Social media’s “self-affirming feedback loop” encourages “expectations for a custom-made reality” and indignation about anything “that deviates from our preferences.
Survey of college students find that Instagram is “the most narcissistic platform” that is “all-about-me”.
Same survey also found that many people delete their social media posts if they do not receive sufficient “Likes”.
Germany plans to fine social media firms if they do not remove flagged “hate speech” and “fake news” within 1 to 7 days, depending on the nature of the content. Because the time line is short and the fines are very large, social media companies are expected to err on the side of frequently censoring posts.
A grad student notes that a conventional wisdom is that grad students need to establish a social media presence. But some are finding that a break from social media is beneficial.
Government of Israel purchases software to deliver propaganda messaging on social media: “to plant an idea in the debate on social networks, web news sites and forums”. Further, “Via this system, the Israeli government is able to plant ideas in conversations on social networks and forums through an automated or semi-automated mechanism.”
Why need to recognize propaganda methods: “Amazeen, who teaches mass communication, advertising, and public relations, says she has seen students turn in papers citing sober-sounding sources—educational or official groups, seemingly—“but that are in reality industry or front groups with an agenda.” She says media literacy must go beyond being able to distinguish fake news from legitimate news to include an awareness of propaganda efforts.”
Spot on: ““Fake news” is simply a recent name for deception and propaganda. While the term propaganda is often associated with Orwellian images of big government, we now live in an age where we don’t have to worry about just one big brother, but rather a thousand little brothers that are running around unabated on the Internet. Although it may seem that we hear about it more now than in the past, using deceptive practices and propaganda to influence others is nothing new.” (emphasis added).
The point above is that today, everyone can be a propagandist. No broadcast license or printing press is required. All you need is a free Facebook account.
Long ago, a survey found that 75% of Americans believe violence on television leads to violence in society. The results of that survey were then used as evidence in a Congressional hearing.
Left out is that this was in the 1960s, and the survey was made after several Congressional representatives made this assertion and began talking about their assertion as if it were fact. The media dutifully reprinted their words, creating a broad propaganda message that violence on TV was the cause of violent behavior in society. This led to Congressional hearings and even the cancellation of some TV shows because public momentum was turned away from shows that showed violent scenes.
In effect, this national survey measured the effectiveness of the propaganda campaign as there was no data at the time to support this conclusion.
Unfortunately, most national surveys of “American’s opinions” are surveys of propaganda effectiveness. The survey itself then adds to the growing body of propaganda messaging on a subject and becomes, itself, a form of propaganda.
You can go to news.google.com and find similar surveys.
- 9% of American’s Feel Shingles Vaccination is a Priority
- Many believe race relations will worsen under Trump
- 68% of Americans believe humans are causing warming
- 71% of Americans consider granola bars to be healthy
Surveys often follow a period of concerted propaganda messaging in the media.
In these and other cases, the survey is primarily measuring the effectiveness of the propaganda messaging around a subject. Most American’s understand little of the facts or logic for any of these items (and many more). Survey respondents are regurgitating the view given to them by propaganda messaging and the methods used to persuade masses of people.
A classic example of how opinion surveys are used to influence the public are surveys about state-level voter initiatives. When the initiative appears likely to pass, and is promoted by well funded interests, you will often see many media reports showing “a majority of voters support”. But when the initiative is not supported – and is losing – media reports become scarce or non-existent as the promoters hide the result of their polling show the initiative is failing.
To illustrate the absurdity of national surveys that measure public opinions, consider this actual headline:
- A Poll finds most Americans don’t trust public opinion polls
Unfortunately, what the above survey likely measured is that people don’t trust surveys that indicate they, personally, are out of step with their community. People selectively like surveys, as along as the survey agrees with their opinion.
The purpose of most polling is to identify a ground swell movement. The poll itself is a form of propaganda messaging known as “get on the bandwagon”. The survey results show that everyone else is thinking this way – why you aren’t you on the bandwagon too?
Consequently, most national opinion polls are garbage – and are themselves a component of major propaganda messaging to persuade you to adopt someone’s else agenda, not because of evidence, facts or logic – no, you should adopt their agenda because a bunch of other people are!
After the Westminster attack in London, some one posted a photo on social media purporting to show a Muslim woman indifferent to the carnage. The photo went viral but of course, was out of context. Yet the social media outrage culture quickly condemned her and an entire ethnic group, all due to a propaganda lie.
The photographer whose photo was stolen and distributed has provided additional photos showing she was clearly as distraught as everyone else, as anyone with a brain would expect.
This example illustrates how propaganda no longer needs a broadcast license or a printing press. Thanks to social media, any idiot can be in the propaganda business.
This also illustrates how social media has become the most powerful tool in the hands of propagandists everywhere, who are using social media to make all of us worse off.