Propaganda, something bad from the past?

When you ask people what they think when hearing the word ‘propaganda’, they talk about images of Nazis and communists. Something from the past, they mean.

Although propaganda from North Korea or from the Trump camp is also mentioned. Something not from here, they mean.

Or at least, something negative, they mean.

However, the persuasive techniques of propaganda are also actively applied today by politicians, journalists, activists, advertisers … or by anyone who wants to influence people’s opinions and behavior.

And not just for negative purposes. Propaganda can pursue very positive social purposes. Think of campaigns for safe traffic or against dumping waste in the oceans.

ecovia.png 12495206_972391269501035_7229011245476419548_n.jpg

Sources: https://www.adsoftheworld.com/media/print/ecovia_stop_the_violence_drive_safe / https://www.ecologistasenaccion.org/?p=28277 

And without propaganda there might not be a woman’s right to vote?

Or watch this message from Mohamed El Bachiri.

This Moroccan Belgian, Muslim and inhabitant of Molenbeek lost his wife on March 22 2016 in the attacks in Brussels. His call to the “Jihad of love” applies different propaganda techniques:

  • It answers to the needs of the pubic: after the terrible attacks many people were looking for goodness in the other person. Mohamed El Bachiri answers this need with a powerful story.
  • It stirs intense emotions: hope! The hope that we can all live together.
  • It creates a group feeling: we are all people with feelings.

(!) Feel free to disagree! –> You can share your additions or thoughts on this analysis on the website of Mind Over Media EU.

The problem is not that we are influenced by propaganda. The problem is that we often do not know that we are being influenced and are being misled.

Therefore it is important to reflect on contemporary forms of propaganda. Memes, vlogs or grand campaigns, they often want to play us quickly with (intense) emotions. But they deserve to be discussed and commented on. And then – after a great discussion at the bar or in class – you can decide whether you allow it to influence or not.

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