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Category: Patriotism

It's official: social media is now a global propaganda battlefield

It's official: social media is now a global propaganda battlefield

The State Department is launching a $40 million initiative to crack down on foreign propaganda and disinformation amid widespread concerns about future Russian efforts to interfere in elections. Source: State Dept. launches $40M offensive against foreign propaganda | TheHill 7 years ago, the U.S. government launched its own social media computational propaganda program. Social media is now an official battlefield as nation states and a cast of thousands of others go to war against each other. I’m so old I…

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CNN: "The Trump supporters used by Russia"

CNN: "The Trump supporters used by Russia"

CNN speaks with people unwittingly used by the Kremlin-linked Internet Research Agency. Source: The unwitting: The Trump supporters used by Russia – Feb. 20, 2018 CNN itself covered a rally sponsored by the Internet Research Agency and falsely reported that it was organized by a 20 year old. CNN does not mention that it too was unwittingly used by Internet Research Agency, publishing news stories sourced to Internet Research Agency social media propaganda. Nor does CNN mention that its coverage…

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Did a Federal law make U.S. Civil War Confederate solidiers the equivalent of U.S. veterans? No.

Did a Federal law make U.S. Civil War Confederate solidiers the equivalent of U.S. veterans? No.

This past week, my Facebook news feed showed a shared item that claims Confederate soldiers of the U.S. Civil War were declared as “U.S. veterans by an Act of Congress”. Not exactly. In fact, most of this claims is false. Snopes.com explains that this is mostly false. This item works as social media propaganda because it appears to cite what sound like legitimate sources for the information (an appeal to authority). The item also appeals to patriotism (U.S. veterans) and…

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Creating artificial social media pundits to manipulate public opinion

Creating artificial social media pundits to manipulate public opinion

Everyone is working to manipulate you on social media: “It’s recently been revealed that the U.S. government contracted HBGary Federal for the development of software which could create multiple fake social media profiles to manipulate and sway public opinion on controversial issues by promoting propaganda. It could also be used as surveillance to find public opinions with points of view the powers-that-be didn’t like. It could then potentially have their “fake” people run smear campaigns against those “real” people. As…

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Unusual use of data in a propaganda poster

Unusual use of data in a propaganda poster

TL;DR Summary Propaganda poster distributed on social media notes that the number of Americans killed annually by “Islamic jihadist immigrants” is very small. The numbers in the chart appear to be approximately correct (depends on year and who is counting). The poster uses data, which may invoke System 2 rational thinking, yet the numbers and layout are simple enough that many people may process this with their quick, intuitive and emotional-based System 1 thinking style. In that regard, this is…

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Heidi Cruz scares the Hell out of All Americans … says Trump Supporter

Heidi Cruz scares the Hell out of All Americans … says Trump Supporter

TL; TD Summary The details on the poster are somewhat true. The person who created this is the  unbiased[not] publisher of Trump Magazine. Uses fear, assertions, transference, and a fierce, evil looking photo to make its point. But this propaganda poster has way too much detail. Few people will read all the text. If reading takes more than 5 seconds to rouse your System 1 thinking, the poster’s message is probably dead-on-arrival.

How pro sports uses the national anthem for promotional propaganda

How pro sports uses the national anthem for promotional propaganda

TL;DR Summary Why do we play the national anthem at sports events? Why do we have the emotional re-uniting of families with a service member returned from overseas at sports events? These seemingly spontaneous events of joy and patriotism are often paid endorsements from the marketing budget of the the US Department of Defense. In the case of the Superbowl, the symbolism is taken to an extreme to link pro sports with patriotism, military and nationalist pride.