News: Being overly dramatic

The Intercept published an article about likely locations of NSA voice and data intercept equipment located in AT&T “central office” network switching locations. They’ve promoted the article on Twitter with this poster:

  1. Electronic equipment does not need a windowed office with a view. Duh.
  2. They are kept in “fortress-like concrete structures” because they are designed as critical infrastructure keeping our voice and data systems running in the event of natural disasters.
  3. “and behind their fortified walls” … because we actually don’t want just anyone or various disaster scenarios to take down our communications infrastructure.

The statement they’ve written is basically true but is written using numerous emotional click bait words to exaggerate. Each of those attributes are features that make perfect sense and have nothing to do with their likely co-location of NSA surveillance gear.

The intent in the above wording is engage your System 1 “emotional thinking” to cause you to read the article. This is typical of advertising – don’t think! Just feel!

Much propaganda messaging appeals specifically to your emotions, to engage your gut level feelings. This is why it is so hard to correct factually incorrect propaganda – processing a correction takes more effort than the easy emotional response.

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