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Month: September 2016

How White Supremacists incited panic and fear using social media propaganda at the University of Missouri

How White Supremacists incited panic and fear using social media propaganda at the University of Missouri

This post documents – in detail – how white supremacists used social media to create genuine fear and hysteria at the University of Missouri in late 2015. Summary White supremacists, KKK and/or neo Nazi’s used social media propaganda to incite fear and panic by falsely asserting that the KKK was on the University of Missouri campus and acting violently (Assertion, Lie). This propaganda created fear among the students, who then passed along frightening hoax statements and photos as facts, creating more…

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Leaving out details to make a story more dramatic

Leaving out details to make a story more dramatic

TL;DR Summary ‘Milwaukee police “accidentally” shot a 13 year old girl at an elementary school after she became “combative”.’ By placing the word “accidentally” in quotes, followed by the word “combative”, this propaganda poster sets the viewer up to believe the police intentionally shot a 13 year old “combative” girl. The poster leaves out that the officer’s gun was in the holster and that the MPD weapons do not have holster safeties. This information negates the attempted spin on the…

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Social media after big events

Social media after big events

TL;DR Summary In this poster, the “facts” do lie. This poster was modified from 162 (or may be 163) to read “164”. Those numbers are false. Snopes.com says, the original social media poster was a lie, based on using different definitions for “pre-Obama” versus “Obama” to inflate the latter’s count.   In the aftermath of a mass shooting in Burlington, Washington, I saw “fake” photos distributed on Twitter. Twitter was filled with accusations against Muslims. Few seemed interested in waiting for actual facts. Instead,…

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“Massive Rally AGAINST Islam in France”? No.

“Massive Rally AGAINST Islam in France”? No.

TL; DR Summary The assertion that this is a rally against Islam in France is false. Social media passes along this photo and text description: “Massive Rally AGAINST Islam in France: Di you hear about this MASSIVE rally in France? You probably didn’t because it’s exactly what the mainstream media doesn’t want you to see. A far-right rally has been held in Paris with hundreds of young people taking to the streets…“ The photo was stolen from a BBC news…

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When media becomes propaganda, media consumers lose trust

When media becomes propaganda, media consumers lose trust

Perhaps people are more aware of propaganda methods and prevalence than realized. Trust in mass media reaches an all time low. Americans’ trust in the mass media has dropped sharply since last year to its lowest point since 1972. Republicans’ lack of faith in the media is chiefly behind this decline. Source: Americans’ Trust in Mass Media Sinks to New Low The trend over time is true for all political persuasions despite the Gallup comment in the last sentence. Democrats went…

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Social media “quotable quote” propagation

Social media “quotable quote” propagation

A topic we have covered before is the prevalence of “famous quotes” said to be by historical figures. Much of the time, there is either no record that the “famous quote” was said by the historical figure or there is proof that the quote came from someone else. Yet seemingly everyone publishes “quotable quotes” on social media. Here is another example: Not surprisingly, this quote originated, in a slightly modified form, from a physicist in 1963 and has nothing to do…

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Do some people want to receive propaganda? YES

Do some people want to receive propaganda? YES

So it goes with propaganda. For propaganda to be effective, it requires submissive subjects. As Professor Nicholas O’Shaughnessy wrote, propaganda is a “co-production in which we are willing participants.” Source: Why Does Propaganda Work? Some People Want It | Zero Hedge The answer is an absolute yes! Millions of people voluntarily belong to Facebook groups whose sole purpose is the dissemination of propaganda. Whether it be left or right leaning political groups, environmental and other activist groups, many people read…

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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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Did attack dogs bite a little girl in the face at pipeline protest in North Dakota?

Did attack dogs bite a little girl in the face at pipeline protest in North Dakota?

TL;DR Summary Graphic photo of a little girl with bite wounds to her face was presented online as proof that attack dogs were unleashed on Native American and other protesters at an oil pipeline construction site in North Dakota. This photo was then passed on social media, including online comments at “news” sites, as proof of the vicious attacks by dogs. The photo, however, first appeared in a June 26, 2012 NY Daily News report about a dog attack that…

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Did a Court ban Native Americans from protesting on their own land?

Did a Court ban Native Americans from protesting on their own land?

TL;DR Summary Native Americans and others are protesting oil pipeline construction in North Dakota. This “news” item says the “U.S. government bans Native American Tribe from Protesting on their own land – send in police to remove protesters”. The graphic image looks scary. Except that is not a Native American and this photo is from 2012, in Rio de Janiero, Brazil and has nothing to do with the events occurring in North Dakota. That is a first clue that this may…

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