Media manipulation is the use of communication media to deceive or mislead. This is often done for the purposes of propaganda, activism, financial gain and public relations. The following are illustrative examples.
Rhetorical DevicesRhetorical devices are known ways of influencing people. Many of these have been used for thousands of years and aren't necessarily unethical. For example, an appeal to authority or straw man argument.
Biased ReportingAn organization that is ostensibly objective such as a government or newspaper that nevertheless reports information that is colored with ideology such that it resembles propaganda.
Suppression of InformationAn organization that has a responsibility to report information that holds it back because it doesn't benefit their agenda. For example, a government or newspaper that doesn't report findings of dangerous contamination of a water supply.
DisinformationPurposely communicating information that is false. For example, fake news reports.
FallaciesTransmitting arguments that are logically invalid such as proof by example. It is common for people to accidentally produce arguments that are fallacies. Media manipulation implies that a fallacy is knowingly produced to persuade.
Dumbing DownOversimplifying complex issues. For example, the use of thought-terminating cliches and glittering generalities.
False DichotomyA false dichotomy is the incorrect assertion that their are only two choices in a particular situation. These fall into familiar patterns such as us vs them.
Anonymous AuthorityClaiming that an opinion originates with an authority without any naming any sources. For example, "scientists say" or "experts agree."
False BalanceFalse balance is the act of pretending that two arguments are equally valid when one is far more valid than the other. For example, "some experts say that dogs are animals that evolved on Planet Earth while other experts point out that they are most likely aliens from another world."
ClickbaitMisrepresenting the content of media with titles that are designed to get clicks. This may go as far as including disinformation in a title.
AstroturfingAstroturfing is the practice of pretending that an organization or initiative is rooted in popular citizen activism when it is actually sponsored by a government, industry, organization or wealthy individual.
Visual Media Manipulation Production and distribution of fake or altered visual media such as photos and videos.Information technology that gauges how a user thinks and then feeds them content that aligns to these views. This may cause the user to believe that their views are common or universal when in fact they are uncommon or extreme.
Psychological TargetingUsing digital technologies to estimate how people think and then using this data to target messages to them.Useful idiot is the unethical practice of targeting people who have a tendency to unwittingly spread misinformation. Another common target is individuals with potential to sow discord in groups that have common interests.
SockpuppetingSpreading disinformation from a large number of aliases. For example, a government that controls millions of social media accounts.
Concern TrollingCommunicating ideas that are typical of the opposition in order to derail their efforts. This often takes the form of encouraging the opposition to adopt an increasingly extreme position that is unpalatable to the majority of people.
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