushes whenever we get to feel seen, included and empowered. And the downers are frequent, leaving us with a feeling of being overlooked, excluded and powerless. Internet doesn’t care which one. It knows we’re never overlooked, on the contrary. It watches our every choise, as the Big Brother of Orwell’s 1984.

Debodied cognition – when sensory capacity is slowly lost

As habitual users of internet, we immerse in a metaverse that up to this day emphasizes the presence and function of just two sensory modalities. Vision. We see stuff on the screen. And audition. We hear sounds coming from the speakers/headset. All else that is digitally conveyed through 0 and 1, will merely be visual or auditive «representations» of sensory features. We can hear and see the movie’s car chase and almost (but only almost) feel the gravitational force in the curves, as it is transmitted by cinematrographic tricks. Unless we sit in a chair with kinetic adaptations of course… then we feel the centrifugal force as the car turns the corner with screaming tires. We still don’t smell the rubber on the warm tarmac, or the exhaust smoke, though.

Visual and auditive stimuli become primary source of stimuli, but only partially conveys «embodied cognition» (which essentially means bodily experience). To a certain extent, when immersing in world wide web, we disengage the remaining 6 senses, although they remain an integrated part of us as biologial entities in time and space outside of the screen. We use our fingers and sensorymotorskills to induce action and reaction. But other than that… when do we smell, taste or feel the virtual reality that is going on?

And so our cognition in a way degenerates by becoming «debodied»….

Evolutionary mutation – when habits shape the future

There is a reason why gamers, when sitting in dark rooms for hours on end, develop vitamin D deficiency and muscular-skeletal atrophies from lack of sunlight, physical inactivity and maladapted body positioning. Office workers are prone to develop kyphosis and compression fractures on their spines, due to the prolongued curvature of the neck as they attempt to adapt to the screen. Some people postpone toilet visits when immersing in www, and schedule them around the virtual reality that is taking place. Our intrinsic relationsship with ‘world wide web’ has even caused wild ideations about the future morphological changes to human body, as a tech conditioned aspect of human evolution.

So something about Metaverse must be so attractive it hynotizes us to the point of us ignoring our bodily needs. That «something» is prone to make us «sitting ducks». We easily fall prey to whatever can attract and control our attention so hard, and make us feel alive and vibrant in the virtual realm. If there is one thing ‘www’ has the capacity for, it is holding space and content for the perpetual distraction from life in community, which is increasingly moved to Metaverse as well.

Metaverse: A powerfull battlefield for warfare

As geopolitical instability furthermore seems to be spiking all over the world these days, we are facing the newest battlefield in cyberspace. Unfamiliar territory for most. Relentless warfare, exempting no one, aiming at polarization and atomization of public opinion. News are weaponized through #fakenews to create insecurity, but have also become the missile shield to deflect any information fired from the spike camp of the war opponent. Civilian cyber warriors enter by own initiative, or by invitation, the digital combat zone, pushing conventional rules of engagement and international law into a sinister greyzone we’ve never before had to face to this degree.

On all sides, there will be masters of manipulation

Oh yeah, Artificial Intelligence is taking us all for a delightful spin. A recent, very relevant example is the peer-reviewed research articleGuo X, Dong L and Hao D (2024) Cellular functions of spermatogonial stem cells in relation to JAK/STAT signaling pathway. Front. Cell Dev. Biol. 11:1339390. doi: 10.3389/fcell.2023.1339390, which was recently retracted from the internationally acclaimed Frontiers, for containing an AI-generated illustration of a rat’s disproportionately large penis. Oh no, we might be ready for AI, but we’re certainly not ready to raise expectations regarding male genitals.

You might be tempted to raise the question as to whether such retraction in fact should incompass also all retouched issues of Playboy since 1953. But that would be a digression, so let’s leave it at the that for now. A core element of cyber warfare is the fact that your own senses are no longer to be trusted. With SORA, OpenAI’s new text-to-video model, the battle potential for world domination has been pushed to the next level and beyond. Incrementally. Exponentially.


Your visual and auditive capacitites are trustworthy no more. Due to stunning visceral, virtual reality, almost yet nowhere near actual, physical reality. A figment of someone’s imagination come to virtual life.


Some will turn super skeptic, and incline even further towards conspiracy theories. Many will rely mostly the one sided information of one war opponent, with uncritical loyalty to chosen sources.

Agnostic pragmatism will be degraded to cowardice, as the fronts with unwavering rigidity will demand our attention, and preferebly our submission. Orthodox conformism as well as orthodox activism will be the new enemies of sanity. Never surrender entirely to either. They have become the extreme polarities in a caleidoscopic world, pushing for dehumanization of any kind of «other».

Gearing up for the perfect storm

There is a «pre» and a «post» to every war in history. Now, we seem to be finding ourselves in between the two, leaning from the «pre» into the horror of intense military armament and fear. Direction?

Dare we say fullscale, digital AND analogue world war?

The less and less subtle, and increasingly explisit tension we’re sensing in the ongoing news stream currently, is as real as the eventually painfull tickle of a feather on our skin. This could very well be the buildup of the perfect storm. And we are the witnesses to history before it is even written. To which degree we are the victims is not for me to say. One thing we do need to do, is harness ourselves as much as possible, in order not to enter into panic mode.

So how do we gear up to withstand the winds of this preliminary cyberstorm?

First and foremost, teach your kids about their basic sensory capacity: Physical, embodied cognition through ALL EIGHT SENSORY SYSTEMS. They must know vision through true imagery, to recognize fake imagery. And even then, they might not. They must know audition through true sound, to recognize fake sound. And even then, they might not. Therefore, teach them also:

  1. to trust their own skin’s capacity to differentiate warm from cold. Moist from dry.
  2. to trust their own nose’s capacity to differentiate ripe from rotten. Clean from toxic.
  3. to trust their own mouth’s capacity to differentiate sweet from bitter. Eatable from burning.
  4. to trust their own muscles’ capacity to differentiate push from pull. Weightlessness from weight.
  5. to trust their own inner ear’s capacity to differentiate up from down. Velocity from stillness.
  6. to trust their own body’s capacity to differentiate belly fullness from hunger. Wellbeing from inflammation and fever. Pleasure from pain.

Learn to familiarize yourself with all of your eight sensory systems, so that you can identify and differentiate quickly.

Secondly, acknowledge the one truthful fact, that your sensory capacity is like a naive child, taking anything for gospel, if you do not apply scientific method and submit to critical evaluation. This is a perpetual learning process, that should follow principles of scientific method. What is the most important feature of scientific method?

Well, since you asked, I would say it’s transparency. And the ability to identify bias.

War, on the other hand, is nothing like an innocent child. But much rather like the stultifying cold of the Arctic.

Arctic analogy

The Arctic wind makes the cold feel even colder… and as such, it works as a warning sign to be taken seriously. You hear the howling. Around minus 10 celcius, your nostrals start freezing up, that’s a second warning sign. You can no longer smell as much… Go below 20*C and wind calms, third warning sign right there. Less of a howl. Everything is freezing up. Below 30*C, there is no longer sound or wind… everything becomes silent. Fourth warning sign. Quiet as death. At this point, the cold barely even feels cold, even though it’s colder than ever… The cold then sneaks up on you, and inside of you. You can barely move your fingers, you become discapacitated… eventually you’re cold all the way to your core. That is when you might meet your maker. Or become your enemy, the cold. Without a prepared survival tactic, you die either way.