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Information Management

 

Techniques Propaganda > Information Management

Method | Example | Discussion | See also

 

Method

Gather

First, collect information assiduously. Garner knowledge from whatever source that can be found or created.

Propagandist information gets sourced from many places, including:

  • Life histories: Burrowing into the past of target people, digging for dirt and other useful information.
  • Dumpster diving: Exploring the 'rubbish' that others throw away for private information.
  • Unwitting spies: Making friends with the friends of target people and then carefully pumping them for information.
  • Infiltration: Paying spies to get into the target camp and get close to their leaders.
  • Video evidence: Incriminating or otherwise useful videos and photos of the target.
  • Social Engineering: Grooming and impersonating target employees to get critical access.

Verify

Propagandists use false information but hate being the targets of it. Check that the information you have is truth, rumor or lies. Even lies can be useful particularly when they are spoken by others but it will help you to know what is true and not.

Spin

Effective propaganda information management is most importantly about 'spinning' the information such that it has maximum effect.

Particular spinning methods include:

  • Amplification: Making small things seem large.
  • Downplaying: Making big things seem small.
  • Distortion: Making half-truths seem true and truths seem wrong.
  • Statistics: Blinding them with impressive-looking numbers.
  • Lies: Simply spreading untruths.

Careful timing can magnify the power of propagandist messages, for example releasing critical information as a politician is coming up for re-election.

Example

'Radio Free Europe' provided cold war communist bloc companies with information about their own countries' activities. It appeared to be independent but was run by Western governments.

'Independent' websites that 'tell the truth' about certain cults have been developed by those same cults.

Discussion

Information management is at the core of all propaganda. More than anywhere else, propaganda uses the maxim that 'information is power' as the propagandists shamelessly use and abuse it to gain particular ends.

Appearing to use false spin and propaganda can get politicians into trouble and the more successful ones keep themselves personally well away from any questionable activity.

'Black propaganda' is that where the origin is tightly concealed, with only a very few knowing the source. In 'Gray propaganda' the source is not generally known but is not as actively concealed, so the propagandist may at worst claim not to be hiding anything.

Whilst the web is wonderful for many reasons, it is both a propagandist's dream and nightmare. It is easy to set up false information, but it is also very difficult to suppress dissenters.

See also

Concealing persuasion, Name-calling

 

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