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Category: Appeal to Authority

Center for the Study of Social Media Propaganda

Center for the Study of Social Media Propaganda

I would probably have more readers if I said this blog was published by the Center for the Study of Social Media Propaganda and called myself the Executive Director!

That translates into an “Appeal to Authority” approach in propaganda messaging.

Political propaganda drops all pretense of logical thinking #ACA #ObamaCare #MedicareForAll

Political propaganda drops all pretense of logical thinking #ACA #ObamaCare #MedicareForAll

“Faithfully executed, as the Constitution requires, the ACA was working and insurance markets were stable” – Andy Slavitt, former head of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, 2015-2016. During the period from 2014 to 2016, the average premium went up by 106% according to the CMMS, and in 3 states average premiums went up by over 200%. This, he says, is a “stable” market. And he was in charge during most of that time frame. Prices continued to rise…

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Did Kurt Cobain predict in 1993 that Donald Trump would be President? No.

Did Kurt Cobain predict in 1993 that Donald Trump would be President? No.

I just unfollowed the person who posted this item today. It’s not true. He should have known better than pass along such silly propaganda posters. Several online meme debunking web sites have branded this as false (and Snopes here). The meme was created by a Facebook page called “Trump Train” in July of 2016. Cartoon character Lisa Simpson, of The Simpsons, did in actual fact, predict President Trump all the way back in 2000. For some reason, she is never quoted…

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Study: Higher testosterone level increases men's desire for high-status goods

Study: Higher testosterone level increases men's desire for high-status goods

Researchers say that higher testosterone levels lead to men wanting “higher status” luxury goods. Marketing propaganda figured this out long ago – hence the image of men lounging in a high status beach resort or on the deck of a fancy yacht, or a $200,000 recreational vehicle, surrounded by attractive women. By focusing on “conspicuous consumption as an avenue to status,” the new research shows what “value to others” means in a society where scarcity itself has become scarce, Von…

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Another explanation for why propaganda works so well

Another explanation for why propaganda works so well

If a man is offered a fact which goes against his instincts, he will scrutinize it closely, and unless the evidence is overwhelming, he will refuse to believe it. If, on the other hand, he is offered something which affords a reason for acting in accordance to his instincts, he will accept it even on the slightest evidence. The origin of myths is explained in this way.   Bertrand Russell The most effective propaganda generally leverages and works off of…

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The joy of living in a fact-free world of official government propaganda #Cellphone #Crashes #Propaganda

The joy of living in a fact-free world of official government propaganda #Cellphone #Crashes #Propaganda

WCSO is the Washington County Sheriff’s Office. They put out this social media poster on Twitter, regarding cell phone usage / distracted driving and fatalities. They cite ODOT Crash Analysis & Reporting, 2015. But check the details. Per the ODOT report just 1 of the 73 pedestrian fatalities was linked to cell phone usage (see page 18, fatal pedestrian accident data). 0.7% of all accidents and 0.5% of accidents having a fatality were linked to cell phone usage. Most people…

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News: When is a scientific study, or the reporting on it, just propaganda?

News: When is a scientific study, or the reporting on it, just propaganda?

Today’s news brings the following announcement: By modifying their lifestyle, including diet and exercise, people can lower their blood pressure just as effectively as with medication, according to a study. Researchers studied the effects of adapting the Newstart Lifestyle program, which includes a vegan diet, daily outside walks, substantial quantities of water, adequate daily sleep and optional spiritual activities. Source: Healthier lifestyle as effective as medication to lower blood pressure, study says – UPI.com Most people will read only the…

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Should professors have more free speech rights than others?

Should professors have more free speech rights than others?

If we engaged in widely publicized hateful or hurtful or vile speech, our employers would likely begin job termination procedures within 24 hours regardless of whether we made such comments in a private capacity or not. As the NY Times notes, “Speaking Freely About Politics Can Cost You Your Job“. Private sector workers ‘ “…don’t have the right to speak freely in the workplace.” Or even outside it.’ Unlike public sector workers: “… anyone who works for a government office,…

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NAS, NAE, NAM seek to counter "misinformation" on the Internet

NAS, NAE, NAM seek to counter "misinformation" on the Internet

March 20, 2018 Statement by NAS, NAE, and NAM Presidents on Effort to Counter Online Misinformation We are pleased to announce that the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine are exploring ways to mobilize our expertise to counter misinformation on the web related to science, engineering, and health. Part of the mission of the National Academies has always been to help ensure that public discourse is informed by the best available evidence. To that end, we are convening Academy…

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"Leaders" now acknowledge the dangers of social media

"Leaders" now acknowledge the dangers of social media

If the last decade of SXSW celebrated the promise of social media, the next years may well be dominated by the reckoning. Questions about the unintended consequences of social networks pervaded this year’s event. Academics, business leaders, and Facebook executives weighed in on how social platforms spread misinformation, encourage polarization, and promote hate speech. Source: The reckoning over social media has transformed SXSW – The Verge Good to see that “leaders” have caught on to what seemed obvious to us…

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The Doomsday Clock is a propaganda tool

The Doomsday Clock is a propaganda tool

We’ve all seen news quotes like this one: Scientists moved the hands of the Doomsday Clock closer to midnight on Thursday amid increasing worries over nuclear weapons and climate change. Source: Doomsday Clock ticks closer to apocalypse and 1 person is to blame The Doomsday Clock is a propaganda tool that allegedly represents how many minutes we are from Armageddon and the end of life on earth. It works as propaganda through its ease of understanding, and its appeal to authority (it’s…

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Interesting example of how propaganda messaging lives forever and is recycled

Interesting example of how propaganda messaging lives forever and is recycled

The senator [Sanders] from Vermont says 40 percent of guns are sold without a background check. The Washington Post notes the figure came from a small survey in 1993/1994 before major changes in gun laws. The latest data indicate it is 13%, not 40%. But remember, the first propaganda message someone hears is the one that sticks – undoubtedly this figure has stuck with Sanders for a quarter century. Source: Bernie Sanders resurrects a ‘zombie’ claim on gun sales without…

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