Distraction Techniques


Some of the most effective propaganda techniques work by misdirecting or distracting the public's finite attention away from important issues. 

It's important to read between the lines of the news and see what isn't being reported, or what is reported once, quietly, and not followed up.  

 In an age of information overload, distraction techniques can as effective as active propaganda.

  • One way to test for distraction is to look for items that appear repeatedly in foreign press (from neutral and hostile countries) and that don't appear in your own. But beware of deliberately placed lies that are repeated with the hope that people will believe it if it is repeated often enough.
  • All active propaganda techniques can be tested by asking if they tend the target audience to act in the best interests of the distributor of the propaganda. 
  • Propaganda presents one point of view as if it were the best or only way to look at a situation.
  • Sometimes propaganda can be detected by the fact that it changes before and after a critical event, whereas more honest information like medicine, science or any training manual should largely remain the same after the event as before.
  • If there are big disparities, or if some "valuable lesson" or "wake-up call" has occurred, it means that what was provided before the fact was not really "instruction" but "guessing," or - if there is no consistent explanation that survives - propaganda.
British government examples

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