Social media conglomerate YouTube has become a wonderland for professionally produced streaming videos highlighting vacation opportunities that are pawned off as amateur direct content. While the diverse collection of selfie films features obscure and intriguing destinations at the muddled layers of the viewing offerings, rogue governments literally enter the picture by fronting performers disguised as tourists to promote ideology.
This marketing ploy of indoctrination is indicated by the shear number of videos promoting North Korea, in selling the unique and risky experience of witnessing firsthand the mysterious culture of a totalitarian regime and the chance to interact with the people trapped behind the border. Of course the casual tone of each streaming travel endorsement highlighting the pristine and sun-soaked streets of downtown Pyongyang and featuring beautiful and smiling people strolling on the sidewalk in a laidback demeanor does not mention the stifling government responsible for millions of atrocities. The theme that develops when watching the egregiously contrived productions is how North Korea’s capital rivals a vast Hollywood movie set, where buses and cars suddenly appear on a desolate street, and throngs of locals crowd the sidewalks. When considering that the actors portraying a robust urban corridor probably endured years of brainwashing and threats of forced labor camp, the reprehensible actions of Kim Il-sung and his progeny become even more pronounced. The price for talent is fear, and North Korea has no issue in grooming glorified slaves.
While the vision of social networking is innovative and game changing, the passive aggressive presence of diabolical governments exploiting various platforms is a concern for those advocating for free will. Even amongst the West, the Democratic politicians hijacking Twitter as a cost effective tool for endorsement violates every campaign law and breaches basic ethics.
Screenshot from a group of 20-somethings journey into the Space Shuttle knock-off eerie catacombs.
As the range of YouTube travel videos remains captivating, from viewing a walking tour of Kabul, Afghanistan, to watching a group furtively avoiding guards at Baikonur to see the carcasses of cloned space shuttles, the immersive experiences should be taken with a grain of salt. For the younger generations this is a challenge, as the descriptions of the productions read like a potent energy drink recipe appealing to instant gratification. Terms such as “dangerous” and “forbidden” are utilized to plant the hook, and then the mind becomes putty and open to suggestion.
Dictatorships still require mountains of cash to maintain their stranglehold over unfortunate citizens of the second and third world, and between digital communities and cryptocurrency, the sordid process has become modernized, streamlined, and with a dearth of consequences. Unfortunately, in the youthful phase of the information age, the addiction to the tantalizing cancels critical thinking stills, as insidious elements are winning the propaganda war much like the Soviets during the height of the Cold War.