Propaganda in the United States is spread largely by the government as well as the media entities. Propaganda is basically information, ideas, or rumors spread widely to influence opinions and preserve the self-interest of a nation. It is used in newspapers, advertising, radio, poster, books, television, and other media and provides either factual or non-factual information to its audiences.
In April 2020, President Donald Trump and the United States government played a campaign video for the Republican Party. It was widely regarded as a propaganda video. This video presented a timeline of the U.S. government’s response to the pandemic, displaying only the favorable moments. Some commentators said that these are the tactics to protect the governmental reputation of President Donald Trump, especially before the presidential election of 2020.
The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in big misinformation and conspiracy theories about the scale of the pandemic, the origin, prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of the disease. False information and also intentional disinformation, has been spread through social media. Journalists have been arrested for spreading fake news about the pandemic.
The propaganda machine of China has gotten more sophisticated. The most aggressive troll from Beijing came during the coronavirus pandemic outbreak. A news agency Xinhua created a video called “Once Upon a Virus” featuring animated Legos, a set of responsible, masked Chinese trying to warn a recalcitrant Lego Statue of Liberty that people need to take the virus seriously and wear masks.
As Trump’s administration failed to take foreign propaganda seriously enough, there resulted in a new worry. America is now a victim of overseas propaganda by nameless, faceless groups spreading false narratives on everything from race to elections. Americans more than ever are spouting conspiracy theories that the coronavirus is a Chinese weapon, and on and on.
In today’s society, where news stories surround us from every direction, it is nearly impossible to avoid the influence of the media. Television, radio, newspapers, and the internet affect the way we think, our behavior as well.
One of the main differences between propaganda now and propaganda of the 1930s is that today we are very much aware of the fact that the media aims to influence us. This means that we can make educated decisions about political discussions instead of depending solely on what journalists tell us.
During the Cold War, most Americans received their news and information through mediated platforms. Reporters and editors served the role of professional gatekeepers and had almost full control over what appeared in the media.
Viewers nowadays, select the network accordingly to their political preferences while watching Television.
The danger related to memes is that the visuals are no longer centrally orchestrated pieces, designed to advance the public good. They spread seemingly from the depths of the internet, and virtually anybody can viral it through the power of mass replication. Discerning facts from fiction has become the real challenge with this latest incarnation of visual propaganda. Time will tell this best if memes will become a permanent part of our political history, but for now, we are still experiencing and getting their unpredictable effects.
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