"In 1957, the BBC ran a story about how spaghetti was growing on trees in Switzerland. So many people believed the hoax that the BBC was flooded with calls from people asking how to plant their own spaghetti tree."
"Each small candle lights a corner of the dark" Roger Waters
"There is one thing stronger than all the armies in the world, and that is an idea whose time has come." Victor Hugo
Though the Johann Gutenberg's 42-line Mazarin Bible was certainly the first substantial 'commercially avialable' mass produced printed complete work using moveable type, the first fiction ever published on a printing press was an erotic tale.
Humans use only 10% of their brain. Eating carrots improves your eyesight. Vitamin C cures the common cold. None of those things are true. Repetition is what makes fake news work, too, as researchers at Central Washington University pointed out in a study way back in 2012 before the term was everywhere. It’s also a staple of political propaganda. It’s why flacks feed politicians and CEOs sound bites that they can say over and over again. Not to go all Godwin’s Law on you, but even Adolf Hitler knew about the technique. “Slogans should be persistently repeated until the very last individual has come to grasp the idea,” he wrote in Mein Kampf. As with any cognitive bias, the best way not to fall prey to it is to know it exists. Emily Dreyfuss
Nazi Germany was the first to produce 35mm 3D films ("Raum films" or space films) e.g. So Real You Can Touch It and Six Girls Roll Into Weekend. Yet stereoscopic movies did not reach Hollywood on a commercial scale until 1953.
On a medium as the internet anybody can say anything and it all adds up to nothing single cohesive absolute. That started in the 70s. That singularity has disappeared. There are no known truths and lies. There is a duplicity or pluralism about the things that we believed in. And the idea of a duality in the way that we live—there were always two, three, four, five sides to every question. That shows us that we are living in an era of total fragmentation. I think the potential of what the internet is going to do to society, both good and bad, is unimaginable. I think we’re actually on the cusp of something exhilarating and terrifying. I’m talking about the actual context and the state of content is going to be so different from anything we can envisage at the moment. With the interplay between the user and the provider will be so in sympatico it’s going to crush our ideas of what mediums are all about.
'Everything is true, and nothing is true!' — Albert Camus.
Rufus Miles Law of Management states: Where you stand depends on where you sit. He codified that which we should know intuitively. We see things and form judgments of things from our own perspective. We need to discipline ourselves to see things from other’s vantage point.
There is nothing you can do about it. You are overwhelmed with images. They carry you away. They replace you. You are dreaming. The Spectacle is life as a dream. We all want this.
The media is in a frantic, undignified campaign to economize while at the same time attracting more “eyeballs.” Narratives that disclose news or express opinion used to be called “articles” or “columns” but are now universally referred to as “content.” We are slowly redefining our craft so it is no longer a calling but a commodity.
Images make us experience as participants and reaffirms that feeling. It reaffirms our recessive fleeting thoughts about things that have been named and characterised. All it need is a context of feeling and attitude. Hence images creates a powerful compulsion to see it.
Photographs are considered inherently innocent and hence the belief in seeing them. In fact photographs are regarded as proofs of seeing and hence every travel must be photographed as proof that the event took place. Otherwise its like it never happened. But this semblance of experience is there without actually being available to us. Its pseudo but feels real and hence false valuable but because we cannot distinguish it is the very reason we get confused and attracted to something pseudo. Its an emotional manipulation. A disconnected fantasy that makes reality feel manageable and safe. Time consists of these interesting "events" that should be allowed to complete itself and freezed and added to the library of recorded events that are worth seeing.
People in industrialized societies feel robbed of their past and hence they take comfort in photography. As time passes, the more an image comfort us as it makes us feel that we have an instant supply to some of the past. Its actually not true in any way except symbolically. Thats why we take family pictures and especially photograph little ones growing up in the family. Hence when we feel more afraid and unsafe living in our work-driven world, we react to our anxiety by taking pictures of our daily ordinary life. It can become addictive without noticeable symptoms.
Repeated viewing makes us less affected emotionally but a stream of moving images can keep it going as it each one reaffirms further an ideology and in the same time keeps cancelling its predecessor.
Secondly, in war or poverty or disease, the act of photography puts us at a safe distance as a passive observer. A person recording cannot intervene. This in turn makes us complicit as we participate and tell what is happening to keep happening. This is also the nature of drones, planes and helicopter pilots.
The camera is also like our mobile phone or internet, is a voyeuristic toy by its nature. The act is sexual, like watching ponographic images without the actually physical act. Its a predatory soft tool of power that takes, keeps, exploits, distorts, with moral detachment and from a safe distance.
Images are also a fast form of note-taking.
What is "news"? Reporting just the facts and the readers decide whether it’s relevant is patently false. A journalist to withhold information that more fully reveals the character of a candidate would, in my opinion, be a sin of omission. But editors commit this sin of omission every day when they decide which stories to run and which to drop, which ones to mount on the front page and which ones to relegate to the back and underneath the fold. The reporter is no more bound to report on so-called “character issues” than he is on a candidate’s proclivity for pets, or fast food, or French films. But to the extent that he relates any of these facts, he has helped fashion the narrative around which that candidate is viewed.
The guiding ethos of political journalism shift inexorably away from the elimination of ideas and world views and agendas and more toward exposing the lie. An exclusive preoccupation with exposing lies and character flaws, sexual or not, degrades politics, reducing entire careers of public service to sensational headlines, and leaving little or no room for an examination of public policy differences between candidates. Exposing lies, no matter how pedestrian or tangential, is the golden ticket for a career in political media.
And what it does, it reduces — it reduces character and fitness to, you know, very narrowly defined moments in a person’s life. The problem with so much modern political journalism is that we do reduce everyone to the worst moment of their lives. The question is in what context do you define a person’s character, because it encompasses a lot of things. Do they lie to their constituents? We drove away a lot of people who didn't want to serve because that process was unendurable. And we reward people who will do anything, subject their family to anything, share any emotion, tell any lie to evade the traps and find their way into office.
(paraphrasing) Matt Bai. All the Truth Is Out, The Week Politics Went Tabloid
"Black PR firms provide clients with both post deletion of negative news stories, and some also provide hit pieces attacking competitors." Ads about products and services may be disguised to look and sound like a news story.
This morally objectionable playbook has been used by other industries seeking to avoid necessary regulations. A well-financed group invents lies and convinces a substantial share of the public that those lies are true. The propaganda purveyors recognize that the media’s instinct to cover “both sides” of an issue, people’s tendency to believe claims that conveniently fit their ideology, and, more recently, social media’s propensity to spread falsehoods all create a fundamental weakness in our civil society. They have financial incentives to obscure those realities, and they do not care what they destroy in the process.
The sugar industry, for instance, has promoted research designed to distract from the health effects of its products. Its Sugar Research Foundation provided funding to Harvard scientists to counter claims that sugar causes heart disease, despite the overwhelming evidence. In defense of their products, sugar lobbyists have also attacked other sweeteners, most recently high-fructose corn syrup. The Washington Post reported on an April 2004 memo from the Sugar Association bragging that it had “fed the media with the science to help fuel the public concern and debate on High Fructose Corn Syrup.” On the other side, those with a financial interest in the use of high-fructose corn syrup waged their own campaign, even hiring sex therapist Dr. Ruth to star in an ad in which she counsels a man in a giant corn costume, telling him that “corn sugar” was a “great name” because he was a sugar made from “good American corn” and should “be proud.”
63 years ago, as the scientific community neared consensus that tobacco products were dangerous, titans of the tobacco industry came together to meet with John Hill at the Plaza Hotel in New York. This was a rare gathering, as these executives were fighting one another for market share in an immensely competitive business.
Hill, the founder of PR conglomerate Hill & Knowlton, recommended that they form a public relations operation, thinly veiled as a scientific institute, to argue that their products were safe. Together, the tobacco executives and Hill created the Tobacco Industry Research Committee, a sham organization designed to spread corporate propaganda to mislead the media, policymakers and the public at large.
Their goal was not to convince the majority of Americans that cigarettes did not cause cancer. Instead, they sought to muddy the waters and create a second truth. One truth would emanate from the bulk of the scientific community; the other, from a cadre of people primarily in the employment of the tobacco industry.
In 1994, the chief executives of the seven largest tobacco companies told Congress under oath that they did not believe their products were addictive; more than 20 years later, they have yet to face penalties for their apparent perjury.
In the 1970s, scientists at Exxon (now ExxonMobil) knew that their products were changing the climate, but the company nonetheless funded think tanks and organizations dedicated to denying the existence of global warming, such as the Heartland Institute and the Competitive Enterprise Institute.
When lies repeatedly affect the same segments of the population (and no group is immune), those absorbing this toxicity become distrustful of facts from reputable sources while latching onto even the most far-fetched conspiracy theories that conform to their worldviews.
Gaslighting (a form of psychological warfare wherein you manipulate a person into questioning their own sanity): The final key to the way I promote is bravado. I play to people’s fantasies. I call it truthful hyperbole... — a very effective form of promotion. Ronald Reagan is another example. He is so smooth and so effective a performer that he completely won over the American people. Only now, nearly seven years later, are people beginning to question whether there's anything beneath that smile.
One thing I’ve learned about the press is they’re always hungry for a good story. It’s in the nature of the job, and I understand that. Most reporters, I find, have very little interest in exploring the substance of a detailed proposal for a development. They look instead for the sensational angle. That may have worked to my advantage. Donald J Trump (1987)
Among the primates, humans being are the most social animal. We are naturally adept at organising into permanent groups, exchanging of ideas with each other and having enduring self-expressions. From hunter-gathers living in small, nomadic groups to the advent of agriculture to the present, humans have formed complex social structures composed of cooperating and competing groups. We have an extremely wide variety of traditions, rituals, ethics, values, social norms, and laws which form the basis of our society.
The desire for self-expression and the obvious appreciation for beauty and aesthetics led to cultural innovations such as art, literature and music. The desires to understand and influence the world around us led to the explaining and manipulation of natural phenomena through science, philosophy, mythology and religion. This natural curiosity has led to the development of advanced tools and skills. Hence, effective communication is our basic need and mass communication is the sceptre of human communication.
All information has the potential to modify behavioural patterns. Clearest examples can be seen in the media reports from World War Two, Gulf War and Iraq War. Philosophers, generals, politicians and even artists of ancient societies have powerfully and flexibly used mass communication for spreading propaganda by word of mouth to consciously manipulate the public.
The print media is an incredible influencing tool in society; they can easily turn on people’s emotions in favour or against an issue. This is because readers tend to believe everything that is written in the newspaper. Newspapers can be very biased about a story and current event are not always impartial. Writers have the gift to blend their bias in their work by using statistics and crowd counts, word choice and tone, and through omission.
Television has a major influence on today’s world, as they say “One picture worth’s more than thousands of words”. In visual media, violence is shown and is seen as a means of resolving problems, and reaching goals. This causes desensitisation and stimulation, especially on the immature minds. Characters that are likely to be imitated are shown not to take responsibility for their actions but are repeatedly recognized as heroes, due to the gaining of respect and numerous other rewards through their actions. This distorts people’s understandings of our society, and moral values as fantasy is presented as if it’s the real thing.
Television and print based news, due primarily to their fixation with crime and violence arguably has a pessimistic impact upon our societal behaviour. They do not inform the audience of the entire truth by omitting the less interesting parts and tend to emphasise on the dramatic, generally violent stories and images to capture and sustain its audience, under the facade of keeping us informed. The news can be described as being an oxymoron; giving us the skin of the truth stuffed with lies. The media’s influence through the news is that it affects the public both consciously and subconsciously. Children’s programmes especially have a tendency to amplify stereotypes, presenting "goodies" and "baddies”. The confirmation of these stereotypes may make children feel more comfortable. But mass media itself also present an enhancing common stereotyped (read oversimplified and highly generalized) picture of life, which can often lead to undesirable prejudices within not just national, but international, society. Mainly considering the consumer habits of the public, advertising is probably one of the most influential items about Mass Media. Advertising and media are two interrelated fields; one can’t do without the other. Media’s revenue comes from the advertisements and media is the platform where people put their advertisements for business promotion. Hence we can say that advertising and media are two sides of the same coin. Advertisements play on our vulnerabilities and encourage us to buy products we don't really need.
Cantril (1940) is often referred back upon as a classic example of how the mass media can influence through the gaining of trust. It caused a widespread public panic in America after a radio station broadcast of H.G.Wells’ fictional narrative War of the Worlds. The production involved a series of news bulletins in which the reporter gave a “live” account of a Martian invasion. A lot of listeners had tuned in a few moments after the show had begun and so, apparently unaware that the programme was of a fictitious nature, believed what they were hearing was the truth and so began becoming hysterical, with some taking to the streets and others even packing up their belongings as quickly as they could and driving off in order to avoid the attacks. Cantril’s study was the documentation of media-social relations at the time and so the “invasion” pointed towards the influence that the radio had over the masses, as they truly believed the broadcast. This case has been cited as being an excellent example of the “Hypodermic Needle Model”, a hypothesis which asserts that the media are dominant agents of influence, capable of “injecting” ideas and behaviours directly into fairly inert audiences of isolated individuals.
Today we are all part of an ever-shrinking global village. With telecommunication and internet, we are all evidently more connected and dependent on each other like never before but fear, one of our primal and primitive senses naturally shows up in a negative way in times of strain and friction. We become intolerant by what appears different from us as it threatens the imagined control, safety and rationality of our lives. This emotionally charged reaction in turn caused the media to support and line with the public majority.
Unsupported facts are spread without question. Before information was limited, hidden and hard to find as it demanded plenty of time, money and effort. Today it is still limiting as it’s impenetrably hidden behind the chaos of misinformation and unlimited junk data. And because of this incoherent access to bits and pieces of truth, the total knowledge that we would like to find is confusing and unattainable. But now there is a better chance to counter this challenge.
On the internet, there are social forums added with every product, where the viewers themselves do most of the selection and filtering, making their strength in number counter the mammoth task of finding the right information. In business, the only agenda is to make maximum profits so now every good product must get many people involved. Since credibility is the most important yardstick that differentiates the professional from the novice so in this New Media the consumer’s disagreements cannot be controlled as the internet puts their credibility at stake. On the other hand diversity is not only tolerated, it is a necessity for it deepens and enhances the knowledge pool. The businesspersons have to address to both the masses and the experts. Complicated issues presented have to be personable, without being watered down or getting too technical and boring. The most personally rewarding media imparts an experience, as well as information. Nobody can be an expert in all fields but we know that the implications of any topic extend to other topics. Hence, New Media also has its own intrinsic constraints and limitations, but now there is a more level playing field for the first time. Content (with the right presentation) will determine success of publishing on the Internet, not big money, glossy paper, or a hodgepodge of colourful glitz.
New Media is a unique feature of modern society; its development has accompanied an increase in the magnitude and complexity of societal actions and engagements, rapid social change, technological innovation, rising personal income and standard of life and the decline of some traditional forms of control and authority. It offers more opportunities to convey subliminal messages that may influence our opinions, interpretations and understanding of societal factors. In the age of information and engaging infotainment, interactive media is the buss for the next leap in media.
Entertainment mirrors the mood of the audiences and makes him feel what he desires. Every popular print and electronic media has communicated well what people feel, think and want. It is the comprehensive mirror of our society. Entertainment programs bring out the truth about the inclinations that we already have, whether we accept it or not. For example a naturally aggressive person may simply choose and prefer to watch more violent programmes.
Finally, “all scientific studies on the influence of mass media inconclusively show that for the most part, mostly it is neither helpful nor harmful to most under most circumstances.” This conclusion is quiet vague, and does not give a lot of crucial information for us to correct and improve. Today’s reality points out that with the maturing of New Media more sandcastles will fall whether we keep our heads buried in the sand or open our eyes and accept the reality and the truth. It is potentially democratic and thereby inherently political as it heavily relies on audience interactivity.
So although mass media is an incredible tool of persuasion and could undoubtedly influence the public, it remains harder if not impossible to sell a lie to the knowledgeable and a fairer chance for the truth to come out in public. It’s the responsibility of the fourth estate to give voice to the voiceless and to have its first loyalty to the citizens. Social networks and communities along with independent experiments of post-cinematic video art (non-linear granularity and interactive audience participation) are the next-gen virgin markets where the possibilities for tomorrow’s brave New World await us. E.g. advertisers who use Facebook's highly detailed user profiles - age, gender, education, network affiliations, and location - to deliver a powerful targeted message. Will we turn wise in the virtual world and make our homes better, this time?
India Advertising History
1950s were the watershed years for Indian advertising. 1st survey of the rural market. Burmah Shell vans used for advertising. The advertising group was thus formed in 1954. Kolkata gets the privilege of India’s first ad club. It motivated the advertising brotherhood with awards and brought the advertising circuit in a closer knit. from print to radio, advertising was exploring new avenues. India’s first Advertising Convention was & 1st Asian Advertising Congress at New Delhi in 1960s. Advertising to to be Indian in thought and content. 1967 witnessed first commercial on Vividh Bharathi.
Media boom in 1970s. Rural marketing, special magazines & Lifestyle studies, positioning. Commercial television advertising began in 1976. But it was only in 1982 that Bombay Dying aired its first color TV commercial. Expansion and diversification of agencies, public sector advertising & colour printing turns more popular. Between 1985 and 86 a whooping 915 brands and services were visible in the Indian market.
1990s Emphasis on Direct marketing & Satellite TV. CNN – 1st channel to be beamed to India. Star, Zee and later DD Metro. Movie channels, pay channels and FM Radio. Awards then came into being. Abbey is the award name christened by the advertising club. Internationalisation of Advertising. Cannes in France has become the biggest advertising award. Consumer Tracking and Satisfaction studies and IRS survey.
The press advertisement appeared during 18th century in the Hickely's Bengal Gazette, India's first newspaper, a weekly magazine. Advertising in the beginning was mainly for informative purposes rather than promotional reasons. promotional advertising in talkies & radios were largely for imported goods which had reached Indian shores. Studios mark the beginning of advertising created in India as opposed to being imported from England. Studios were set up for bold type, ornate fonts, fancier, larger ads. Newspaper studios trained the first generation of visualizers and illustrators.
B.Dattaram & Co has to be the oldest agency in the advertising circuit in India establishing in 1902/05. Later, Indian ad agencies were slowly established and they started entering foreign owned ad agencies. In 1912 ITC, the giant tobacco company launched Gold Flake. In the 20's foreign advertising agencies entered the Indian market. Mergers and acquisition were seen to give rise to Ogilvy and Mather, Clarion etc. Ogilvy and Mater and Hindustan Thompson Associate agencies were formed in the early 1920s. In 1929 J Walter Thompson (JWT) was established to service General motor Business. In 1939, Lever’s advertising department launched Dalda – the first major example of a brand and a marketing campaign specifically developed for India. A campaign format of advertising was particularly designed for the Indian market. Lux as we all know uses celebrity endorsements. In the same period HTA was the reincarnated name of JWT in India. It made Horlicks more relevant in India by introducing the Balanced nourishment concept. In the 1950s, various advertising associations were set up to safeguard the interests of various advertisers in the industry. WW2 & Nationalism.
Television in India has been in existence for nigh on four decades. For the first 17 years, it spread haltingly and transmission was mainly in black & white. The thinkers and policy makers of the country, which had just been liberated from centuries of colonial rule, frowned upon television, looking on at it as a luxury Indians could do without. In 1955 a Cabinet decision was taken disallowing any foreign investments in print media which has since been followed religiously for nearly 45 years. Sales of TV sets, as reflected by licences issued to buyers were just 676,615 until 1977.
In 1967, the first commercial was aired on Vividh Bharati and later in 1978; the first television commercial was seen. Various companies now started advertising on television and sponsoring various shows including Humlog and Yeh Jo Hai Zindagi. in the eighties when colour TV was introduced by state-owned broadcaster Doordarshan (DD) timed with the 1982 Asian Games which India hosted. In 1986, Mudra Communications created India’s first folk-history TV serial Buniyaad which was aired on Doordarshan; it became the first of the mega soaps in the country.
Indian viewers had to make do with DD's chosen fare which was dull, non-commercial in nature, directed towardsonly education and socio-economic development. Entertainment programmes were few and far between. And when the solitary few soaps like Hum Log (1984), and mythological dramas: Ramayan (1987-88) and Mahabharat (1988-89) were televised, millions of viewers stayed glued to their sets. The second spark came in the early nineties with the broadcast of satellite TV by foreign programmers like CNN followed by Star TV and a little later by domestic channels such as Zee TV and Sun TV into Indian homes. in 1991, First India-targetted satellite channel, Zee TV started its broadcast.
The Indian FMCG industry witnessed significant changes through through 1990's. Many players had been facing severe problems on account of increased competition from small and regional players and from slow growth across its various product categories. 1995 saw a great boom in media boom with the growth of cable and satellite and increase of titles in the print medium. From two channels prior to 1991, Indian viewers were exposed to more than 50 channels by 1996. The rash of players who rushed to set up satellite channels discovered that advertising revenue was not large enough to support them. This led to a shakeout. At least half a dozen either folded up or aborted the high-flying plans they had drawn up, and started operating in a restricted manner. Some of them converted their channels into basic subscription services charging cable operators a carriage fee. This decade also saw the growth of public relations and events and other new promotions that various companies and ad agencies introduced. Advertising specific websites were born, one of them being agencyfaqs now known as afaqs.
Today, TV enabled mobile handsets are gaining popularity in India. This might change the nature of TV advertising. Bharti, Vodafone and Reliance will provide their channels on mobile handsets. Times Now, a 24 hours news and current affair channel from the Times Group was first launched on Reliance mobiles and then on the regular TV sets. Reality formats are popular amongst television and they lay emphasis on audience interaction. SMS voting and in-programme advertising has become a key ingredient in most of these shows. This too gives new scope of advertising.
Ask anybody in organised media about public tastes and you will get the same comments. You will be told how audiences are going resolutely down-market. Marketers will tell newspaper editors to keep the articles short and to include more Bollywood coverage because that is what the readers want.
People who run TV channels will tell you that real news is dead. People just want to be entertained. Nobody has any desire to be engaged any longer. Attention spans are down to a few minutes. And so on. And yet, if you travel by car in any of the metros, think about what happens when you stop at a traffic light — your car will be surrounded by small children. Some will just beg or offer to clean your windscreen. But others will try and sell you pirated editions of books.
Now, pirated books are not new to the Indian market. In the early ’80s or so, foreign publishers started producing India-only paperback editions of bestsellers by the likes of Jeffrey Archer, Sidney Sheldon and Judith Krantz. They knew that the moment the hardback came out in the West, some enterprising Indian would run off a pirate paperback edition. So, they decided to beat the pirates with their own paperbacks.
Fair enough. But the next time you are stuck at a traffic light, just look at the books you will be offered. You may find the odd Jeffrey Archer. But the vast majority of the books on offer will be relatively serious in nature. You are almost certain to find Amartya Sen’s The Argumentative Indian. There will probably be something by Malcolm Gladwell (Blink or The Outliers usually). In Mumbai, you’ll get the unauthorised biography of Dhirubhai Ambani (The Polyester Prince). And you’ll see a few management books on display.
A few years ago a global headhunter who tried to recruit me to edit a foreign newspaper said to me that India had been a revelation for him. I never tire of repeating what he said: “In other countries, even China, they sell you porn or trash. In India, they sell management books at traffic signals”.
the Indian television is on a threshold of a major technological change, with new distribution technologies like digital cable, DTH (Direct- to – home) and IPTV (Internet Protocol television), television on advertising is surely going to take on a new role. the launch of six DTH platforms in India will create innovative advertising spaces. In fact the incoming of the DTH services in India is being viewed as a healthy development for the advertising and the television industry. There has been a 29% growth in TV advertising in during the first quarter of 2008. Hindustan Unilever Ltd. was the number one television advertiser during the first quarter of 2008. At the same time, many companies are refraining to use this medium because of the clutter and lack of focus in the medium.
Two scenarios are possible for the history/ biography genre in India in 2004. Either the launch of The History Channel on November 30 enlarges the ad pie for the entire genre. Or it filches revenue from STAR stable-mate, National Geographic, and rival Discovery Channel India. At the moment, the jury is still out on the performance of the new service, offered in India through an agreement between National Geographic Channel (NGC) Network (India) Private Limited and the US-based AETN International.
"If fake news that is being released by some foreign government is almost identical to reports that are being issued through partisan news venues, then it's not surprising that that foreign propaganda will have a greater effect". The president said he did not think it was "far-fetched" to compare some of the so-called fake news items to "the other stuff that folks are hearing from domestic propagandists." Obama said that certain media outlets in the US had portrayed government as a place where "everybody is corrupt, and everybody is doing things for partisan reasons, and all of our institutions are full of benevolent actors.
When it comes to satire and opinion, the lines between fact and fiction are sometimes blurry. "One of the essential distinctions between satire and mockery is that the comedy of satire has a point and it has a style. The point is to encourage critical thinking and to motivate the audience to challenge the status quo." Jon Stewart.
There is a bias built into the way journalists pick and cover stories. Certain subjects are routinely covered or ignored. The job of journalists is not to stamp out bias. Rather, the journalist should learn how to manage it. A competent journalist is conscious of the biases at play in a given story and is able to decide what maybe appropriate or inappropriate.
Reporting bias: the tendency to systematically under- or over-report certain types of events — shapes our understanding of war. While the media in democracies typically are relatively independent from government influence, they have their own institutional biases — such as “newsworthiness” criteria that emphasize novelty, conflict, proximity, and drama. The implication is that living in a democratic state with a free press does not ensure that a media consumer will receive unfiltered information about who is doing what to whom, even during high-visibility events.
Market-oriented bias: This can be a pressure to produce stories that target market segments with desirable demographics for advertisers.
Irresponsible journalism: Each news outlet has its own approach to reporting on what’s happening in the world. While no media outlet is completely objective, some don’t even try to be. For example, Fox News tailor their news to right-leaning audiences. Cable TV, so important to Trump’s rise, seems torn between two personalities: one driven by ratings and profit, the other by its responsibility to inform the public.
Trusted news outlets sometimes spread false information. Sources may lie to reporters. Journalists can fall victim to pranks or hackers. Laziness and deadline pressures can cause mistakes. Unethical scribes have exaggerated or concocted news on many occasions. Advertisements about products and services may be disguised to look and sound like a news story. E.g. The Washington Post once won a Pulitzer Prize for a story that was later exposed as fabricated.
As long as Facebook optimises for engagement, legitimate news websites have little reason to be balanced. If Facebook abandons its stance as a 'neutral technology platform' it risks reinforcing the very conspiracy theories it is attempting to dismantle. If Facebook were to appoint themselves as official arbiters of the truth, the move would act as proof for many that big business and the media go hand in hand, legitimising a further retreat into partisan ideological bubbles as paranoia about the ‘mainstream media’ grows even stronger.
News often has a dual identity, an external facade and an internal reality, much like the Japanese duality of tatemae (appearance) and honne (reality). The two stories, or realities, are often wildly at odds with each other. Whether in developed, developing or underdeveloped countries, it is a known fact that broadcast news channels playing high drama (complete with protagonists and antagonists) and sensational content, rather than what is important, in order to grab eyeballs which makes them look like tabloid channels. The media often portray non-issues as real issues, while the real issues are sidelined. Perhaps the most serious consequence of journalists’ focus on crises and conflicts is that both they and the public become blind to systemic issues.
When competition increases and survival becomes an issue, editorial and ethical standards take a beating. It fails to do what it claims to do, what it should do, and what society expects it to do. The rise of television has increased the demand for drama in news, and the explosion in lobbyists and special-interest groups has expanded the number of actors and the range of conflicts. Most news channels are still bleeding at the bottom line, no matter their top line. Other sub-genres which get importance include sports, crime/law and order, entertainment, social and mishap/failure of machinery.
Personalities are more compelling than institutions, facts are often uncertain, attention spans (and television sound bites) are brief, and simplification—often oversimplification—is the norm. Todays Pulitzer’s journalists need crises to dramatize news, and government officials need to appear to be responding to crises. Too often, the crises are not really crises but joint fabrications. The news media and the government have created a charade that serves their own interests but misleads the public. Officials oblige the media’s need for drama by fabricating crises and stage-managing their responses, thereby enhancing their own prestige and power. What has emerged is a culture of lying. In such an environment, the actors who most skillfully create and manipulate crises determine the direction of change.
The rapid advance of information age technology—hundreds of cable television channels, the growth of specialized media, the spread of computer information resources—is certain to give citizens access to far more diverse sources of information and is likely to force the media to reinvent the ways in which they present news and other information. But none of those changes are likely to alter the persistent conundrum. A press driven by drama and crises creates a government driven by response to crises.
Saying “all journalists are lazy” or that they violate people's rights to dignity may sound sexy but it is like looking at a pin up of your favourite sex icon – titillating but broadly pointless and probably offensive. Such statements are often used to support equally poor ideas like “we cannot ever limit media freedom” or ”let's licence journalists” as if somehow either of these will solve the problem. Neither of these options are sustainable and in fact all they do is deflect from the bigger issues.
In a democracy we should first try the first method to rectify the defects through the democratic method. The architect of the transformation was not a political leader or a constitutional convention but Joseph Pulitzer, who in 1883 bought the sleepy New York World and in 20 years made it the country’s largest newspaper. Pulitzer accomplished that by bringing drama to news—by turning news articles into stories with a plot, actors in conflict, and colorful details. Pulitzer made stories dramatic by adding blaring headlines, big pictures, and eye-catching graphics. His journalism took events out of their dry, institutional contexts and made them emotional rather than rational, immediate rather than considered, and sensational rather than informative.
The press became a stage on which the actions of government were a series of dramas. Business has become a prominent player in the manipulation of perception and in the corruption of the public policy process. Every story about research should identify the sponsor and describe its interest in the outcome or impact of the research. And the media should stop producing information that serves only to feed their own interests. The press should cover crises and disasters less and political, social, and economic events more: less politics, more substance; less on personalities, more on institutions. That is quixotic and will never happen. It would be a return to pre-Pulitzer journalism. The media’s desire to attract an audience and the audience’s inability to concentrate for long would make such a format impossible.
In May of 1918, Wilson was successful in getting the Sedition Act passed as an amendment to the Espionage Act. It became a crime to "utter, print, write, or publish any disloyal, profane...or abusive language" about the United States government or to disagree with its actions abroad. The act was repealed in 1921.
Communications Act of 1934 remained but in many ways was diluted. Telecommunications Act of 1996 was the first major overhaul of telecommunications law in almost 62 years. The bill, which was lobbied for in great numbers by the communications and media industry, was sadly a bipartisan misadventure - only 3% of Congress voted against the bill.
Supporters of the law said it would create more competition in the telecommunications industry that, at the time, was only beginning to grapple with the transformative power of the Internet. Despite all of these glowing words, the consequences of the bill were disastrous.
The negative impact of the law cannot be overstated. The law, which was the first major reform of telecommunications policy since 1934, according to media scholar Robert McChesney, "is widely considered to be one of the three or four most important federal laws of this generation."
The act dramatically reduced important Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulations on cross ownership, and allowed giant corporations to buy up thousands of media outlets across the country, increasing their monopoly on the flow of information in the United States and around the world.
"Information Warfare: The Power Of Misdirection And Confusion:
Humans have always had an insatiable hunger for bullshit and fairy tales, from folk tales told around the fire to small-town gossip, to Bigfoot-bedecked tabloids in the checkout line. It reflect and reinforce our prejudices, and they give us sweet dreams. In an epic battle sparked by the U.S. election and fought on the vast planes of social media, news stories – stories powered in the main by researched truth – were pitted against fake stories, and fact and truth took a severe beating. People go to social media to see what their friends and the pages they follow are posting. What makes this a “post-truth” election, instead of just your average “people lying a lot about everything” election, is that folks seem entirely indifferent to the truth. Islamic terrorist organizations like al-Qaeda and ISIL (Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant) have proved quite adept at manipulating the mass media to their advantage. They use a combination of technical savvy and ancient techniques for changing minds.
In the early 19th century, Napoleon Bonaparte tightly controlled the distribution of news in France and his conquered territories. In fact, historians believe fake propoganda news may have induced the Spanish-American War of 1898. And that trend just kept going, especially once the radical socialist movements (especially fascism and Russian communism) got hold of it in the early 20th century. All this was more evolution than revolution because starting in the late 19th century a growing number of powerful propaganda methods and techniques for controlling public opinion were developed. Many of these techniques are actually ancient but never before have they been used so intensively, persistently, and in greater variety to such a large audience.
This efforts went into high gear in the 1990s because, since the 1980s there has been an unprecedented proliferation of news media. First came round-the-clock TV news that was available worldwide. As that continued to spread in the 1990s the Internet appeared and the proliferation of news outlets accelerated. While it was nice to have news round-the-clock and with the help of the Internet, from anywhere on the planet, often in real time, there were some downsides. Major problems were created by the fierce competition for audience. That led to a ruthless approach to presenting the news. It became more important to “attract eyeballs” than reporting the news accurately. Ads about products and services may be disguised to look and sound like a news story.
Black PR firms have been providing clients with both post deletion of negative news stories and also provide hit pieces. That also led to more propaganda as governments and special interest groups found that if their message were packaged the right way lies would be more convincing than the truth. Fake news is not a new problem. Everyone can lie. Fake news is just modern propaganda. The only difference is modern technology is making fake news guilt-free, open-season and licensed mendacity. History repeats itself not as farce but as click-bait. But the age of such cyber-conflict is still in its infancy.
- Guilt-By-Association is used to discredit someone by associating them with an unattractive person, idea, or organization. It doesn't matter if there is an actual association or not. The simplest technique is to call people you don’t like a fascist, racist, infidel, bigot, terrorist, or whatever suits your situation. In ancient times you were accused of being a fan of Carthage or Persia. But this is too simple. To do real damage you want to link others to vile organizations or ideas and this takes a little more effort, and you may have to use some of the other techniques listed here.
- Then there is the ancient and still useful “backstroke”. This means systematically criticizing and demeaning whatever you are trying to discredit. None of these snide or critical remarks may, by themselves, inflict much damage, but if you keep doing it some real damage is done and the position, person, or situation you don’t like loses popularity.
- Another ancient favorite is misinformation. This works best if you are subtle but the main idea is to twist information to your own ends. A common use of this is in movie advertising, where if the movie is a real dog, publicists can selectively take positive comments from bad reviews and create the illusion that the film is better than it actually is. This sort of thing can land you in court with well-financed reviewers but twisting information to better suit your goals works if you can do it convincingly and not get caught by publicists or lawyers.
- Another tactic that goes in and out of style is over-Humanization. Including a sympathetic personal story is often effective, no matter how odious the reality is. For example, during the war in Iraq the Sunni minority (20 percent of the population) had exploited and terrorized the majority (Shia, Kurds, and Christians) for centuries. The Sunni were rich because they took most of the oil revenue as well. When Saddam Hussein was overthrown by a U.S. led invasion in 2003, those who opposed this operation had no trouble finding Sunni families (who were now poor and not powerful at all) who could tell sad stories of fathers and brothers killed by the Americans and the family reduced to poverty and oppression. Not revealed was that the lost menfolk were often members of the security services that had been killing and terrorizing Iraqis for years and grabbing most of the oil wealth. The Sunni Arab Iraqis were also the best educated segment of the population and often spoke English and other foreign languages. Journalists looking for sympathetic victims always had Sunni Arabs ready to step up and give the human side. What was rarely mentioned was that most of the terrorism in Iraq (that killed over 50,000 Iraqis in five years) was carried out by the Sunni Arab minority, who felt it was their right to rule and get most of the oil income. No one tried to humanize that angle. ISIL (Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant), founded and run by these same Iraqis, is killing even more people.
- Name calling is officially the oldest trick in the book. It is cheap and easy. Just calling someone a nasty term doesn’t work so well anymore because of overuse. So you have to be more subtle and clever. A variation on name calling is “He Said, She Said”. This is a technique whereby you can say something you know isn't true, or isn't fair, but want to say it anyway. To do that simply attribute the comment to someone else, preferably someone highly respected who says a lot of things. With Internet and search engine skills you can quickly find something a better person said that can be twisted to your ends. By invoking someone more respected to do your lying for you it’s possible to win some immediate advantage.
- Another ancient favorite, even in the age of search engines, is unproven "Facts". This is used when you are frantic to prove a position that is weak (or outright false). Cite impressive sounding "studies", "reports", and "experts" as "proving" your point. The key here is to never mention the study's name, location, where copies can be found, or the conditions specific to the experiments. Again, the Internet cuts both ways and this technique is short term. In the past you could get a lot farther with convincing but false facts.
- Another ancient standby is lying sometimes (rather than all the time). If you can lie convincingly (few people can) you have an edge here. As the old saying about Hollywood goes, “Sincerity is everything, if you can fake that you’ve got it made.” But you must use this sparingly lest you be tagged a frequent liar. A variation is telling the truth, for a while anyway. If the buildup in your argument is true, you build confidence in your honesty that can then be betrayed with a useful (to yourself) lie or misrepresentation.
A popular conversational gambit is not talking at all about something and it can be very useful in Information War. This selective ignorance is a favorite technique of state controlled media. Thus, in the old Soviet Union you never heard about large scale disasters, serial killers, or areas suffering from pollution. This all came out after the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, and was demoralizing for many Russians, who always felt their police state was a better place to live in than it actually was. Governments still try to “control the message” and suppress bad news. What you don’t hear about doesn’t exist (until you become one of the victims). The Internet has made this technique much more difficult, which is why so many countries spend a lot of money to censor the Internet. If little lies don’t work try the “one-one punch”. This is where you pretend to represent two sides but one side gets a couple of great lines, the other side gets a lame line. A variation on the old “damning with faint praise” technique.
Another selective presentation technique is the use of subtle inaccuracies or a dismissive tone. This often involves misstating a topic, often a serious one, and pretending any objections or concerns about that are silly, unrealistic, or just not necessary. The current debate over climate change brings out a lot of this because many climate professionals are not in agreement with the “consensus” on just what is changing and why. This has led to more and more embarrassments for proponents as the experts eventually get enough people to take a look at the facts. Examples are the old “hockey stick” prediction of historical temperature that tried to ignore the well documented “little ice age” that lasted from the 13th to the 19th century. There were also false reports of glacial melting that did not match reality but were believed for a while because of too much propaganda and not enough facts. In the last decade a lot of people have lost faith in the “consensus,” which goes to show you that all the techniques here tend to have short shelf lives.
Selective presentation is often used in conjunction with “volume” and “coordination”. Volume is merely a deluge of the same story line everywhere, until it becomes dominant, and the media's view of it becomes the dominant view. The mass media loves this one because it can make any story “true” even if it isn’t. The mass media tend to follow each other and you will often find that all the "news" stories about a given current event seem to draw a similar conclusion about it. When you notice this, just ask yourself if it's probable that, in a nation of nearly 320 million, no one has a legitimate opposing opinion. This is why the traditional mass media does not like the Internet, where convincing facts or opinions that contradict the mass media truth can get into circulation. Police states (like China) particularly hate this.
Coordination occurs when a number of likeminded journalists all report the same angle at about the same time. This really doesn't require a conspiracy, there are so few "journalists" and they can easily see what their buddies' takes are on issues, then parrot the same line. This also occurs in any large organization (corporation, university, government bureaucracy). Some cultures are more into this than others. In Japan there is a saying that, “The nail that sticks out gets hammered down.”
If all else fails you can try fogging an issue. This is often called the total nonsense gambit. Sometimes certain groups have an interest in making sure that as few people pay attention to an issue as possible. A good propagandist can write a long, nonsensical article for the purpose of confusing the majority of readers, who themselves work hard all day. It doesn't take much for them to see a catchy headline, then begin to dig into a long rambling article, then throw their hands up and say "I don't have the extra energy to decipher this!" The reader is correct, the fault is with the propagandist. The fog is often reinforced by distracting or absurd statistics. With this technique the writer attempts to drag the reader into a debate about what the reader is even seeing. This is usually used when the propagandist is falling behind and must hurry to destroy correct understanding of events.
Some very simple techniques continue to be effective. One of these is the 2,3,4 Technique. Mentioning only one side of an issue two, three, or four times in an article, each time pretending you are about to present the opposing side but you never do. Then the article suddenly ends and the reader feels bombarded, outnumbered, and alone. Even if the opposing view is held by many people, the author need merely refuse to present that side of the argument. A variation on “2,3,4” is shock and awe. This is when the writer "attacks" the reader viciously at the very outset of the article with the "acceptable" view of the topic. The writer tries to "beat it into" the reader without any regard to other views.
Another sneaky, but basic tactic is simply framing the debate. Setting an argument around two "alternatives" which you would prefer, rather than the true alternatives. A variation on that is “token equal time”. Sometimes a weak, tiny understatement is added to a propaganda piece, apparently so the writer can pretend they had been fair. This technique is quite common, it consists of an article written with entirely one point of view, then at the end a meager statement from the opposing view is printed, it is immediately refuted, then the article either ends or continues on with the preferred point of view.
Framing the debate is often complemented by efforts to "interpret" A Statement. Have you ever seen a writer say that someone said something, then what the person said followed even though it didn't look anything like what the writer claimed was meant? Selective presentation of information by misinterpretation is as good as an outright lie. A variation on that is withholding Information. Is it the same as lying? Some in the media might not want to answer that question.
There are many other techniques, as the last century has been a golden age for this sort of duplicity. The Internet has accelerated the development of new techniques because the web tends to shorten the useful life of these media scams. Now even religious zealots and mass murderers like ISIL are using these tools to get what they want."
Mass Communication & Media Technology
Although media technology was first exploited by the fascist totalitarians, however later, the state, military and corporates all began influencing their societies by spinning the truth and distorted reality. The only difference is that the state favoured concentrated mass viewing whereas the corporates favoured private diffused viewing as it encourages buying more objects. Today because of this commercialization by the corporates through media technologies, our world is filled ‘magical’ seducing objects that symbolises Ideas that have been distorted (partially highlighted and partially hidden) to design a fantasy. The actual use value becomes taken for granted after such remaking of the observer’s perception and habits.
Human beings have a need to show that they have achieved happiness. The concept of happiness has been misrepresented by using media technology. It created a deep need to have visual proof for existence of happiness in our lives. In our modern societies, happiness is measured by buying fantastical tools (objects). The fantasy is introduced to us and reality is hidden from us by using media technologies so that everyone in the society is transformed into a potential customer. The reason for spectacle in the modern society is because of this flawed understanding of how we choose to represent our intrinsic need for happiness. This is why we fetishize newer objects that we don’t even need.
Human beings are naturally adept at organising into permanent groups, exchanging of ideas with each other and having enduring self-expressions. The desire for self-expression and the obvious appreciation for beauty and aesthetics led to cultural innovations such as art, literature and music. Communication is our basic need and mass communication has become the scepter of human communication. Whether we accept it or not, it's a fact that our world is a materialistic world and we have materialistic desires. Without the desire to buy, we would cease to be human. Trade and commodities have a direct link with our the quality of our life, not only for physical comfort but also how we perceive ourselves (identity). Capitalism is about trading of the fact that you are getting a good deal (bargain). Both the parties think they have exploited each other if they have a narrow mentality. The issue is not with trade but how we trade with each other, that needs reform and re-contextualizing. Trade works on demand. A demand that's driven by price, peer-pressure (trends), and manipulation of information (communication). The story so far has been about reducing cost and increasing profits. It's about the idea of this narrow profit, and how you look at it. When it's all about perception, then the ones who have the power to influence is the leader. Its open to manipulation. We are yet to respond to this challenge.
Mass media and within that television has played and big role in how we perceive our world. It has the power to influence the society, our behaviour pattern, by injecting a collective memory. The objective of visual media is to sell, and sell things that we don't need to buy. It uses the fact that we use materials to show our identity and sensibilities. It creates identities in products (or rather product brands). It gives objects a new context in our life which makes it more meaningful. Thus an object of decoration becomes an important meaning that defines the identity of a society. Mass Media builds an emotional relationship with the viewers. It transforms itself from mere functional objects to something that's magical in the sense that it can affect how you feel or think of yourself. These invisible attributes are important.
The rise of the developing world, is responsible due to the diverse, large middle-class society but they are facing a flux of contradictions and counter-contradictions. This is about influencing (colonising) your choices through all kinds of propagandas and of that the use of coded mass media (communication) are in the frontlines. Ads uses the fact that we use materials to show our identity and sensibilities by communicating a meaning (through association) to build an emotional connection (personalization). It has the power to influence the society, our behaviour pattern, by injecting a collective memory. Advertising uses fetishism so that consumers can sustain their private fantasies (due to injected or inherit complexes/fears/disturbances, for example the desire to be alpha male or superwomen) that they have liked with the identity of the product. (It's not uncommon, in a world of rapid industrialization, new technological innovations and fast changing social order, our natural reactions like anxieties, trauma and fears) A lot of money is spent on advertising & public relation management because they know, brand 'image is everything'.
Every Adman knows how objects in relation with other objects, their interactions, give meaning and add qualities to the objects that didn't exist. It is a way to communicate like language but more powerful as the meaning and the object becomes one. Deliberate manipulation to associate meaning, adding a fantastical element and desirability, making it more attractive.
The visual culture of the modern society is about ‘spectacle’. Spectacle itself is not a single concept; instead it holds different meanings depending on the time period and geographical location. But spectacle became identifiable during the Modern period, when commercialization, mass media and globalisation altered how societies spent their everyday lives, how they spent their leisure time and expressed themselves. A new and expanding class, the working middle class, emerged as societies exploited internal labour and external raw materials. This new class began fundamentally re-shaping their societies, challenging the exclusiveness of the past fixed order.
Media affects us both consciously and subconsciously. Mass media has been calculatingly used as a powerful propaganda tool in managing and swaying human behaviour, standardizing perception, creating a collective memory, discouraging reflection, since its early inception. Television and print based news, due primarily to their fixation with crime and violence arguably has a pessimistic impact upon our societal behaviour. Newspapers can be very biased about a story and current event are not always impartial. Writers have the gift to blend their bias in their work by using statistics and crowd counts, word choice and tone, and through omission. They do not inform the audience of the entire truth by omitting the less interesting parts and tend to emphasise on the dramatic, generally violent stories and images to capture and sustain its audience, under the facade of keeping us informed. The news can be described as being an oxymoron; giving us the skin of the truth stuffed with lies.
Is There A Good Piracy?
if public tastes are changing, the black market will discover this long before legitimate industry does. We’ve seen this happen again and again over the last two decades. In the ’80s, we borrowed movies from the video library long before the Hollywood studios had the bright idea of releasing legal videos in India. Before that, in the ’70s, when such Indian music companies as Polydor and HMV were still churning out LP records, the likes of Gulshan Kumar and the pirates of the Eastern world had worked out that the audio cassette was the preferred medium of choice for Indians. Globally pirates, bootleggers, and black marketers have always been ahead of the curve.
Piracy is the new consumer ’speak’ and ‘do’, and it’s here to stay. Like it or not, piracy or not, music and all forms of entertainment is going to be zapped all over the world without any restrictions. It’s the job of the industry to capitalize on it rather than squander it away. Pirates are the best advertising agents out there. And they come for free. Consumers distribute content amongst themselves – leading to almost tsunami like waves of consumption and distribution. Pirate marketing is the new currency of value. They tell fans about new bands without spends on ads.
The secret sauce to leverage piracy was something called ‘inviziads’ – where we placed invisible ads in our games that went with the games when the pirates take them. These ads automatically become visible on pirate websites. The interesting concept is that the content remains pristine. The consumer wins (gets content without paying), the pirates win (become popular thanks to evergreen content) and we win (thanks to the ads in the content). Everyone in the eco-system win.
The big gaming-console companies did not succeed in markets like China due to rampant piracy. Their game CDs were copied and sold in the black market. They felt cheated and held back. That created a massive vacuum in the market that was filled by the online game companies that created games that were meant only for the browser that required subscriptions and virtual goods purchases. This was the stepping-stone to games like Farmville and Mafia Wars.
I remember, over a decade back, fashion giants like D&G, Lacoste and Lee all, in spite of their worry for fakes, voiced together that they could tolerate fake as it made them realize how popular they were so that they could take their product innovation and quality to next level, letting the gray market thrive on fakes of residuals.
While the typical Hollywood studio frowns on movies being shared on BitTorrent, it's a different story for independent filmmakers. It seems that within days of being ripped, the little movie no one's heard of has enjoyed a sudden boom in profile. Case in point, IMDB indicates that the film rose 81,093% on their MovieMeter this week alone. That's a pretty staggering upstream no matter how you look at it. They had no distributor, no real advertising and yet the word of mouth that got generated made the film blow up as soon as it became available worldwide. So many came to see the movie multiple times, bringing friends and family and many of them bought the original DVD from the official website. This highlights the effectiveness of a modern grassroots option for independent artists to publicize and distribute their work without the help of a multimillion-dollar launch campaign. This is a perfect contrast to someone who's trying to satiate the entertainment business from someone whose only goal is to have their movie seen to as many people as possible.
Author Paulo Coelho thinks that giving people the possibility to swap his books for free, actually has a positive effect on sales.
Id's Doom was a shareware game, in which you got a free version of the game first and paid a fee to upgrade the game if you wanted to do so, but I think Mr. Stude makes a good case here. Oftentimes letting people have a taste of a game, if it is a good game, is the very thing that helps a developer gain a foothold in the market.
Recently, companies are responding to piracy by giving apps away for free, so that they can build loyalty with those who download them and draw revenue from in-app commerce, or users paying for more levels of service or content.
I think the nature of the audience is changing. People are eager to engage at the level of argument. They want to read. They want to discuss what they’ve read. (The web and twitter help them do this.) And they know that there is life beyond the auto-cue. So whenever marketing people say things to me like “You’ve got to keep it short and light” or “make it colourful and sensational” or “nobody has the patience to read,” I smile to myself.
To paraphrase and adapt Bob Dylan: Something is happening here but you don’t know what it is, do you, Mr Juneja? It’s not something they taught you at business school. It’s the wisdom of the street. Just ask the pirates…
“It turns out that people want their politicians to lie to them — people view politics as a mean to an end, and if they care about the ends, they’re willing for the means to be a little bit more crooked,” said Dan Ariely, a behavioral economist at Duke.
“Research done in the last 15 years shows that optimal persuasion is achieved through optimal pre-suasion: the practice of arranging for people to agree with a message before they know what’s in it. Pre-suasion works by focusing people’s preliminary attention on a selected concept — let’s say softness — which spurs them to overvalue related opportunities that immediately follow.”
People don’t care how insensitive, obnoxious, or inaccurate a Star is, because his honesty or sensitivity are not major criteria for their judging their reality TV star. They are fans. And as fans become voters, they are quite used to having their political leaders lie to them. The ends can justify the means.
- Sow seeds of doubt for public to lose confidence and be convinced that the person is incapable (like big financial responsibility/experience)
- Public start to dislike the person when immoral acts surfaces which forces the person go on the back-foot and turn defensive. This is a double whammy as it creates public confusion too (preferably, sexual choice or attacks)
- Demonise the opponent as an evil force that must be crushed (preferably, class/ethnic/territorial, the imperialistic ideological kind)
Authority & Associative Image: To keep hammering that you are socially powerful and highly-regarded people like you or agree with you.
Social Comparison: While it sounds complex, it’s actually really simple. It states that we are constantly evaluating our beliefs by checking in with people like us, to see if they see the world the same way as us. We’re tribal creatures. In situations of uncertainty, we tend to follow the herd. All of these people couldn’t be wrong, could they? In many ways, Social Comparison Theory tries to understand how social proof works. Why do people tend to become similar to one another? What drives us to bind together with our fellow men and women? When you see social proof as a way of evaluating your environment, and getting second and third and fourth opinions on your perception, it makes a lot of sense. After all, in math class we’re taught to check our work. Why wouldn’t we also double-check our perception? Obviously the beliefs you have, the way you see the world, is valid; at least all of these people think the same way as you. The rally just might be the perfect way for people to validate and strengthen their beliefs. And, once your attitude changes, your behaviors will change as well.
Identity: If you can appeal to someone’s core identity, you have them. Interestingly, the researchers think that the reason simple words increase perceived intelligence is due to something called cognitive fluency. Things that have low cognitive fluency are hard to think about, while things that have high cognitive fluency are very easy to think about. We like things that are highly fluent. We are also more likely to believe the explanation that is easy to think about.
Likability: One of the principles of persuasion is likability. To change someone’s mind you have to first hold their attention, and there’s no better way to get attention than to do something outrageous or unexpected. Predictable people are boring. But storytelling and humor are great tools. By defused the seriousness of the moment and making people laugh, you make everyone feel good and associate the positive feelings with you.
The mere-exposure effect is a psychological phenomenon by which people tend to develop a preference for things merely because they are familiar with them. In social psychology, this effect is sometimes called the familiarity principle. The effect has been demonstrated with many kinds of things, including words, Chinese characters, paintings, pictures of faces, geometric figures, and sounds.
High Ground maneuver: The opposite of reward is punishment — when we inflict pain on someone for doing a behavior we don’t want to see again in the future. Spanking and “grounding” are two classic forms of punishment that most of us are familiar with from our childhoods. Insults are another popular form of punishment that we, and politicians, use liberally. By calling attention to strange, unique weaknesses you are able to destroy the public’s perception of them. When it stops being effective, you A/B test something new, choose the best, and then hammer with the new linguistic kill shot.
Confidence: Even if you have no idea what you're saying, or doing, it pays to say it and do it with confidence. If you exude confidence while you are doing something, or speaking to an audience, that raises their estimation of your competence, and therefore, their confidence in you. Trouble is, we as human beings are too easily and often swayed by what may amount to bluster, bravado, and fakery. We too quickly buy into façades and noise, because it sounds “strong” or “powerful”. When we value larger-than-life blanket statements, and over the top facial expressions and gestures, and are perfectly willing to turn off the fact checker or BS detector, any performer can sound good, especially if we are looking for a simple message.
The Art of War's 50 Dark Strategies of Power
* Law 2 Never put too Much Trust in Friends, Learn how to use Enemies
* Law 3 Conceal your Intentions
* Law 4 Always Say Less than Necessary
* Law 5 So Much Depends on Reputation. Guard it with your Life
* Law 6 Court Attention at all Cost
* Law 7 Get others to do the Work for you, but Always Take the Credit
* Law 8 Make other People come to you, use Bait if Necessary
* Law 9 Win through your Actions, Never through Argument
* Law 10 Infection: Avoid the Unhappy and Unlucky
* Law 11 Learn to Keep People Dependent on You
* Law 13 When Asking for Help, Appeal to People's Self-Interest, Never to their Mercy or Gratitude
* Law 14 Pose as a Friend, Work as a Spy
* Law 15 Crush your Enemy Totally
* Law 16 Use Absence to Increase Respect and Honor
* Law 17 Keep Others in Suspended Terror: Cultivate an Air of Unpredictability
* Law 18 Do Not Build Fortresses to Protect Yourself. Isolation is Dangerous
* Law 19 Know Who You're Dealing with. Do Not Offend the Wrong Person
* Law 20 Do Not Commit to Anyone
* Law 21 Play a Sucker to Catch a Sucker. Seem Dumber than your Mark
* Law 22 Use the Surrender Tactic: Transform Weakness into Power
* Law 23 Concentrate Your Forces
* Law 24 Play the Perfect Courtier
* Law 26 Keep Your Hands Clean
* Law 27 Play on People's Need to Believe to Create a Cultlike Following
* Law 28 Enter Action with Boldness
* Law 29 Plan All the Way to the End
* Law 30 Make your Accomplishments Seem Effortless
* Law 31 Control the Options: Get Others to Play with the Cards you Deal
* Law 32 Play to People's Fantasies
* Law 33 Discover Each Man's Thumbscrew
* Law 34 Be Royal in your Own Fashion: Act like a King to be treated like one
* Law 35 Master the Art of Timing
* Law 36 Disdain Things you cannot have: Ignoring them is the best Revenge
* Law 37 Create Compelling Spectacles
* Law 38 Think as you like but Behave like others
* Law 39 Stir up Waters to Catch Fish
* Law 40 Despise the Free Lunch
* Law 41 Avoid Stepping into a Great Man's Shoes
* Law 42 Strike the Shepherd and the Sheep will Scatter
* Law 43 Work on the Hearts and Minds of Others
* Law 44 Disarm and Infuriate with the Mirror Effect
* Law 45 Preach the Need for Change, but Never Reform too much at Once
* Law 46 Never appear Perfect
* Law 47 Do not go Past the Mark you Aimed for; In Victory, Learn when to Stop
* Law 48 Assume Formlessness
History of the Internet
note: the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority, operated on behalf of the U.S. Commerce Department. The high-speed cables, wireless technology and computer routers are now owned primarily by telecommunications and cable companies. Users buy access from commercial Internet Service Providers. The content of the Web also comes under control via the scores of major sites owned by Google, Yahoo, InterActiveCorp (IAC), America On Line, and Microsoft.
National governments will continue to maintain their sovereignty in the age of the Internet, largely because of economics: e-businesses-even giants such as Yahoo, Google and eBay-need governmental support in order to function. China uses its powers of censorship to block dissent and publishes propaganda that cultivates a virulent form of nationalism. when Google entered the Chinese market it had to agreed to toe China’s strict line on censorship.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation worked to protect the Internet from regulation in the belief that a free online community might unite people and melt government away. However, Jon Postel's attempt to assert control over the root naming and numbering system in 1998 was short-lived, as the U.S. government flexed its power in order to protect its national defense and business interests.
When Yahoo, an American company, was tried in French court for facilitating the auctioning of Nazi paraphernalia in violation of French law, the company was eventually forced to comply with local laws or risk losing the ability to operate in France. Microsoft had to learn that European privacy laws are considerably stricter than US ones, and complied. Ebay had to learn that Indians are sensitive to sex videos, As eBay grew into an Internet powerhouse, its "feedback" system could not keep up with cunning con artists, so it hired hundreds of fraud prevention specialists. it had to learn that if somebody cheats on you, you'll need a legal system to be able to punish them and to avoid cheating becomes commonplace.
However, government can make good work, such as, the contest in the U.S. between the RIAA and Kazaa ultimately enabled Apple's iTunes to emerge as a legally acceptable service that balances copyright laws and the public's preference for using the Internet to source and download music.