Propaganda detection

Strategy page has a column on The Most Successful Propaganda Techniques. 22 techniques are named and described with examples given. When you hear these in debate you know that getting to the bottom of things is going to be difficult. When you read the news, watch out else you might get caught.

# 1. Guilt By Association: This is used to damage someone’s reputation by associating them with an unattractive person or organization. It doesn’t matter if there is an actual association or not.

# 2. Backstroke: Systematically belittling the goals of the subject of the article as the goals are being listed. For every step forward for the subject, the propagandist pulls the reader back.

# 3. Misinformation: This is a subtle technique, it involves reporting information in such a way that the final message of the story is not true, it’s what the propagandist wants you to believe.

# 4. Over Humanization: It is a perfectly valid technique to tell a story by focusing on the real people who the story impacts. However, this is also an easy technique for manipulation when a propagandist tries to mask an issue by making anyone who has a valid disagreement look evil due to all the human suffering talked about in the story.

# 5. Name Calling

# 6. He Said, She Said

# 7. Unproven “Facts”

# 8. Lying Sometimes complete lies are told.

# 9. Telling the Truth, For a While To throw people off the track, biased news services will give good accurate reporting for a while, usually when it no longer matters, then they will stick it to you the next time your guard is down.

# 10. Not Talking at all about Something

# 11. Subtle Inaccuracies/Dismissive Tone Misstating a topic, often a serious one, and pretending any objecting or concerned view is silly, unrealistic, or just not necessary.

# 12. A One One Punch pretending to represent two sides, but one side gets a couple of great lines , the other side gets a lame line.

# 13. Volume This is related to Coordination, it is merely a deluge of the same story line everywhere, until it becomes dominant,

# 14. Coordination This occurs when a number of like minded journalists all report the same angle at about the same time.

# 15. Fogging an Issue/Total Nonsense

# 16. 2,3,4 Technique Mentioning only one side of an issue 2, 3, or 4 times in an article, each time pretending you are about to present the opposing side, but you never do.

# 17. Preemptive Strike This is when the writer “attacks” the reader viciously at the very outset of the article with the “acceptable” view of the topic.

# 18. Framing the Debate Setting an argument around two “alternatives” which you would prefer, rather than the true alternatives.
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# 19. Token Equal Time

# 20. “Interpreting” A Statement

# 21. Withholding Information Is it the same as lying?

# 22. Distracting or Absurd Metrics

A bit of skepticism is always a good start to detecting when the message isn’t what it seems. Knowing what techniques are used to mislead can aid in detecting their presence.

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