Examples of propaganda?

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Propaganda is the presentation of ideas to persuade people to think in a certain way. Propaganda developers use selective presentation of facts and information in a widely accessible format to reach as many people as possible. Propaganda techniques include appealing to emotions, selling happiness, making people choose a side, and keeping it simple. Propaganda can be positive or negative in nature and can be disseminated through various media. The definition of propaganda is subjective and can be a challenge when evaluating information for bias and errors.

Propaganda is the presentation of ideas intended to persuade a group of people to think in a certain way. Propaganda developers often selectively present facts and information in a widely accessible format to ensure that it reaches as many people as possible with a message that can be positive or negative in nature. While any campaign designed to persuade people can be considered propaganda, regardless of its message, most people view it as a bad thing. Examples can range from anti-German posters used in the United States during World War I to public health campaigns aimed at encouraging parents to vaccinate their children.

Examples of propaganda techniques

Media creators working on a propaganda campaign rely on knowledge of human psychology, especially looking at how people behave as a group, to develop effective campaigns that reach their target audiences. Some are more sophisticated than others and many are based on subconscious biases that are already present in the general population. These can be leveraged to make people feel a certain way, triggering the desired response to the campaign. Appealing to a person’s emotions, for example, or selling the idea of ​​happiness, can change people’s minds in a way that a thorough examination of the facts of an issue might not, or at least not as quickly.

When people develop a campaign, they have to decide on the most effective media presentation to get their point across. Posters and cartoons can be very effective and reach a large audience; a striking image with a simple message can stick in people’s minds. Radio and television can be used for campaigns that involve more information and can more effectively use a well-liked figure or “common people” persona to speak to an audience. People may also consider producing flyers and books to disseminate information to their target audience.

Positive and negative examples

Many people have negative associations with propaganda because it was used as an especially powerful tool of warfare during the 20th century. Countries at war use radio and television broadcasts, posters, magazines and other media to define the enemy. This also tends to have a dehumanizing effect, where people develop an “us versus them” mentality which can help boost support for war. People can be warned of the danger of shortages, for example, making them fearful and eager for military action to end hostilities.

This does not necessarily mean that all propaganda is negative in nature. Positive campaigns may use the selective presentation of information to reach as many members of the public as possible with the goal of promoting public health, safety, or other issues of public interest. In the US, for example, the Centers for Disease Control has a vaccination campaign for tweens and teenagers that includes posters of happy kids, fact sheets, web buttons, and even a rap song to promote the message. Even with wartime propaganda, a campaign to warn people of the dangers of shortages could be used to encourage people to spend less, save more, and do things like plant “victory gardens” to supplement the own diet.

Examples of appeal to emotion
It is common to see an appeal to emotion, especially fear, in propaganda campaigns; an example of this can be seen in public health campaigns to encourage women to avoid drinking during pregnancy. These campaigns can use pictures and descriptions of babies born with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FES) to remind mothers to be careful what they consume.
A similar example of appealing to emotion can be seen in propaganda campaigns used in warfare to create terror or unrest. In World War II, both sides used radio broadcasts intended to reach troops of the opposing side. These broadcasts carried false information about troop deaths, military movements and other events, with the aim of scaring the troops. Many of these programs featured women speaking in seductive voices and playing popular music, making the troops feel at home before getting to the message at the center of the broadcast.

Happiness selling examples
Propaganda makers may use techniques designed to suggest that people who believe the information presented will live better, happier lives. Some rely on an appeal to authority with a loved, trusted, or well-liked public figure providing quotes or appearing on behalf of the campaign. This can create a positive association with the information you provide, and can also lead viewers and listeners to think they will be happy if they buy a product for sale or if they comply with the campaign guidelines.
For example, campaigns encouraging people to buy war bonds in the United States during World War II often featured images of happy families. These propaganda materials suggested that buying bonds was not only patriotic because it would help the country, but could also lead to greater happiness for consumers. Similarly, a government might suggest that its citizens are happier and healthier in a campaign to attract skilled immigrants.

Examples of how to make people choose a side
Propaganda can rely on forcing viewers and listeners to sides with the use of tools such as black and white logic, where people are presented with only two available options of how to feel or behave. Creators can also scapegoat, rely on stereotypes, and use labels or slurs to turn a campaign target into a generic “other” that threatens the familiar “us.” Some notable examples of this type of propaganda were produced by Germany during World War II where anti-Semetic campaigns were used against the Jewish public.
Keep it simple examples
Creators and producers often stick to a simple point or two and repeat them frequently to make sure they adhere. They rely on very simplistic explanations and promotional tools in hopes of reaching people and making them internalize and repeat the message. Slogans can be especially useful for this; many people may be familiar with the World War II slogan “loose lips sink ships,” adopted to remind people to be careful when discussing information critical to national security.
Also, information can be presented by someone with an appeal to “simple people”. This character, often not a real person, is designed to appeal to people by looking just like them. Speaking in simple terms, the character provides information about a social problem that may seem logical and reliable, but key facts are often skipped.
Using a simple character can be very common in political advertising. A campaign can feature people who seem welcoming and friendly to promote a campaign and its agendas; for example, a politician might want someone to provide a testimonial about the success of a program that promotes small farms. A farmer, or an actor posing as a farmer, could be asked to speak on behalf of the campaign as a friendly representative who would set a different tone than a politician in a suit.
Definition of propaganda
There is considerable debate over the precise definition of propaganda, as the term often has negative associations. Governments may argue, for example, that the material they produce is informative and beneficial to the public, while comparable materials produced by a rival government are propaganda. Organizations may also have different views on whether the material can or should be classified as propaganda.
For example, an atheist group might feel that a church’s publications are propaganda, while the church might think it is simply distributing information to interested members of the public. A pharmaceutical company may feel that a campaign to raise awareness about the side effects of a drug is alarmist intended to scare the public. The “eye of the beholder” problem can be a challenge when evaluating information for bias and errors. The International Potato Promotion Board, for example, may be a biased source on potatoes as a health food, while a nutrition agency may provide more accurate information on the subject.

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