The fake news game gave me the ability to play into tricking people and gaining a following doing it. Throughout the game I never thought about who I could hurt in the process or what I was doing I just wanted to gain more followers and badges. As the questions kept coming up I was willing to do whatever they had to give in order to be the best and fool as many people as I could to gain credibility and have people listen to me and share my ideas as the “truth”. Every timeI earned a new badge, I had this overwhelming sense of accomplishment because I was hitting the steps to becoming a expert on producing fake news. In the picture above you can see that throughout the game I earned all of the badges available with the work I was doing. When I earned the conspiracy badge I felt as though I was actually creating real stories, it felt different from the other badges. It was easy to get the hang of just playing with people’s emotions and trolling people, but when you get to create a conspiracy theory and actually have people follow and believe it, you feel like you are actually in the game doing all of this; this was thrilling and I was loving what I was doing. In the beginning I was carefully reading the different options are really thinking about what I was going to choose and put out using my account, but once I saw the followers start to rise, I would always choose what would be the most convincing to my followers. I loved being able to play with people’s emotions and even lie on the stories to make my account sound credible and worried about what was going on. This game gave great insight into how easily it is for people to get sucked into the fake news craze with not only believing it but writing it as well.
Before starting to really look into the study of propaganda, my feelings have always been more towards the negative side. Due to the fact that the only time I’ve ever learned about it before it was dealing with propaganda used in order for certain groups of people to hate others. This reading put it into perspective that propaganda can also be used positively and won’t hurt anyone. A lot of the reading was used to discuss how businesses use propaganda in order to persuade people not buying products; this is positive because it will not only benefit those buying but will help rebuild businesses. If a business fails people lose jobs but if people can be persuaded into continually supporting the company then people will stay employed. It built up the roles or people who work in public relations, talked about how they work with clients, and overall try to help the client as well as the public. I liked that the reading talked about the “invisible governments” and “invisible leaders” because even though I have never heard those terms before that isn’t something I ever thought about when thinking of propaganda. I always believed that actual governments and corporations put out messages and stood behind them to gain a following based on their power and influence over the community. But, as I read I understood where Bernays was describing how it is more of an unknown and subtle influence by many people who don’t always know each other, just because they have the ability to pull someone in with their opinions, act like natural born leaders, and are surrounded by people willing to listen. Overall, this reading was a great way to be introduced into how propaganda was used in earlier times and it took away the negative connotations that were behind it in my mind.
Propagandists spend a large amount of time researching the cases in which they are working on. What is the business/person/candidate trying to do, who are they trying to reach, and why. Once they know all of this, they start at the top. They go to those who have influence and power over large numbers of the masses and start spreading the word. Once they get the person of power to believe them and be on their side; the followers of the power will automatically believe them and go along with what the propagandist had told them.
Fashion as a form of propaganda is a different form fo influence than propaganda used during elections. This type was to help struggling markets and manufacturers. The downfall of velvet brought down markets; these businesses looked for help from people of Paris to persuade women in the U.S. that it was still in style so they would keep buying. By having people of nobility wear simple pieces that included velvet, women would want to follow suit and wear something with velvet so they seem more noble. Word was being spread so women started rushing out to buy velvet bringing the market back to life. This form of propaganda helped a business boom and bring in more money.
Organizations of any kind, even charitable ones, must use propaganda to shape the public mind because according to Bernays, “the public must be regimented into giving money just as it is must be regimented into tuberculosis prophylaxis” . If someone who has even the slightest bit of influence over people can come out and say something, they can gain support around them and help whatever “cause” they are working towards. Propaganda is used to alter how we feel about certain things, so in the case of charities it is beneficial for them to use it in order to have people rally support.
Very excited to start working with propaganda this semester!