Social media is weaponized for some entities, and linguistic manipulation is at the heart of the weapon. You may wonder how this is possible. It appears that humans are easily fooled by how they interpret communication. Communication experts are keen on the many linguistic techniques and methods applied to manipulate the masses.
Should we trust that our most protected organizations, corporations, and institutions, have our best interests at heart?
Perhaps, these entities are the ones that should be held to the highest level of linguistic scrutiny. It almost appears that we are in the rock ages of this process; with no regulation in sight on what words actually mean when delivered to the masses.
Orwell wrote that political language, “is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.”
The art of linguistic manipulation today, has since been mastered far beyond the imagination of George Orwell’s 1984.
In the book the Juggler of Notre Dame, the clergy man asks his bishop, “May I smoke while praying?” In response, he receives a definitive no. Later, another clergyman asks the bishop, “May I pray while I smoke, and the bishop replies, “it is fine to pray at anytime.”
Positioning of words changes meaning and effect by emphasizing an act or a subject. The subject of an act can be easily switched to the act of a subject. These statements are related to the same thing but they both have different meanings. The facts can remain the same but the disposition of the words can subtly sway your perception of what is actually happening.
How does Social Media Affect Human Life?
One of the most important subjects known to humans, is human life. Who might have thought that human life can be such an important subject? It is certainly written in Section 7 of our Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, in plain english, “Everyone has the right to life.”
Jacques Ellul writes that “public opinion can only express itself through channels which are provided by the mass media of communication – without which there could be no propaganda.” When we consider that social media has millions of channels of influence, it is easy to see that public opinions can vary.
With human life being at the top of the list of priorities in our Canadian Charter, one has to wonder why cleaning the earth of toxic chemicals and homelessness is not trending everyday on the top 10 list!
So, we need to ask ourselves, if we are not hearing about the things that really matter, then what are we hearing about on a daily basis, which forms the consensus of public opinion? The answer is likely manipulation. We are being told what is important to human life and not what in reality is capital to human life.
It is important to recognize techniques used to subject you to the daily propaganda warfare. The last thing you want, is to realize that you have been slowly subliminally programmed to agree with everything that is disguised as public opinion.
Five Social Media Manipulation Techniques
The following are just a few of many manipulation techniques used on social media:
- Astroturfing: Imitation grassroots movements used to sway the public.
- Clickbait: Sensationalized headlines appealing to existing biases.
- Propaganda Laundering: Focusing on the release of media reports rather than the actual story.
- Distraction by Major Events: Using major events to distract public from priority issues.
- Straw Man Fallacy: Making a statement appear false by referencing a similar but weaker example.
The Race against the Social Media Manipulation Bomb
Social media companies like Twitter have recently taken big steps to counter propaganda meant to manipulate public opinion. A recent headline, on THE HILL, read, “Twitter deletes over 170,000 accounts tied to Chinese propaganda efforts.” This along with many other propaganda takedowns and newly introduced tools, are making Twitter a formidable social media company to help form truthful public opinion. We will need more time to see just how Twitter and other social media companies will be able to democratize public opinion and help save human life on earth.
A recent article on Mashable, reported that Twitter was exploring crowdsourced fact checking as a way to address misinformation, which would rely on community moderators to make determinations on posted content. This would sound like a great solution, with the exception that the public would need transparency on the political inclinations of the assigned moderators. The stakes are very high for those that stand to lose against politically stacked moderators. The further we consider the implications of moderators for Twitter content, the more we realize that the social media company is taking the shape of an elected government; where we may need to elect local moderators to address the interests of the Twitter community. We must also consider how public opinion might take shape without the lens of the propaganda cultivators. We may find that people are more likely to assemble themselves quite differently if they could have fair and democratic access to public opinion. While the world contends with the real threat of a weaponized social media landscape; we are running out of time to save human life on our planet earth. Are you ready to join the good fight?
Are you prepared for Weaponized Social Media?https://bit.ly/2UKpLHP #socialgood #impact #humanity #education
Please warn your friends and family of Weaponized Social Media https://bit.ly/2UKpLHP #socialgood #impact #humanity #education
https://bit.ly/37Farlf (Juggler of Notre Dame)