A surprising System 1 style response to a social media propaganda meme

Most highly successful social media propaganda is visual, has few words, and is processed within seconds by the intended target, Liked and Shared, passing along the message to others. This is our System 1 quick, easy, intuitive thinking style in operation. In other words, we do not think, we respond at a gut or emotional level.

Much propaganda messaging can only be countered, typically, with logic and facts, which requires, slow thinking (System 2), which is hard and thus the correction to a propaganda meme is mostly ignored. “False facts” are therefore easily created by effective System 1 targeting in propaganda.

Recent floods on the Seine River in Paris were quickly blamed on “climate change”.

Someone responded with their own propaganda message using an effective System 1 approach. It is rare for a counterpoint to a social media propaganda item to be done so effectively and succinctly:



Thinking Fast and Slow author Kahneman, and creator of the “System 1 and System 2” thinking concept acknowledges that 11 of 12 studies cited in his chapter on “priming” were from weak studies. That chapter implied that “subtle cues in their environment can have strong effects on their behavior outside their awareness“. This does not mean his conclusions are wrong but that the evidence supporting his conclusions may be weak on the subject of “priming”. This acknowledgement is independent of the System 1/System 2 thinking style issues.