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Category: Assertion

Part 8: Is Denmark a socialist country?

Part 8: Is Denmark a socialist country?

This blog analyzed a popular social media propaganda post that was widely distributed in 2016. The poster encouraged viewers to share if you wanted the U.S. to be just like Denmark. Nearly all the claims about Denmark, however, were false. Yet the poster was widely shared. Another popular meme is that Denmark is a socialist country and we should be just like Denmark. Except Denmark is not a socialist country – and that is according to the Prime Minister of Denmark.

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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Fake photo re- purposed for propaganda message, once again

Fake photo re- purposed for propaganda message, once again

This is getting old – an old photo is re-purposed to pretend it represents something else in a Tweet on Twitter. The photo was taken from Getty Images, of a protest in Tahrir, Egypt in 2011. It appears in multiple locations online. Has nothing to do with Tommy Robinson or Trump or the UK. Note that the tweet has been liked nearly 10,000 times and shared 7,600 times. This is a very common technique used in social media propaganda messages…

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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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"What you see is all there is" messaging

"What you see is all there is" messaging

Much propaganda messaging relies on showing us only a limited view of a story. Our quick acting thinking (Kahneman’s System 1 thinking style) jumps to a conclusion based on what we see, and usually fails to consider that there might be more to the story. Hence, this form of propaganda is “What you see is all there is”. Here is the example that went viral on social media. Here on Twitter, this video clip has been viewed over 3 million…

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Part 7: We should all be like Denmark, remember?

Part 7: We should all be like Denmark, remember?

Occupy Democrats is an online, social media-based, for profit publisher of emotion laden political propaganda posters targeting those who view themselves as left wing. In 2016, Occupy Democrats used social media to distribute this propaganda through shares and likes. Every claim on this widely distributed and shared poster is essentially false – or two that are highly misleading at best (see links below for excruciating details.) Note their last item: SHARE if America should follow their lead! Occupy Democrats wants…

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If its on social media, it must be true …

If its on social media, it must be true …

Appeared on Facebook. It’s a misquote, taken out of context, says Snopes. (June 28th – the original post has been replaced and rewritten with the following) Violence broke out at a protest over removal of Confederate related statutes at a protest in Charlottesville, VA. Trump said: “I think there is blame on both sides,” the president said in a combative exchange with reporters at Trump Tower in Manhattan. “You had a group on one side that was bad. You had…

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Political misinformation is harder to correct than health misinformation – especially among the educated

Political misinformation is harder to correct than health misinformation – especially among the educated

We have covered this phenomena before. The first information people receive, even if subsequently proven to be incorrect, is what stays in people’s minds. This is one of the reasons that propaganda based on lies is often successful. It is very hard to refute erroneous propaganda statements. New research indicates that corrections have a moderate influence on belief in misinformation. ….“The alarming growth of misinformation and the limited repercussions for non-institutional actors for knowingly or unknowingly misleading the public turned…

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Riding a "bike generator" for 30 minutes will power a house for a day? No, not even close. #Facebook #Bicycling #nonsense

Riding a "bike generator" for 30 minutes will power a house for a day? No, not even close. #Facebook #Bicycling #nonsense

This made me laugh – can you see why? A typical bicyclist may generate 100 to 200 watts per hour on a bike. A very fit bicyclist might generate up to 300 watts per hour (and their peak output – like a sprint – can produce 500 or more watts briefly). (Good explanation here. Another way to look at this is that 1 horsepower is 746 watts. Are you as powerful as a horse?) Consequently, for most people, 30 minutes…

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It may be virtue signalling, but at least its not actually true

It may be virtue signalling, but at least its not actually true

This propaganda poster came across my news feed. According to Snopes, He occasionally rides a subway but is more often driving one of his sports cars or classic motorcycles. He generously support several charities; however, his net worth is estimated at $350 million. He lives in a $4 million home (shack, not a mansion, in Hollywood Hills, which is in California, not New York City). Typical of propaganda, this poster extracts “bits” and extrapolates those to make broad or generalized…

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How media manipulates your interpretation of a news story

How media manipulates your interpretation of a news story

Nearly every story on Facebook this week has featured this Getty Images photo of Zuckerberg looking contrite: The photo first appeared in the press in about May of 2017. In other words, this photo is about one year old. The media has deliberately selected an old photo of Zuckerberg to make it look like he is contrite and feeling badly about the current predicament of Facebook. This assertion, however, is made up entirely by fiction writers in the media. We…

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Yet another profound but fake quote from Einstein

Yet another profound but fake quote from Einstein

I do not see as many of these strange social media posters, partially because I have stopped following people who posted stuff like this: It’s a fake quote, of course. So what is the point of posting stuff like this on social media?

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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Is there a solution to the social media propaganda problem?

Is there a solution to the social media propaganda problem?

For several years I have been pointing out the problem of social media dominated by propaganda. In the past week, awareness of social media propaganda has risen, albeit, focused solely on Russia connected actors. Amusingly, a lot of posts from individuals bemoaning Russia connected propaganda are from individuals who do not realize their own posts are the problem too. Far too many users of Facebook and Twitter believe the primary purpose of their posts is to persuade others to adopt…

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