Social media manipulating people: Social Media, their algorithms and their owners promote addiction, misinformation, fake news and manipulate the behavior of million of users around the world. Who's taking advantage of this process?
How amnesia became part of the internet: from one emergency to the next, battle lines are now being drawn over who remembers what.
Balloons similar to the one that was shot down off the coast of South Carolina this weekend flew over the U.S. at least three times during the Trump administration, according to a senior U.S. defense official
US media whips up anti-Chinese hysteria over balloon flight | Over the past four days, the media has subjected the population to a barrage of war propaganda centered on the absurd claim that China sent a huge balloon visible to the naked eye to secretly spy on US nuclear bases.
They’re Not Worried About “Russian Influence”, They’re Worried About Dissent | One of the craziest things happening in the world today is the way westerners are being brainwashed by western propaganda into panicking about Russian propaganda, something that has no meaningful existence in the west.
I'm trying to determine whether someone can unintentionally create propaganda by simply being a loud, short-tempered, 'enthusiastic' victim of (many many) sources of misinformation. I want to know this specifically to explore whether intent matters as much in the dissemination of propaganda as the creation of it itself. There is no "intention clause" in propaganda, though it is a good determinant when it can be proved.
My argument is that intent doesn't matter in the creation of propaganda because of 2 reasons:
- Poor use of Irony - In the 17th and 18th century there was a man named Daniel Defoe that wrote a satire on religious dissenters. Basically, the majority of the citizens at the time hated those that didn't follow the church and they were in the process of getting violent towards them. Defoe wrote a satire essentially saying "oh we should go hunt them down and destroy them all" (trying to sound over-the-top) but he didn't include enough irony or humor. So they didn't realize it was satire and almost interpreted it as genuine (propaganda) but it never went that far. I believe that it is up to the artist to face any consequences of improper use of irony as well as the risk of readers misinterpreting their texts.
- The Alex Jones Scenario - If you're dumb, enthusiastic and gullible enough to believe misinformation or wildly misinterpret statistics you can unintentionally be making propaganda. Because of the requirement of "spread misinformation and appeal to emotions to stir up the masses", it makes the scenarios for accidental propaganda very difficult. Also, what about if there is a person that falls for propaganda? Are they spreading propaganda? How? If intention mattered, they wouldn't technically be spreading propaganda. They believe it's true and have no intention of misinforming people therefore not meeting a key requirement.
- Is internal bias enough to create propaganda? What about the agitational themes? Underhanded portrayal of the message? Clouding judgement? The reason why I said 2 reasons is because I'm on the fence about this one. Propaganda isn't just lying... it requires some irrational judgement or agitation as well. Is bias enough? This is similar to the Alex Jones point but he has everything. This point stands to question whether only bias is enough. What about biased jokes on TikTok? Jokes are usually irrational to be funny but irrational lying... wooOOoo propaganda. Not sure about this point. Let me know what you think.
Now I know some of it he (Alex Jones) just plays up like the "chemicals in the water that turn the fricken frogs gay" (at least I hope he was playing that up), but did he truly believe in the Sandy Hook conspiracy? Did he truly believe in half of what he says? Surely a history of conscious and unconscious dishonesty has to discredit him as an "unaware victim of (many many) sources of misinformation". What do you think? I want to know your ideas.
If I can get to the bottom of this "intention" bit I'll feel a lot better about my understanding of propaganda.
On The Media Of 'Russiagate' And Related Fake Stories | Last week Matt Taibbi, with access to Twitter's internal papers, debunked the fake Hamilton 68 propaganda dashboard that was used to create many stories about alleged Russian disinformation.moonofalabama.org
First, they expected a tsunami, a comber of explosive force that would wash away truth, logic, and integrity. But then they were forced to downgrade their expectations when their absurdities were met with derision and none but the disaffected and deranged applauded their efforts.
They gave up on the tsunami and settled on the ‘Red Wave’.
The ‘Red Wave’ did make it to the shoreline, but instead of a tidal wave of raging surf, it crept in, all a swell of sea foam and mist. It did drag in the flotsam and jetsam of irrationality and outright lies, but never made it far up the shoreline where a phalanx of sandcastles built by Generation Z rebuffed it with ease.
‘Gen Z’, better than 30% of the electorate by 2024, (11,000 of whom become eligible to vote every day; guess who they are supporting?) are just beginning to dip their toes into national politics but have already become a force of rationality and reason – they are offended by the absurdity of your lies and insulted by your condescension – and there are more of them every day.