The Russians are grandmasters at propaganda. FOX has adapted Russian tricks to make money by spreading disinformation that divides Americans.
How does a cable channel that has ‘News’ in its name get away with spreading disinformation? Fanning racism and intolerance? Confuse voters? Spread COVID disinfo that leads to more deaths? Learn from the Russians.
The Rand Corporation is a think tank that conducts research ethically, avoid conflicts of interest, and maintain independence and objectivity. It published “The Russian “Firehose of Falsehood” Propaganda Model and Options to How To Counter It“. This infographic summarizes eleven Russian tactics and explains how FOX uses them to make money by spreading disinformation that hurts America. It also provides suggestions on how to counter disinfo and six helpful resources.
Flood the zone with ‘sh*t’
“The real opposition is the media. And the way to deal with them is to flood the zone with shit.” Steve Bannon told author Michael Lewis. This is the core of Bannon’s strategy and the threat of the larger Trumpist movement he represents. As Vox’s Sean Illing put it, “The press ideally should sift fact from fiction and give the public the information it needs to make enlightened political choices. If you short-circuit that process by saturating the ecosystem with misinformation and overwhelm the media’s ability to mediate, then you can disrupt the democratic process.” – Media Matters
“Mis- and disinformation do not exist in a vacuum. The spread of false and misleading narratives, the incitement of division and hate, and the erosion of trust have a long history, with corporate, state actor, and political persuasion techniques employed to maintain power and profit, create harm, and/or advance political or ideological goals. Malicious actors use cheap and accessible methods to deliberately spread and amplify harmful information…False narratives can sow division, hamper public health initiatives, undermine elections, or deliver fresh marks to grifters and profiteers, and they capitalize on deep-rooted problems within American society. Disinformation pours lighter fluid on the sparks of discord that exist in every community.” – Nieman Labs
Follow the money: Focus on countering the goal of why the propaganda is being spread? Is it to sell ads on their shows? Increase licensing fees from other cable firms? Counter that instead. Who are the advertisers on FOX? Which are the cable firms that pay a license fee to FOX for its content? What options do viewers have watch cable that does not send money to FOX?
“Tucker Carlson’s annual salary at Fox is $6M and is reported to have a net worth stands at $30M.” – Celebrity Net Worth. Spreading disinfo is profitable. Who picks up the tab for that? Do cable viewers know what their fees are being used for?
Vaccinate users against disinfo in advance. Highlight the ways in which propagandists attempt to manipulate audiences, rather than fighting the specific pieces of propaganda.
How this infographic was created
- A summary of the key findings from the 16 page Rand Report on Russian propaganda tactics were prepared
- The infographic was created with the free Infogram app
- The GIF of Putin morphing into Tucker Carlson was created with the free 3Dthis app
- An online version of the Putin-Carlson GIF can be found here
- The Putin-Carlson GIF can be embedded in a website freely with this code: < iframe width=”640″ height=”480″ src=”https://3dthis.com/play.htm?h=NzQ2NTg0OQ” allowfullscreen></iframe>
- Cartoons in the infographic were licensed from Political Cartoons
- Defenders of Democracy Against Disinformation
- Advises on how Spectrum internet customers can go Fox-News-free TODAY with little-known Spectrum TV Choice.
- Coerced subsidy of Fox by non-viewers must stop!
- Promotes high-quality local reporting that takes the oxygen out of the disinformation room.
- Pushes to stop the normalization of Fox in public places by asking businesses to Change The ChannelSupports Fox Corp. shareholders’ efforts to reduce toxicity of Fox News
- Truth Tuesdays – Demonstrates against Fox Lies every Tuesday at noon on the plaza in front of Fox News headquarters in Manhattan. Provides material for anyone wanting to organize a local demonstration.
- Media Matters – Tracks and reports on FOX misinfo and advertisers
- Check My Ads – Pushes adtech firms against profiting from misinfo
- Tactical Tech – Explains how misinformation is used
- Stanford Internet Observatory – Tracks disinformation campaigns
Takeaway: Learn and share how people are being manipulated with disinfo. Let cable viewers know that they have options to get shows without subsidizing FOX disinfo.
DISCLAIMER: ALTHOUGH THE DATA FOUND IN THIS BLOG AND INFOGRAPHIC HAS BEEN PRODUCED AND PROCESSED FROM SOURCES BELIEVED TO BE RELIABLE, NO WARRANTY EXPRESSED OR IMPLIED CAN BE MADE REGARDING THE ACCURACY, COMPLETENESS, LEGALITY OR RELIABILITY OF ANY SUCH INFORMATION. THIS DISCLAIMER APPLIES TO ANY USES OF THE INFORMATION WHETHER ISOLATED OR AGGREGATE USES THEREOF.
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