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Category: WYSIATI

Ignorance contributes to the effectiveness of propaganda

Ignorance contributes to the effectiveness of propaganda

Democrats won the popular vote in the U.S. Senate, therefore the 2018 election is unfair, says the meme. Sounds convincing – until you see this claim taken apart by the Washington Post. In fact, Democrats won 22 of the 35 seats or 65% of the seats while receiving just 55% of the total votes. Read the whole thing. This is an example of propaganda messaging that uses the “What you see is all there is” method. Also see thelogical fallacy of implying a vote of 1/3d of the Senate seats is a vote of 100% of Senate seats, fooling the target of the propaganda messaging.

Tumblr blames Russian trolls spreading "misinformation"

Tumblr blames Russian trolls spreading "misinformation"

These headlines are to the point of being “What You See is All There Is” (WYSIATI) propaganda. In reality, everyone from everywhere has been spreading misinformation on social media. But by repeatedly framing the problem as “Russia” connected propaganda, people are influenced to draw a conclusion based on the idea that this is the sum total of the story. This conveniently leaves out all of the numerous others involved in doing this. Source: Tumblr Removed 84 Accounts Linked to Russian…

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“No, it wasn’t always on our money!”

“No, it wasn’t always on our money!”

TL;DR Summary The phrase “In God We Trust wasn’t always on our money” states the propaganda poster. This poster is both true and false, depending on how you define “money”. It has been on some coins since 1909, for example. The goal of the poster was to argue about separation of state and church (we think). It works due to (a) a true assertion, and (b) “What you see is all there is” and the viewer is not aware that…

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Washington Post’s “Russian hacking” fictional news story falls apart

Washington Post’s “Russian hacking” fictional news story falls apart

This really was a fake news story from the Washington Post, since retracted, and labeled as fake news by many. The entire story was false. TL;DR Summary Washington Post writers Juliet Eilperin and Adam Entous publish a news story titled “Russian hackers penetrated U.S. electricity grid through a utility in Vermont“. This story is shared widely on social media, in part from social media promotion by Washington Post staff, and is quickly re-printed and re-published nationwide relying on the fear…

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Fake news: Anonymously sourced social media as the basis for news reports

Fake news: Anonymously sourced social media as the basis for news reports

This “news” report is based on an anonymously authored social media account: While the American media and leaders in Washington, D.C., wonder if Vladimir Putin’s government played dirty tricks to get Donald Trump elected, rich Russian youngsters have better things to worry about. Like expensive cars, bubble baths, jewelry, private jets — and showing it off on social media for the world to see. An anonymous Instagram account called RichRussianKids is still providing glimpses of the opulent lifestyle of “minigarchs,” or…

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Was Omaha Deaf Student Bullied and his backpack thrown in a toilet?

Was Omaha Deaf Student Bullied and his backpack thrown in a toilet?

TL; DR Summary The backpack belonging to a deaf student was thrown into a toilet. When we see this headline, we immediately envision students harassing a deaf student, stealing his backpack and throwing it in a toilet. This story has been widely shared on Facebook as an illustration of bullying behavior; indeed, bullying behavior against a deaf student. Except that is not what happened. Instead, this is a beautifully crafted story whose emotional bait successfully hooks all of us, so we…

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