By Amina Faki,
Of late, the country has been facing the dilemma of differentiating propaganda otherwise known as “fake news” as most of you prefer from the actual news.
With the advent of social media and that of the internet in general, information travels faster than a burning bush, there are no secrets anymore.
And this has led to many people using this to their own advantage to carry out their selfish interest by spreading ‘fake news’ on political, ethical and legal issues and not forgetting companies and individuals.
These three elements may overlap, but the political, legal and ethical issues involved in responding to them are distinct.
We allow rationality to be undermined at our peril.
It’s hard to fight fire with fire, especially when you can’t use the same evil manipulations and lies that the other side is employing.
Propaganda is a tool of those in power and on top, media, in general, has the ability to guard what is to be seen and what is not. But it also has the ability to point out what the citizens should think about. Some media use this power to spearhead propaganda.
Some of the cases spearheaded by propaganda or fake news in the country became hot topics and could generate ugly situations;
“A good case study of what fake news dissemination can achieve was seen in the Busia County nominations — where the front page of a local newspaper was ‘manipulated’ to proclaim the defection of Dr. Paul Otuoma from ODM to Jubilee Party. This happened the very day ODM held nominations for the gubernatorial race in the county”
Propaganda is even tougher to combat than lies and rumors. It’s an organized campaign of misinformation, fear, censorship, half-truths, and lies.
Propaganda is entirely different. It’s an organized effort to manipulate the public using mass media, censorship, misinformation, half-truths, and lies. Propaganda uses images, caricatures, and fear like a weapon. Rumors and lies can damage you like shrapnel. If you’re the target of propaganda, it’s not random. It’s a dagger aimed at your heart.
Here are some techniques and tips that might help if you’re defending yourself or your company against a propaganda campaign.
Use Leaks to Undermine Propaganda
The greatest strength of a propaganda campaign is also its greatest weakness. An organized and well-funded campaign involves a lot of people communicating with each other, holding meetings, writing documents, making plans and sending e-mails. It’s harder and harder to keep a secret these days, particularly among large groups of people. A single leaked e-mail can expose a propaganda effort as a fraud and a lie.
If you’re in a fight against propaganda, getting this sort of evidence from the inside is crucial to undermining the motives and credibility of the other side. It will help level the field. Of course, it may be easier said than done, but it can be explosive if you’re successful.
Don’t try to fight imagery with imagery, or slogans with slogans – if you’re the underdog, you’ll surely be outgunned, and they’re fighting dirty while you’re fighting fair.
You’ll lose that kind of battle. Use rhetorical jujitsu instead.
Take all the time, money and effort they’re spending on images, slogans and messages and use it against the propagandist by subverting those efforts. Undermine them. Turn them against him and twist them to your own goals. You’ll see this being done as clever graffiti artists deface posters to reverse the intended message.
Create Your Own Ways to Communicate
The last tactic is to establish your own channels of communication, especially if the other side dominates or controls the mainstream media. Social media, blogs, and e-mail can let you communicate directly to the people and the press, and that’s vital in a fight against propaganda. Flood the Internet at every opportunity. Get your own message out there. You’ll get people talking if you can accomplish this in a witty or clever way that they’ll remember. And as anyone involved in marketing knows, word of mouth is good.