propaganda

People Explain Which Pieces Of Media Are Straight Up Propaganda
@finmoore3/Reddit

Audiences can get so engrossed in certain films or TV programs, they fail to notice the potentially subtle ulterior motives disguised as entertainment.

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Nearly 30 years ago, Rwanda's Hutu population initiated perhaps the most successful genocide campaign in recent history, systematically murdering more than 800,000 members of the Tutsi population over a three-month period.

The period before the genocide began was marked by heightened political tensions. Hutus and their supporters would take to radio broadcasts to brand Tutsis "cockroaches," which normalized animosity toward them. It was successful propaganda that altered the lives of millions.

This isn't the first time that people have used propaganda for nefarious reasons – far from it. People shared their thoughts with us after Redditor fitboy15 asked the online community,

"What piece of propaganda did the most damage?"
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People Break Down The Movies That Are Straight Up Propaganda
Erik Witsoe on Unsplash

One of the more fascinating films I've seen is Leni Riefenstahl's Triumph of the Will. Riefenstahl played a seminal role in producing Nazi propaganda and Triumph of the Will is her magnum opus, chronichling the 1934 Nazi Party Congress in Nuremberg and featuring speeches from such figures as Adolf Hitler and Rudolf Hess.

The film makes for disconcerting viewing these days given the... you know... Nazis, but there is no doubt that it is technically innovative, having a profound impact on film and documentary production thereafer. Riefenstahl, who was detained after World War II and lived to be 101, claimed to have been politically naive and later said her biggest regret in life was meeting Hitler.

Her life–and Triumph of the Will's production–have been the subject of numerous documentaries over the years though efforts to make a biographical film about her life, including one that would have starred Jodie Foster, have stalled due to concerns about the potential project's commercial appeal.

Of course, Triumph of the Will is not the only film out there that was made for purely propagandic purposes or that hosts specific underlying messages.

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People Explain How Corporate Propaganda Has Been Completely Normalized By Society
Dimitry Anikin on Unsplash

Few topics get me as riled up as unpaid internships. They can take up the time of a full time job, making it difficult for some students who may need additional sources of income.

At the end of the day an intern is doing work for a company and they deserve to be paid for their labor.

But it's crazy to think about how much companies have normalized this practice. How many students do you know who are or were burned out by the stress of their internship, their actual job, and the need to keep up with their assignments?

Companies have normalized a lot, by the way, thanks to having the resources to produce enough propaganda.

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People Break Down The Stupidest Propaganda They've Ever Heard
Kyle Glenn/Unsplash

When we think of propaganda, we might think of wartime propaganda. There's that poster of Uncle Sam telling you to join the army that comes to mind.

Propaganda has been around for quite some time before the early 1900s, it just wasn't always called that.

Merriam-Webster's dictionary defines Propaganda as:

"Spreading of ideas, information, or rumor for the purpose of helping or injuring an institution, a cause, or a person."

It's still used all the time today. So we went to Reddit to see what the most ridiculous propaganda people have ever seen.

Redditor ospreysstuff asked:

"What is the absolute stupidest propaganda you have ever heard?"

Here's what Reddit had for us.

Anti-Trains

"I remember seeing an Anti Train Flyer from like the 1800s, said something like God didn't intend man to go faster than 20MPH. Or something along those lines."

- Elwalther21

"I recall reading that a report on the proposal for the first German railway suggested lining the route with a high board fence so that innocent bystanders would not be adversely affected by exposure to the sight of a train running as fast as 20-30 mph."

- steelgate601

"This feels like marketing, like how potatoes were popularised through the use of armed guards in fields."

- TheMania

"My high school history book said that a Prussian king ate a plate full of cooked potatoes in front of a crowd to prove that potatoes were a safe alternative for grain."

- Freezing_Wolf

Women shouldn't do anything.

"'Women shouldn't be allowed to vote because the stress of voting would cause them to become infertile.'"

- ss_00_14

"See also, 'Women shouldn't ride trains because the high speed will make their uteruses fly out.'"

- thewarnersisterDot

"See also: 'Women shouldn't be allowed to run marathons because all the running will cause their uteruses to fall out.'"

"This was in the 1960s, IIRC. Within living memory. Less than a lifetime ago."

- pbmcc88

Sporks from hell.

"'The spork is "the devil's utensil" because it is the amalgamation of the masculine fork and the feminine spoon and is trying to blur gender lines in society.'"

- -eDgAR-

"Man I wonder what that person thinks about knives."

- freemyboykaczynski

"'Stares at the pair of chopsticks. 'Which one of you is the fork?'"

- WolfgangVolos

Politician accused of witchcraft.

"There's a politician that was accused of witch craft a few years ago."

- Geepwriter

"Christine O'Donnell. She insisted 'I'm not a witch.'"

- JMW007

"That's what a witch would say."

- Syteron6

They want you to believe they're close.

"'Our company is a family.'"

- mythsofthevalley

"Our company is a family...a very toxic family."

- Seymour_John

"When I worked at Homedepot they had this monthly newsletter that came out called something like the Orange Apron that would get sent to your address. It was comically anti-union and with articles about employees pitching together to buy medical treatment for sick employees or volunteering off the clock in an Homedepot apron at a soup kitchen."

"It was a fun job but the magazine as look at our employees who don't have a living wage having to help each other out. Corporate and manager level I remember made a very good Salary with the jobs almost dangled above you to stay with no real chance at getting them."

- thecoolerllcoolJ

Conspiracy theories.

"JKF Jr. rising from the dead. WTF."

- 777lespaul

"Not only was he going to rise from the dead, he's also now a republican for some unknown reason. It's hilarious if you don't think about all the people who actually believed this."

- brownliquid

"He faked his death because his family didn't approve of him being a Republican. He was going to announce the reinstatement if Trump. Also, Elvis was coming back to give a concert."

- Myfourcats1

Alkaline water.

"Alkaline water is healthy for you, so better go buy some."

- erichmich

"Lemon infused alkaline water."

- outcastedOpal

"The stupidest selling scam water related thing I have heard is the one where 'water being oxidized means its old, which is bad.' Water is already oxidized, if its not, its not water because water is oxidized hydrogen."

- depressed_man1

"Everyone detests working from home so much and absolutely cannot wait to go back to the office full time...perpetrated by banks who are sh*tting themselves that commercial real estate might fall apart."

"I read this story in various forms in Canada two to three times a month. I have not met any of these people yet, virtually or otherwise."

- thewarnersisterDot

"America, land of empty industrial parks and full homeless encampments."

- shah357

"Don't forget the loads of articles about how much everyone adored commuting every day, especially on public transport! Yeah nah."

- tainkirrahe

These are very silly but real examples of propaganda. Like the JFK Jr. coming back from the dead episode, propaganda still works and had real consequences.

Be sure to really examine what you take in these days.

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