The most spectacular example of social media propaganda – so far!

11694954_1666895460210336_8548751201993760462_nTL; DR Summary

  • This poster is designed to lead you to the conclusion someone died because Republicans fund wars rather than highway infrastructure.
  • But your conclusion, based on the provided evidence trail, is not just wrong but spectacularly wrong when you see the full set of evidence.
  • This poster was shared over 25,000 times within 24 hours of appearing on Facebook, making it one of the most effective propaganda posters I have seen.

This poster is elegant in its design, use of “anchoring” and logical fallacy – but the poster is a work of fiction and an outright lie.  Yet it successfully engaged System 1’s quick and intuitive thinking to lead viewers into a false conclusion, and whose viewers then quickly shared it with their friends, encouraging their friends to reach the same false conclusion.

Read through to learn how false this poster is – yet why it worked as such a spectacular piece of social media propaganda.

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A lie told online travels the world in milliseconds – is Cruz a Koch puppet?

10475506_666670603425997_1065796556594116068_nTL;DR Summary

  • Sen. Ted Cruz was bribed by the Koch brothers and is their puppet in the Senate.
  • Politifact rates this a “pants on fire” lie.
  • Relies on a false assertion to link the target’s presumed dislike of the Koch brothers as a reason to dislike Ted Cruz. In other words, the propaganda method of “transference”.
  • At the time I collected this item, it had been shared over 94,000 times on Facebook.

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Transferring dislike for one on to another using a false quote

12088548_1197553540258397_8297689775397707990_nTL;DR Summary

  • Poster suggests that Hillary Clinton is advocating the same policies as Adolf Hitler by pairing up alleged quotes from both.
  • There is no evidence that Clinton said this. The quote comes from a book whose author admits he made up quotes.
  • The goal is to transfer one’s dislike for Hitler to Clinton via logical fallacy.

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Rubio outsources campaign ad to Canada

Just as Trump ran an ad featuring Nazi soldiers, Rubio has now run a TV ad shot in Vancouver, British Columbia, which is, surprisingly to some, outside the United States:

Actually, it’s “morning again” in the Vancouver harbor.

Source: Marco Rubio’s ‘Morning Again in America’ ad opens with a Canadian skyline – The Washington Post

Ted Cruz of course, was until recently, both a Canadian and U.S. citizen. The ad might have been more appropriate for Cruz.

Rubio seems to be linking the “It’s morning in America” ad of Ronald Reagan to himself, probably to transfer Republican approval of Reagan to approval of Rubio. Then again, Rubio is a big advocate of importing foreign labor to the U.S. since Americans won’t do jobs like photography and video production. Or something.

Fake celebrity endorsement and appeal to authority – Dalai Lama did not say this

1656108_10152190715656030_1055730174_nTL;DR Summary

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Context matters – poster from unions4workers deleted a key word to tell a lie

12552872_967885293297610_2504569832739597361_nTL;DR Summary

  • The poster conveys that James Madison believed in 1817 that business corporations are inherently evil regarding accumulation of property.
  • The person who created this poster left out one word: “in perpetuity by [ecclesiastical] corporations” which completely changes the meaning.
  • The quote is contained in a paragraph about the power of religious bodies, in a document that is entirely about “Ecclesiastical Bodies” (Churches).
  • Unions4Workers is telling an outright lie.

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The reality was bad enough, so why lie to make a propaganda poster?

TL;DR Summary

  • This an odd one. This poster about former Republican Presidential candidate Scott Walker asserts 2 untrue facts and 1 true fact.
  • This is odd because the truthful backstory is not so great, so why use lies to get the point across? Once caught, it makes the propagandist look rather bad.


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Pre-propaganda – not all propaganda messaging comes with a “to do” list

11221711_467941113387769_9069897769083277186_nTL;RD Summary

  • A positive message, albeit, a “feel good” glittering generality. The message is honest .
  • The design of the poster could be better by suggesting some action to be taken but in some ways, this might be viewed as “pre-propaganda”  which is messaging that preps the target for later propaganda that calls for action.

The poster was on FB and came from  It uses the methods of “testimonial”, “appeal to authority”, “celebrity endorsement” and a “glittering generality”. The poster design is clean and simple and the message is easily understood.

How pro sports uses the national anthem for promotional propaganda

CaptureTL;DR Summary

  • Why do we play the national anthem at sports events?
  • Why do we have the emotional re-uniting of families with a service member returned from overseas at sports events?
  • These seemingly spontaneous events of joy and patriotism are often paid endorsements from the marketing budget of the the US Department of Defense.
  • In the case of the Superbowl, the symbolism is taken to an extreme to link pro sports with patriotism, military and nationalist pride.

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