There are widespread efforts to create what I call a false reality to engulf you when you’re exposed to most any forms of media. The idea is to give the impression there’s widespread support for or against an agenda–when there may not really be. Those behind the efforts to sway your opinion, sometimes using bullying tactics, are special interests that want to make debates seem over, science seem settled, and make you feel like you’re an outlier–when none of those things is actually the case.
These interests increasingly use PR firms that create sophisticated campaigns to advance their narratives. This may include circulating their propaganda on Twitter and Facebook (often using pseudonyms and multiple accounts all held by the same person), pushing their talking points through bloggers, selectively editing Wikipedia pages, secretly backing non-profits or simply posting negative comments online to every article or blog they fear could threaten their agenda.
Most of all, these astroturfers and propagandists seek to censor opinions and facts they fear most. They don’t want you to hear and exchange diverse ideas on their topic of concern because they’re afraid you might not form the right conclusion. They want to control what you see, hear and say.
Hear more in my short talk presented at TEDx at the University of Nevada, Reno.
[button link=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-bYAQ-ZZtEU”]TEDx Talk on Astroturfers Manipulating the Media Message[/button]