Propaganda Here and Now

When I was a teenager my father was a high ranking officer in a sensitive area of the Air Force. We were sent to Paris and then to SHAPE, Supreme Headquarters, Allied Powers Europe.

Since my father was such a big muckety muck my brother and I were deemed to be kidnapping targets. In addition, it was thought that it would be a good idea to put us through an intensive course on propaganda: what it was, how to recognize it, how to combat it. My training came in handy, especially after I was waylaid in East Germany, but that’s another story.

I went on to Journalism School, thanks to the US Navy. More training on propaganda. Bottom line, I’m really good at recognizing crap when I see it.

Whenever a company can manipulate WHAT you see that’s propaganda. It doesn’t matter what political party you belong to or what cause you espouse. Whenever the free flow of information is dammed up because a company, a corporation, or an individual deems it unfit for your eyes, you should run, not walk, to the nearest exit.

Shadow banning, de-monetizing, restricting content are just some of the techniques being used by Google, FaceBook, Twitter, and YouTube. It’s brilliant because you never see what they don’t want you to see. You can’t make an informed choice because choice is limited for you – not by you.

One of the things I love about the internet is that it promotes the democratization of information. What’s happening now is the infantilization of the public. Someone else is deciding what’s good for you. As a fully functioning adult I don’t need anyone else choosing what’s acceptable for me. I’ll do my own deciding, thanks.

I use Duck Duck Go for my search engine. I never use Google anymore. First of all, I don’t want to be tracked and secondly I don’t trust them. I don’t use FaceBook, either, and I’ve mentioned why more than once.

What can any of us do? Recognize that it’s happening. Don’t get our news or information from just one source. Cast a jaundiced eye to stuff you see on these sites. Use a different search engine. Realize that if something is free (Google, Twitter, FaceBook, and YouTube) then each one of us is the commodity. We’re for sale through our personal information: likes, dislikes, friends, and companies with whom we do business.

A very old adage is: information is power. That’s never been truer than today.

12 thoughts on “Propaganda Here and Now”

  1. I glean my news from a variety of sources, so hopefully I’m getting enough of what’s going on in the world.

    • There are times, like last weekend, when I have had just about enough of the world. I deliberately avoided all news sources and blogs.

  2. Thanks for the info about Duck Duck Go. I’ll look into it. I don’t believe half of what I read or hear on the news, etc

    Hope you have a good summer. It’s in the 90s in Annapolis, MD and will remain same for a couple of days.

    • I really love Duck Duck Go.

      Annapolis is such a beautiful town. I used to date a Midshipman and we toodled around Annapolis in his convertible. Fun times.

  3. During Hitler’s time in power he had a minister, Joseph Goebbels. One of his most famous quotes,”If you repeat a lie often enough, people will come to believe it, and you will even come to believe it yourself.” This was from the same people who burned books which did not agree with their ideas.

    During the Dark Ages, most people could not read and did not have anything to read. The church had artists paint pictures in churches which told the story of the way to live your life. The way you lived your life was what they wanted, because people who followed the instructions were much easier to manage.

    So, this idea of limiting what the poor dumb public gets to know has been around for quite some time.

    One of the reasons I stopped watching national news shows years ago was what was chosen to be broadcast. Not the reporter, nor the talking head chooses what is shown, it is the producer. Some unknown person, sitting in a dark room decides what people learn. They also get to edit tapes to make the tape present what they think is important.

    I don’t do “social” media. For one thing, the social part seems to create enemies more than friends.

    Karen, thanks so much for this post. It is a wonderful reminder of who we should be.

    • What concerns me is when I hear the same talking point being repeated by multiple sources, even down to using the same words. I want to know who the clearing house is. Who is disseminating the information that’s being repeated?

      I stopped watching the national news when I could flip the channel and get the same story in the same lineup regardless of the channel. That was spooky to me years ago. I think it’s gotten even worse now.

      I have to do social media, unfortunately. I’m not happy about it, but I have to do it. I’m going to grin and bear it and be a grownup. In other words, I will keep the bitching and moaning to a minimum.

  4. I use Facebook to stay in touch with family in Australia. I also follow some political figures and have noticed I’m not getting their posts. I guess Facebook decides who I should follow and what I should see. I do see posts from some authors I follow.
    I will have to check out Duck Duck Go as I’ve been hearing bad stuff about Google lately. I do not want to be told what I can see or read. We are not a socialist country yet.

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