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Category: In Practice

Propaganda: Survey finds that after being told a recession is near, many think a recession is near :)

Propaganda: Survey finds that after being told a recession is near, many think a recession is near :)

Survey finds that people who are being constantly told that a recession is near, start to believe that a recession is near:) Numerous predictions of a near term recession, or some that proclaimed us to already be in a recession this past year, have proven wrong. In fact, no one has demonstrated any ability to accurately forecast future recessions. But constant fear mongering may actually create a recession! Fear mongering causes a reduction in spending, causing a reduction in economic activity and a slow down in business activity, leading to cut backs and layoffs.

Propaganda methods: Framing the story

Propaganda methods: Framing the story

We all have “frames” of reference that describe various life scenarios. When we walk into a restaurant we have a “frame” that pretty much explains how we expect the restaurant experience to go. We each carry around a lot of subconscious “frames” about how we think the world works. Effective propaganda messaging links to the frames we expect the target to already have. This is not all that surprising but what is old is now new again 🙂

Zohnerism: use of a true fact to lead an ignorant public to a false conclusion

Zohnerism: use of a true fact to lead an ignorant public to a false conclusion

Zohnerism is the “the use of a true fact to lead a scientifically and mathematically ignorant public to a false conclusion”.

This is a good example of why we must practice “factfulness” and verify what we are told daily by media and activist propaganda urging us to adopt someone else’s agenda.

Climate communications and Journalism’ish: Crisis, Emergency, Deniers and the language of propaganda in The Guardian

Climate communications and Journalism’ish: Crisis, Emergency, Deniers and the language of propaganda in The Guardian

The Guardian announces that it requires their staff to use pejorative propaganda terminology rather than the facts of atmospheric CO2 levels rising, sea level ice and temperature changes, ice mass changes and so on. Anyone who does not 100% adopt The Guardian’s perspective is to be labeled a “denier” (name calling, transference from “Holocaust denier”, get on the bandwagon). The word “climate” should be associated with “crisis”, “emergency” or “heating” (transference, fear). Shrill terminology designed to inflame and create emotional outrage is a turn off and causes readers to tune out from the issues.

Climate Communications “Fail”: This is what happens when propaganda gets extreme

Climate Communications “Fail”: This is what happens when propaganda gets extreme

A classic illustration of how exaggerated, hyperbolic and untrue statements about climate lead to people conclude that projections of human-induced climate change are not true. Our own thesis is that improved communication comes from honest and accurate presentation of facts and logical arguments. Unfortunately, the climate communications community has, rather consistently, engaged in increasingly shrill propaganda messaging that eventually results in the “The boy who cried wolf” phenomena where no one believes anything anymore. This item illustrates how climate communications has backfired, circled back on itself, and produced an outcome opposite to what was intended.

Climate Communications: Climate media coverage lacks facts, say researchers

Climate Communications: Climate media coverage lacks facts, say researchers

Two professors took a look at how the media has reported on the topic of climate and found that almost all news reports leave out critical and basic facts about climate. A corollary is that instead of reporting facts and the use of logic that supports anthropogenic climate change, most turn to propaganda methods such as appeal to authority, fear, name calling (“deniers”), get-on-the-bandwagon and so on. Incredibly, as I was writing this post The Nature Conservancy sent an email fundraising solicitation which illustrates the point: the first sentence of the email makes 4 demonstrably false claims to create fear about changes in climate. “Factfulness” teaches us how to detect when we are being misled – this turned out to be classic example of a charitable organization making exaggerated claims not supported by reputable science organizations (IPCC, NOAA, The Royal Society).

This post may be the first of several on how climate communications has been badly bungled by reliance on propaganda methods, rather than sticking with facts and logic.

Youtube now pseudo fact checking some videos

Youtube now pseudo fact checking some videos

Youtube has begun flagging videos on selected topics and displays a fairly large banner with a quote from Wikipedia – just in case the video does not meet Google’s own definitions of truthiness. Or something. It’s kinda weird since they use Wikipedia – the encyclopedia that anyone can and does edit – as the source of truth.

Climate communications: The Amazon fires pseudo news panic illustrates how easy it is to throw an election via social media

Climate communications: The Amazon fires pseudo news panic illustrates how easy it is to throw an election via social media

Social media is a frictionless platform for the dissemination of propaganda messaging. Seeing what just took place in the past few days, can you imagine the firepower about to be unleashed during the next national election in the U.S.? The brutal propaganda messaging on social media threatens to take down democracy.