1 Analysis‎ > ‎Society‎ > ‎Public Opinion‎ > ‎


Propaganda is social information was once defined as information deliberately propagated for the purpose of changing social opinion. In the last century the word has become linked with the deception of society usually towards political objectives. Advertising, promotion and Public Relations (PR) are now words for a section of what used to be called propaganda.

"People prefer a simple lie rather than a complex truth but on the other hand a lie can be hidden in complexity like a needle in a haystack."

Many people establish their opinions and then try to propagate the evidence that supports them and suppress that which doesn't. This is propaganda. (apparently the word originates from "proper gander" meaning a proper goose! LOL) ;-)

Some people even fire their arrow and then draw a target around the place it lands. I don't think I've ever done that, because I thought the idea was to try to collect all the evidence and then form some opinions which one should constantly be ready to change as new evidence comes to light.

Propaganda and lobbying is the work of spin doctors whose job it is to mislead those either without the time, or without the sense to see any deeper.

Biased opinions can be very damaging, look at how the whole environmental thing has evaporated due to biased funding demanding biased results, and I can assure you that people have lost positions from not reporting what politicians wanted to hear, on many fronts.

Propaganda particularly takes advantage of the idea that we are all capable of understanding all situations, by providing over simplified and misleading representations of the situation to those who do not have the inclination or capability to understand the full situation. Some say it is the duty of every person to seek to understand the political situation to avoid becoming vulnerable to propaganda yet first people may not have that capability or they may choose to put their effort into the pursuit of other things while expecting that they should not be misled.

Manipulation of Public Opinions

Edward Louis Bernays (November 22, 1891 – March 9, 1995, was an American pioneer in the field of public relations and propaganda along with Ivy Lee, referred to in his obituary as "the father of public relations". Combining the ideas of Gustave Le Bon and Wilfred Trotter on crowd psychology with the psychoanalytical ideas of his uncle, Dr. Sigmund Freud, Bernays was one of the first to attempt to manipulate public opinion using the subconscious.

He felt this manipulation was necessary in society, which he regarded as irrational and dangerous as a result of the 'herd instinct' that Trotter had described. Adam Curtis's award-winning 2002 documentary for the BBC, The Century of the Self, pinpoints Bernays as the originator of modern public relations, and Bernays was named one of the 100 most influential Americans of the 20th century by Life magazine.

In his book Propaganda (1928), Bernays argued that the manipulation of public opinion was a necessary part of democracy:

The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country. ...We are governed, our minds are molded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested, largely by men we have never heard of. This is a logical result of the way in which our democratic society is organized. Vast numbers of human beings must cooperate in this manner if they are to live together as a smoothly functioning society. ...In almost every act of our daily lives, whether in the sphere of politics or business, in our social conduct or our ethical thinking, we are dominated by the relatively small number of persons...who understand the mental processes and social patterns of the masses. It is they who pull the wires which control the public mind.

Notwithstanding such seeming probity, articles in the journals of opinion, such as the one by Marlen Pew, Edward L. Bernays Critiqued as "Young Machiavelli of Our Time",[6] and the debate between Bernays and Everett Dean Martin in Forum, Are We Victims of Propaganda?, depicted Bernays negatively. He and other publicists were often attacked as propagandists and deceptive manipulators, who represented lobby groups against the public interest and covertly contrived events that secured coverage as news stories, free of charge, for their clients instead of securing attention for them through paid advertisements. This text is taken from the Wikipedia article titled Edward Louis Bernays.

Propaganda Deceptions


Indoctrination is the process of inculcating ideas, attitudes, cognitive strategies or a professional methodology (see doctrine). It is often distinguished from education by the fact that the indoctrinated person is expected not to question or critically examine the doctrine they have learned.


In public relations, spin is a form of propaganda, achieved through providing an interpretation of an event or campaign to persuade public opinion in favor or against a certain organization or public figure. While traditional public relations may also rely on creative presentation of the facts, "spin" often, though not always, implies disingenuous, deceptive and/or highly manipulative tactics.

Politicians are often accused by their opponents of claiming to be honest and seek the truth while using spin tactics to manipulate public opinion.

Because of the frequent association between "spin" and press conferences (especially government press conferences), the room in which these take place is sometimes described as a spin room. A group of people who develop spin may be referred to as "spin doctors" who engage in "spin doctoring" for the person or group that hired them.


Lawfare is a form of asymmetric warfare. Lawfare is waged via the use of domestic or international law with the intention of damaging an opponent. Examples include winning a public relations victory, financially crippling an opponent, or tying up the opponent's time so that they cannot pursue other ventures such as run for public office.

Lawfare can also denote the use of the law as a weapon of war, or more specifically, the abuse of the law and legal systems for strategic political or military ends.

Lawfare is one of several alternative war-making concepts outlined in the 1999 Chinese book Unrestricted Warfare, which is principally concerned with the new variety of offensive actions available to an international actor that cannot confront another power militarily.


Negationism, as it applies to Historical revisionism, is the denial of historic crimes. The word is derived from the French term négationnisme, which means denial, which is illegal in France and several other countries.[1][2][3]

In attempting to revise the past, negationism appeals to the intellect—via techniques illegitimate to historical discourse—to advance a given interpretive historical view, typically involving war crimes or crimes against humanity. The techniques include presenting known forged documents as genuine; inventing ingenious, but implausible, reasons for distrusting genuine documents; attributing his or her own conclusions to books and sources reporting the opposite; manipulating statistical series to support the given point of view; and deliberately mis-translating texts (in languages other than the revisionist's).[4] Practical examples of negationism (illegitimate historical revisionism) include Holocaust denial and some Soviet historiography.[5][6] Contemporarily, hate groups practice negationism on the Internet. In literature, the effects of historical revisionism are usually described in science fiction novels such as Nineteen Eighty-Four (1949), by George Orwell. Moreover, some countries have criminalised the negationist revision of certain historical events.

False Inferences

False inferences are fallacies of reason.

Popular Principles

Appeal to a popular and valued principle such as such as love of country and home, and desire for peace, freedom, glory, and honour, can be used to gain unreasoned justification i.e. "We must defend our honour" can be used to justify violence.

“liberty,” “property,” “freedom of speech,” “religion,” “equality,”

Nixon pitted “the principle of confidentiality” against the “rule of law,” despite the fact that these two ideographs would, in the abstract, not likely be seen as in conflict with one another.

“property,” “patriarchy,” “religion,” “liberty.” Other scholars have made a study of specific uses of ideographs such as “family values”[8] and “equality.”[9] Some critics have gone beyond the idea that an ideograph must be a verbal symbol and have expanded the notion to include photographs[10] and objects represented in the media.[

Any writing, image or media that motivates based on a principle.

Glittering generality

Glittering generalities (also called glowing generalities) are emotionally appealing words so closely associated with highly-valued concepts and beliefs that they carry conviction without supporting information or reason. Such highly-valued concepts attract general approval and acclaim. Their appeal is to emotions such as love of country and home, and desire for peace, freedom, glory, and honor. They ask for approval without examination of the reason. They are typically used by politicians and propagandists.


Ideograph is a term coined by rhetorical scholar and critic Michael Calvin McGee describing the use of particular words and phrases as political language in a way that captures (as well as creates or reinforces) particular ideological positions.

Nixon pitted “the principle of confidentiality” against the “rule of law,” despite the fact that these two ideographs would, in the abstract, not likely be seen as in conflict with one another.

“property,” “patriarchy,” “religion,” “liberty.” Other scholars have made a study of specific uses of ideographs such as “family values”[8] and “equality.”[9] Some critics have gone beyond the idea that an ideograph must be a verbal symbol and have expanded the notion to include photographs[10] and objects represented in the media.

Loaded language

Politicians cultivate loaded language, and often study how to use it effectively: which words to use or avoid using to gain political advantage or disparage an opponent. Heller gives the example that it is common for a politician to advocate "investment in public services," because it has a more favourable connotation than "public spending".

One aspect of loaded language is that loaded words and phrases occur in pairs. Heller calls these "a Boo! version and a Hooray! version" to differentiate those with negative and positive emotional connotations. Examples include bureaucrat versus public servant, anti-life versus pro-choice, regime versus government, and elitist versus expert.

Plain folks (Because I am like you)

"Plain Folks" is a form of propaganda. A Plain Folks argument is one in which the speaker presents him or herself as an Average Joe, a common person who can understand and empathize with a listener's concerns. The most important part of this appeal is the speaker's portrayal of themselves as someone who has had a similar experience, to the listener, and knows why they may be skeptical or cautious about accepting the speaker's point of view. In this way, the speaker gives the audience a sense trust and comfort, believing that the speaker and the audience share common goals and that they thus should agree with the speaker.

Slogan (Memorable)

A slogan is a memorable motto or phrase used in a political, commercial, religious and other context as a repetitive expression of an idea or purpose. Slogans vary from the written and the visual to the chanted and the vulgar. Often their simple rhetorical nature leaves little room for detail, and as such they serve perhaps more as a social expression of unified purpose, rather than a projection for an intended audience.

Weasel word

Weasel words is an informal term for words and phrases aimed at creating an impression that something specific and meaningful has been said, when in fact only a vague or ambiguous claim has been communicated. For example, an advertisement may use a weasel phrase such as "up to 50% off on all products"; this is misleading because the audience is invited to imagine many items reduced by the proclaimed 50%, but the words taken literally mean only that no discount will exceed 50%, and in practice the vendor is free to not reduce any prices and still remain faithful to the wording of the advertisement. Some weasel words may also have the effect of softening the force of a potentially loaded or otherwise controversial statement through some form of understatement, for example using detensifiers such as "somewhat" or "in most respects".


A frame in social theory consists of a schema of interpretation — that is, a collection of anecdotes and stereotypes—that individuals rely on to understand and respond to events.[1][page needed] In simpler terms, people have, through their lifetimes, built series of mental emotional filters. They use these filters to make sense of the world. The choices they then make are influenced by their frame or emotional filters.


Source Credibility 

Discrediting the source. Ad hominem abuse (also called personal abuse or personal attacks) usually involves insulting or belittling one's opponent in order to invalidate his or her argument, but can also involve pointing out factual but ostensible character flaws or actions which are irrelevant to the opponent's argument. This tactic is logically fallacious because insults and even true negative facts about the opponent's personal character have nothing to do with the logical merits of the opponent's arguments or assertions. i.e. "You can't believe Jack when he says the proposed policy would help the economy. He doesn't even have a job."


Censorship is the suppression of speech or other communication which may be considered objectionable, harmful, sensitive, or inconvenient to the general body of people as determined by a government, media outlet, or other controlling body.

Limited hangout

A limited hangout is a public relations or propaganda technique that involves the release of previously hidden information in order to prevent a greater exposure of more important details. It takes the form of deception, misdirection, or cover-up often associated with intelligence agencies involving a release or "mea culpa" type of confession of only part of a set of previously hidden sensitive information, that establishes credibility for the one releasing the information who by the very act of confession appears to be "coming clean" and acting with integrity; but in actuality, by withholding key facts, is protecting a deeper operation and those who could be exposed if the whole truth came out. In effect, if an array of offenses or misdeeds is suspected, this confession admits to a lesser offense while covering up the greater ones.

A limited hangout typically is a response to lower the pressure felt from inquisitive investigators pursuing clues that threaten to expose everything, and the disclosure is often combined with red herrings or propaganda elements that lead to false trails, distractions, or ideological disinformation; thus allowing covert or criminal elements to continue in their improper activities.

Victor Marchetti wrote: "A 'limited hangout' is spy jargon for a favorite and frequently used gimmick of the clandestine professionals. When their veil of secrecy is shredded and they can no longer rely on a phony cover story to misinform the public, they resort to admitting - sometimes even volunteering - some of the truth while still managing to withhold the key and damaging facts in the case. The public, however, is usually so intrigued by the new information that it never thinks to pursue the matter further."

Card stacking

Card stacking is a propaganda technique that seeks to manipulate audience perception of an issue by emphasizing one side and repressing another. Some examples include:

    * Creating media events that emphasize a certain view
    * Using one-sided testimonials
    * Making sure critics are not heard

The technique is often used in persuasive speeches.

Multiple Messages

TODO TARGETED MESSAGES with multiple meanings

Code word

Informal code words can find use in propaganda, distinct from use of euphemistic code words to delay or avoid emotional responses in the audience. They may be intended to be construed as generalized platitudes by the majority of listeners, but as quite specific promises by those for whom the specific wording was crafted. For instance, a reference in late-20th century America to "places like Pearl Harbor and Bataan" (while omitting mention of Normandy) would seem to many a vague expression of respect for World War II veterans, but would often mean "I won't trust Japan or the Japanese" to veterans of the Pacific Theater, and their relatives old enough to have followed the news and propaganda of the war.

Dog-whistle politics

Dog-whistle politics, also known as the use of code words, is a term for a type of political campaigning or speechmaking which employs coded language that appears to mean one thing to the general population but has a different or more specific meaning for a targeted subgroup of the audience. The term is invariably pejorative, and is used to refer both to messages with an intentional subtext, and those where the existence or intent of a secondary meaning is disputed. The term is an analogy to dog whistles, which are built in such a way that the high-frequency whistle is heard by dogs, but appears silent to human hearing.


Doublespeak (sometimes called doubletalk) is any language that deliberately disguises, distorts, or reverses the meaning of words, resulting in a so-called communication bypass, a term which is itself an example of doublespeak. Doublespeak may take the form of euphemisms (e.g., "downsizing" for layoffs), intentional ambiguity, or the reversal of meaning (for example, calling war "peace", or maintaining the status quo "change").


A euphemism is a substitution of an expression that may offend or suggest something unpleasant to the receiver with an agreeable or less offensive expression,[1] or to make it less troublesome for the speaker, as in the case of doublespeak. The deployment of euphemisms is a central aspect within the public application of political correctness.

Group Effects

Bandwagon effect

"the probability of any individual adopting it increasing with the proportion who have already done so" See Asch, S.E. (1955). Opinions and social pressure. Scientific American, 193, 31-35.

Mass games

Mass games are typically used to emphasize themes of political propaganda. They developed alongside 19th century nationalist movements, particularly the Czech Sokol movement, as they embodied youth, strength, militarism, and unity.[citation needed]. People taking part in the event are workers from the factories brought in party organizations by the Party Secretaries. Absence from such an event is investigated by police and prosecuted harshly.

Government-organized demonstration

Government-organized demonstrations or state demonstrations are demonstrations which are organized by the government of that nation.

The Islamic Republic of Iran,[1][2] the People's Republic of China,[3] Republic of Cuba,[4] the Soviet Union[5], the Fascist Italy, and Nazi Germany among other nations, have had government-organized demonstrations.

In Iran, demonstrations such as the anniversary of Islamic revolution, are organized by government. In these demonstrations people chant "Death to Israel" and "Death to America" .[6][7]

The North Korean government regularly organizes demonstrations against South Korea or the US or in support of government policies.

Attributed Group

Given any state what is the group it is attributed to i.e. British hate Germans.
What Conspiracy Theorists believe is nearly all ridiculous.

The Big Lie

Wikipedia - The Big Lie

(c) The information under this section is originally from Wikipedia and is used under the following licence http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/