Today’s piece is the result of a conversation with Irene about last Friday’s and further “Whistleblower” articles along with the resulting problem of posts or comments being “held back” or “deleted” even though they are the admins of the group. A possible sign of cyber hacking with malicious intent.
My explanation was “It’s a good old-fashioned propaganda war, Joseph Goebbels was a master, and many learned the lessons,” but what is “Propaganda”?
Propaganda is a word we very much associate with world politics, with the most famous of all being the “Propaganda War” waged by Joseph Goebbels to give credibility to the Nazi cause. The biggest triumph of all is probably the 1936 Berlin Olympics.
So, what do we mean when we use the word “Propaganda”?
First, let’s have a look at just a few of the definitions we found, our initial Google search gave us this definition,
“information, especially of a biased or misleading nature, used to promote a political cause or point of view.”
“he was charged with distributing enemy propaganda”
We then included definitions from three leading dictionaries, Cambridge Dictionary, Webster’s Dictionary and finally from the Oxford Reference Collection.
“information, ideas, opinions, or images, often only giving one part of an argument, that are broadcast, published, or in some other way spread with the intention of influencing people’s opinions:”
“At school we were fed communist/right-wing propaganda.”
“One official dismissed the ceasefire as a mere propaganda exercise.”
“the spreading of ideas, information, or rumor for the purpose of helping or injuring an institution, a cause, or a person”
“ideas, facts, or allegations spread deliberately to further one’s cause or to damage an opposing cause”
also: “a public action having such an effect”
“Persuasive mass communication that filters and frames the issues of the day in a way that strongly favours particular interests; usually those of a government or corporation (compare agenda setting). Also, the intentional manipulation of public opinion through lies, half-truths, and the selective re-telling of history. See also disinformation; manufacture of consent; public relations.”
One thing you should notice is the Latin word, “propagation”, one we always associate with farming and gardening, “sowing the seeds”.
And that my friends is what propaganda is, “sowing a seed”, and we are all subject to it in our daily lives, from the moment we wake we are bombarded by some kind of “propaganda”. From the adverts on morning radio and TV to those in the newspapers and on the billboards on the way to work, it is all “propaganda”.
The most common “influencing” propaganda today is probably around “Brands”, whether you should purchase Apple or Samsung, Addidas or Reebok or even which brand of car is best for you. They all use the same method to entice you to purchase their product, and how it will make your life better. Well, that is debatable.
It is all about influencing your thought, which “gang do I want to be in”, the glamorous or the rebels?
How are your thoughts influenced by this advertising, what makes you decide if product A is better than product B or C?
Enter the celebrity endorser, we all see them, advertising anything from coffee to real estate, we even ran an article on this subject in October 2022 called Celebrity Endorsements & Fraud. The celebrity is chosen to give the best possible image, they should be one who is seen as trustworthy, in the case of our article, Club la Costa chose Jennie Bond, the former BBC Royal Correspondent and Co-presenter of the Consumer Program Rip-Off Britain. Now look at what has happened to Club la Costa.
Following the “Celebrity Endorsement” we come to the “Customer Reviews” from “supposedly” genuine customers, but who knows, we only have the company’s “honesty” to rely on, or the many review sites out there such as Trustpilot and Verified Reviews. But even these companies that specialise in verifying customer reviews cannot guarantee that “imposters” have not “infiltrated” and posted “fake” reviews, either for good or bad.
It is not only on the review sites that “propaganda” is prevalent but also on your devices every day with all the different “Social Media” platforms we use. Go to any group and you will always find a comment which reverses what the original poster was trying to convey. It may be that the commentator is correct and is putting the person in the picture, but it could also be malicious.
The “fake” posters of reviews along with the “fake” profiles used to join groups are what used to be called an “Agent Provocateur”. During the “socialist & nationalist revolutions” of the late 19th & early 20th centuries, these individuals were tasked to attend meetings, visit drinking establishments near workplaces and foment dissent and trouble. The Nazi party in Germany used this to great effect on their rise to power.
But it was not all one-sided, the authorities and business owners themselves used “agent provocateurs”, indeed, Hitler was one for the German army after WWI. These “provocateurs” tended to be the “employees” of the state or the business, who had as much to lose if the “baddies” got into power. Often the “agent provocateurs” from both sides resorted to “unpleasant means”.
Just thinking what these “Agent Provocateurs” could have achieved with the level of communication we have today, is a frightening thought.
Thankfully those types of events are very few and far between, for most of us, we only need to contend with the new “battleground”, social media, this is where the most misinformation is obtained. It is open to all and there are really no rules, it can come in the form of comments or just “hacking” a group or individual’s page, posting malicious items, that is the work of an “agent provocateur”.
Propaganda is about creating a bigger voice than your opposition, if you have to resort to “unscrupulous means” to defeat your foe, then your propaganda is failing.
AIT along with others are waging a propaganda war, it is one of truth versus power, a power that is being misused in the pursuit of greed. This propaganda has swayed the lawmakers and allowed an industry to flourish on deceit, to the detriment of the consumer. It is time for you to take back control of the truth, use your social media to spread the message and flood them with the truth, you have the evidence.
You the consumer are the “Agent Provocateurs” for the truth, it is by sharing your experiences and standing up for what is right, only then, can we hope to get change in a dirty industry. It is your voice, use it.
The following link is a short explanation of spotting fake profiles and bots, aimed mainly at the admins of social media groups.
We hope you all had a great weekend, Baby Dog had to keep himself occupied while this article was being prepared, I’m not sure if he is a Rabbit or a Dog the way he was bouncing around with his toy.