Fake news can be published either to damage the image of an organisation or individual for financial gain or to increase viewership or share rate. Fake news shows up more frequently during elections and is published by hostile government officials in order to damage the opposition’s image, consequently, bettering theirs. According to BBC News, many pro-Trump stories are being sourced from Macedonia where approximately seven fake news organisation have hired hundreds of teens to write fake stories, all in Trump’s favour. A study of the 2016 US Presidential Election also showed that Trump supporters are far more likely to consume fake news than Clinton supporters (6.2% of Trump supporters believed fake news compared to Clinton supporters’ 0.8%).
Glittering generalities are used in advertising and politics- everyone from candidates to elected politicians. Glittering generalities are vague and positive so they are guaranteed to create a positive emotion amongst audiences. In modern times, glittering generalities can make or break an election campaign. For example, Barack Obama can be observed as the best user of glittering generalities, his campaign posters consisted of a picture of him with the words “HOPE”, “CHANGE” or “PROGRESS”. These words produced an emotion of unity and inspiration amongst supporters.
A style of reporting that emphasis on fake and sensationalised news over factual news.
Caption: Yellow journalism is believed to have started the 1980s when top news agencies were covering the the growing turmoil in Cuba between the Spanish imperialists and Cuban revolutionaries. In order to keep their audiences engaged to the updates of the war, they would exaggerate and sometimes falsify stories in order to sell their newspapers. Some examples of modern day yellow journalism are during the Samsung and Apple court case- A story claimed that Samsung paid a $1.2 billion settlement to Apple in nickels. The story originated as comedy, but an American journalist published it as true.
This strategy has been used in multiple ways by Trump, in the past he has attempted to demonize his opponents, immigrants and refugees. Most recently, President Trump put his hateful xenophobic pre-election rhetoric into action by signing an executive order in an attempt to prevent refugees from settling in the US; blocking people fleeing conflict and persecution from war-torn countries such as Syria from seeking safe haven in the country.
The algorithm studies the user’s every comment, like and share and then devises which posts the user should see. This not only shows you posts similar to the one’s you’ve liked in the past but it also shows you advertisements which would be most effective on you. For example, if you start liking pictures of watches on Facebook, you’re almost guaranteed to see watch brands’ advertisements on your feed. Through this algorithm Facebook basically has control over virtually everything you see on your feed.
In times where news and issues are discussed in great detail on social media platforms like Twitter- anyone can present their views. However, political candidates and news agencies have millions of followers and anything they tweet gets thousands of retweets in minutes. Since they have such a large and loyal following they can be termed as influencers and therefore they themselves can influence what the common man sees. Keeping this in mind: if a news agency with a large following wants to share a certain story, it is guaranteed to flood your news feed when it gains traction.
Bowdlerisation has been going on since centuries and has changed drastically in recent times. The earliest example of bowdlerisation was when Thomas Bowdler rewrote Shakespeare’s work to make it more family-friendly. A recent example of bowdlerisation can be seen in China. China recently blocked HBO’s website across the country after the president Xi Jinping was compared to Winnie the Pooh. This was arguably seen as vulgar and indecent in China.
This most commonly occurs during the elections. In India, sometimes people make uninformed votes just because someone they know and trust is also voting for a certain candidate. Sometimes people vote for the more popular candidate only because they prefer to be on the winning side. This can be observed in the US, where the polls close in the east before the west. Therefore, the people in the west can already know who has more votes. This greatly affects the votes of the people in the west and most of the times the candidate popular in the east also becomes popular towards the end of the election in the west.