Monthly Archives: January 2016

Use sleight of hand to persuade your propaganda target

Canada Incomes

TL;DR Summary

There is a whopper error in this poster. Can you spot it? Let’s rewrite the first line:

US $7.25 Minimum Wage 49.95 Danish Krone

Written that way, you would convert one currency in to the other, right? Canadian currency, like the US, is called a “dollar”. But the US dollar and the Canadian dollar are not equivalent. This propaganda poster uses this sleight of hand magic trick to persuade – most people see the $7.25 and the $10.45 and think they are making a meaningful comparison! [1]

  • This technique – sleight-of-hand and a false comparison – is effective in propaganda, just as a magician’s use of distraction is used to hide how the trick is done.

The statement should read:

     US $7.25 Minimum Wage Canadian $10.45

As of January 31, 2016, one Canadian dollar is worth 71 US cents. Thus C$10.45 is US $7.46 so the poster now reads:

     US $7.25 Minimum Wage US equivalent $7.46

But there are several more errors in this chart than just this …

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Using symbolism to promote yourself backfired for Trump

10955307_1663539457212603_8266961552736131391_nTL;DR Summary

  • Propaganda symbols are obvious in this classic propaganda poster. This poster could come from WW I, WW II, or the Cold War era.
  • The intent is to transfer one’s feelings about the US flag to Donald Trump. This method is known as transference.
  • Other symbols include money (implying Trump will be good for the economy), the White House (implying Trump will be presidential), and soldiers (Trump will be strong). The goal is to present Trump as Presidential.
  • The poster, however, bombed due to a serious error and was pulled within a day. Read on to learn more!

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False Quotes That Spread Like Wildfire on Social Media

TrumpTL;DR Summary

  • False quote posters, like this one, appear every day on social media, for and against numerous topics and politicians.
  • Snopes says the quote is completely false.
  • says the quote is false.
  • These posters work because they convey what the poster wants to believe-if you believe it to be true, than it must be true! (Indeed! I linked to Snopes in a reply to the person who posted this and he replied that he would leave it up because he wanted this to be true!)
  • The  message  is parsed in seconds, generating an emotional, gut-level response and then a quick click on the Like or Share button, making for successful and effective propaganda campaign.

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Example of trade group social media propaganda

CaptureTL;DR Summary:

  • Most people view propaganda as something undertaken by governments, especially in war time, and by politicians. But propaganda and the methods of propaganda are employed every single day by all types of organizations and participants.
  • By sharing messages like this, you become a propagandist in the chain of propaganda!
  • On Facebook, a “Like” or “Comment” is identical to “Share” – which means you may be “sharing” items you do not realize you are sharing!


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