I started this blog with few thoughts about the questionable quality of the information available online (part 1 & part 2). However, after seeing these next two videos recently, I decided to contribute more on the topic. This time I will focus on the words used, i.e. the way things are expressed in a certain way to shape your reaction and opinions. This very cunning method is used in both public and private sectors, and certainly as a phenomenon it’s on the rise.
To get you to understand this topic, its importance and influence more, check out this must-see video from Billy Johnson:
The big difference here compared to those two of my previous posts is that this is a much subtle method compared to propaganda/disinformation/hasbara – although certainly can be part of any of those campaigns. Trick with abusing words and their meanings is that basically you are not lying per se, nor you are forcing your opinion down someone’s throat, you are simply laying the ground rules for the conversation in a way which favors you and your opinion. The scary part is that people who can pull that off the best can do it in such a delicate manner, that you are not even aware that your opinion has been shaped before the actual conversation around the topic even starts.
Another recent example of how casual sounding phrases are used in public to discuss and justify actions of war, video from a brilliant TV-program called Breaking the Set:
At the moment PR professionals outnumber journalists by ratio of 4.6:1 in US, 4:1 in Canada and 1.55:1 in UK . So I think it is fair to say that the numbers are pretty much in the same scale in all Western countries. PR people also have higher average earnings than journalists. All in all, it doesn’t require much more than common sense to realize, that the issues presented in this blog post and in those videos is likely to continue growing.