This article is written by Muskan Jain, a 1st year law student of Amity University, Chhattisgarh.
The manipulation of public opinion over different media platforms has emerged as a critical treat to public life. Media manipulation is a series of related techniques in which partisans create an image or argument that favors their particular interests. Such tactics may include the use of psychological manipulations, outright deception, logical fallacies, propaganda techniques etc. Many of the more modern mass media manipulation methods are types of distraction, on the assumption that the public has a limited attention span. The manipulation strategies the media uses. It’s been quite some time since then, and now we have things like the internet, so the media has many more ways to influence us. The method used by media’s to manipulate our consciousness.
More emotions, less thinking:- News and emotions always go together, and there is nothing good about it. Emotions don’t let you perceive facts critically and objectively. They block the rational part of our mind. This often leads to a distortion of reality. This the reason why the term “information warfare” is not forgotten but is actually often used. It changed the whole prospective of how we saw it, how it really happened and how other people saw it.
Create a diversion:- Creating a diversion is the media’s favorite strategy. Important information isn’t noticed among st a huge number of smaller stories. The internet didn’t solve this problem; we constantly switch our attention to funny pictures and jokes. The only difference is that today we can at least have a choice ; we can easily filter the information we want to receive to avoid unimportant information.
Hoaxing:- A hoax is something intended to deceive or defraud. What a newspaper or the news reports a fake story, it is known as hoax. Misleading public stunts, business scam are example of hoaxes. For something to become a hoax, the lie must have something more to offer. Also it must be able to attack attention from public.
Astroturf:- Astroturfing is when there is an intent and attempt to create the illusion of support for a particular cause, person, or stance. This is mainly seen on the internet or in newspapers during the time of elections. They just try to imitate grassroots movement in order to sway the public to something that is not true.
Photo manipulation:- Visual media can be transformed through photo manipulation, commonly called “photoshop” This is the trending sort to manipulate people through outrage deception (disinformation). And making visual which is not true to its present.
By being very kind:- some advertisement use language, arguments, symbols, and intonations for children. Such communication makes people less critical. They use brand in imperative form, and aim for the simplest feelings and impulses. The media has a patronizing tone of voice because it definitely knows more than we do.
Different social media platforms:- Social media is used by a majority of the world’s population. This means not just better global reach but also more user information than other platforms, making it an increasingly popular medium for manipulation:
‘Cyber troop’ is a term used to identify that entities that leverage social media to manipulate.
Increasing number cyber troops from various countries engaging on social media platform such as Facebook, Instagram and YouTube among others.
Fake accounts, bot-controlled accounts, spreading misinformation, suppressing information, amplifying content are a few components of the social media manipulation environment.
So, why is trust in the media so low? Well, the gap between these lofty expectations of an honest, objective media and the performance that they deliver is large. Now people naturally turn to social media for other, even-easier-to-manipulate sources. Thus we are in the current state in which we find ourselves: confused, mistrustful and divided
We have to take initiative to stop this manipulation and aimed at keeping the internet free from fake information. Individual can take few step to join the fight against this kind of manipulation. Firstly, don’t believe every piece of content that appears on your social media feed, especially from unverified sources. The most efficient and seemingly, the only weapon against misinformation ( and so, against manipulation) is, and will always be, the free and active consciousness of every one of us.
Featured image from https://imgur.com/gallery/gxJTfdX