The receptivity of the masses is very limited, their intelligence is small, but their power of forgetting is enormous. In consequence of these facts, all effective propaganda must be limited to a very few points and must harp on these in slogans until the last member of the public understands what you want him to understand by your slogan. - Adolf Hitler

1. Anything related to WW2

I used a Hitler quote to open this blog.  Does that make me evil?  Propaganda would have you believe so.  Whenever you see a comparison to anything WW2 related you should ask yourself 'Is he really the next Hitler?' 'Will this lead to camps?' Probably not. They want you to hate that side so much that future attacks on them seem justified. How much more evil can you commit when the enemy is Literally Hitler!  No one (apart from Adolf) is 'Literally Hitler.'


2. Clips

Are you seeing/hearing/reading the full event, or has it been clipped to fit the pre-existing narrative? Not sure, seek out the full clip and judge for yourself if it was taken out of context or not.


3. Opinions

Thug, outrageous, disgraceful are all examples of opinions. If you see words like these, chances are they're telling you how to think. Propaganda.


4. Same opinion


Does everyone (at least 'on your side') have the exact same opinion on a topic? How often does your group of friends all have the same take on local events/drama? Why is it that bigger stories lead to everyone thinking the same? Because we're told how to think about these events. Propaganda. 


5. Mind reading

''They did X because....' How does anyone know why they did X? Can they read minds, or are they guessing? If they're guessing, how much value should you give to their opinion? None, it's propaganda.


6. Questioning

 What happens when you question the story? Do they refuse to answer? Derail and answer something else? Label and attack you for daring to ask? Good chance it's propaganda.


7. Narrative


Does every story enhance a narrative? Are stories that go against the narrative mocked/listed as evil? Does all new evidence prove the preexisting narrative? It's propaganda.


8. Victim / oppressor


Is there a clear good/bad divide? As Norm MacDonald said, 'The idiot sees the world as Good vs. Evil. The cynic sees the world as Evil vs. Evil. The truth that no one seems able to see is that the world is, and always has been, a battle of Good vs. Good.' People's reasons for doing things, even evil acts, come from what they believe to be a greater good. By focusing on 'they did X because they are evil,' we are blind to the real reasons and miss the real solutions. When you see a victim/oppressor narrative, you're viewing propaganda. 

9. Feelings


Are you being told how you should feel? What would happen if you said you felt the opposite? Feelings are determined by the other aspects I listed above. Feelings determine our actions. What actions do these feelings predict?


10. Fear

 When we are scared, we seek safety. Those providing the propaganda usually offer safety if you follow them.


11. Bad data


For example, these two graphs look identical: ice cream sales throughout the year and shark attacks throughout the year. Does an increase in ice cream sales cause shark attacks? No. The increase in heat/sunshine causes both.

Often, data is shown this way, and we fail to ask if it's due to causation or correlation. I highly recommend the book 'Factfulness' to get a better understanding of how not to be fooled by data.


12. Celebs views


If you see a celeb talking about the current thing, pushing the same narrative that then gets shared everywhere, it's propaganda.
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