Propaganda On Social Media Is Conservatives Most Powerful Weapon Against Progressives

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Mighty Middle
Propaganda On Social Media Is Conservatives Most Powerful Weapon Against Progressives

So how do we fight against this? We saw what happened in the USA with the Facebook propaganda against Hillary Clinton to allow Trump to win.

Now it is coming to Canada with Ontario Proud, who is weaponizing Facebook against the Liberals. From Canadaland

An official third-party advertiser in the upcoming provincial election, Ontario Proud knows how to weaponize social media platforms in the same way that has proven effective for the successful populist movements of Brexit and Trump. Its Facebook page now boasts over 289,000 likes, which — if the vast majority are indeed Ontarians, as founder Jeff Ballingall asserts — would translate to one in every 47 Ontario residents following the page. That’s more likes than the respective pages of Premier Wynne, the Ontario Liberal Party, (then) Progressive Conservative Leader Patrick Brown, the Ontario PC Party, NDP leader Andrea Horwath, and the Ontario NDP — combined. The Ontario Proud page also gets more Facebook engagement than the the Toronto Star and Globe and Mail pages together, something Ballingall is fond of gloating about.

Ballingall explains that he’s trying to reach people who are only “moderately interested” in politics.

“How do I reach the woman who works at the Honda dealership in Oshawa? You reach her through Facebook, not through Twitter,” he says in a sit-down interview.

http://www.canadalandshow.com/ontario-proud-shitposting-king-jeff-ballin...

And he is setting up a BC Proud, there is an Alberta Proud. Now of course we have Rebel Media, and we have several Alt-Right groups in Canada posting videos on YouTube and sharing it freely. Let's not forget the dozens and dozens of platforms created on social media to villify Justin Trudeau.

It is not just an echo chamber of people in a bubble. This is reaching the masses, Just look south of the border.

So what can we do to combat this propaganda? Ignoring it won't make it go away. Or are Coinservative supporters such an expert on spreading this propaganda and we are powerless to stop it?

voice of the damned

This all strikes me as a bit of a moral panic. Conservatives have been winning(and sometimes losing) elections since the days when their advertising was confined to newspapers.

quizzical

the Gunns already beat him to BC Proud.

more money has always gone to propaganda by the right. i include the Liberals too in the right.

emotional propaganda works. people feel bad about themselves if they're not proud so they buy in to the emotional appeal to feel good about themselves.

the NDP need to start a Honest Ontario, or something like that page, highlighting people want to be honest or real.

progressive17 progressive17's picture

I am sure Ontario Proud will come before a fall.

Mighty Middle

Pondering wrote something interesting (but in another thread) but relates here. Thought I'd share because it is interesting to this topic at hand

Pondering wrote:

Millennials are digital natives. They don't read newspapers. They are accustomed to literally endless choices for entertainment, knowledge and communications. They don't watch broadcast TV, they watch netflix or other services on their TV. People today not reading newspapers is not the same thing as people in the 1950s not reading newspapers.

I just see the Alt-Right and extreme fringe right-wing much organized, in synch and creating a synergy where they are all connecting on various platforms so they are speaking in one loud voice. And it seems they are so well organized, I don't think progressive groups can fight back against their propaganda weaponry they have amassed on-line

Another interesting line of attack these have used against Trudeau - Question Period. Now the general sense was no one paid attention or pays attention to Question Period. Mulcair did such a great job, yet no one ever saw it and it didn't move voters anyway.

That is because the right-wing platform were not sharing it among their various platforms. Why upload a video showing Mulcair attack Harper on all his failings? Why would the right wing upload videos showing Harper in a bad light with Mulcair attacking him on all fronts.

But not Trudeau, these right wing groups post daily Question Period clips with the Tories and NDP attacking him on everything and anything, videos getting sometimes 100K viewings. That is probably in part why Trudeau numbers are going down because these Question Period clips being shared widely among the Right-Wing, CBC even did a story on one YouTubers who does nothing but upload Question Period clips showing at his worst. But when Harper was PM he didn't do that at all (as he only posted anti-Trudeau videos when he was third party leader)

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/ontario-votes-youtube-advertising-...

Paladin1

Mighty Middle wrote:

 

So what can we do to combat this propaganda? Ignoring it won't make it go away. Or are Coinservative supporters such an expert on spreading this propaganda and we are powerless to stop it?

You could Doxx their membership, begin harassing them at home and harassing their places of work- calling them all alt right racists and try to get them fired.

Or, if you don't want to punish free will, you could take a look at why people don't want to listen to what the Liberals NDP and P.Brown conservatives are saying and look at behaving differently yourselves.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
So what can we do to combat this propaganda? Ignoring it won't make it go away. Or are Coinservative supporters such an expert on spreading this propaganda and we are powerless to stop it?

I don't think they're specifically better at making a falsehood look like the truth.  I think they just get to promote things that people want to believe.

Both the right and the left have dined out for years on the idea that "we're all getting the short end of the stick", and "the 'real' powers seek to steal from us and most of us don't even know it".  They differ on those 'real' powers, of course, but the message is the same:  someone is screwing us.

Michael Moriarity Michael Moriarity's picture

Mr. Magoo wrote:

Both the right and the left have dined out for years on the idea that "we're all getting the short end of the stick", and "the 'real' powers seek to steal from us and most of us don't even know it".  They differ on those 'real' powers, of course, but the message is the same:  someone is screwing us.

Serious question. After watching events from 1980 to now, do you think there is any doubt that someone is screwing us? (And of course, screwing people in less fortunate countries even harder than us)

NDPP

Social Media: The Twisted Truth

https://youtu.be/PmEDAzqswh8

"This literally is the point now where I think we have created tools that are ripping apart the social fabric of how society works. That is truly where we are..."

voice of the damned

Michael Moriarity wrote:

Mr. Magoo wrote:

Both the right and the left have dined out for years on the idea that "we're all getting the short end of the stick", and "the 'real' powers seek to steal from us and most of us don't even know it".  They differ on those 'real' powers, of course, but the message is the same:  someone is screwing us.

Serious question. After watching events from 1980 to now, do you think there is any doubt that someone is screwing us? (And of course, screwing people in less fortunate countries even harder than us)

As a progressive, I would likely agree that people are being screwed economically. But I think at least part of the MM/Magoo exchange was whether or not people are getting screwed in terms of being victimized by propaganda, and having particlular viewpoints suppressed.

On that point, I would say the evidence is far from affirmative. All an interested observer has to do is type "The Conservative Party Of Canada sucks" into a search engine, in order to find a treasure trove of information and arguments putting forth the truth of that proposition. If people don't have the interest or the wherewithal to do that, I'm not sure it's the fault of the mainstream media, biased though they may be in favour of right-wingers.

 

voice of the damned

NDPP wrote:

Social Media: The Twisted Truth

https://youtu.be/PmEDAzqswh8

"This literally is the point now where I think we have created tools that are ripping apart the social fabric of how society works. That is truly where we are..."

As opposed to the social harmony universally promoted by old-school media...?

https://tinyurl.com/yc9qajlz

 

 

voice of the damned

And I'll just finish this off by saying I agree with the commentators who have opined that the panic around social-media likely wouldn't be anywhere near as strong if Hillary Clinton had just had the political smarts to send a few more campaign workers to the Rust Belt in the final days of her campaign.

Pondering

Mighty Middle wrote:

Pondering wrote something interesting (but in another thread) but relates here. Thought I'd share because it is interesting to this topic at hand

Pondering wrote:

Millennials are digital natives. They don't read newspapers. They are accustomed to literally endless choices for entertainment, knowledge and communications. They don't watch broadcast TV, they watch netflix or other services on their TV. People today not reading newspapers is not the same thing as people in the 1950s not reading newspapers.

I just see the Alt-Right and extreme fringe right-wing much organized, in synch and creating a synergy where they are all connecting on various platforms so they are speaking in one loud voice. And it seems they are so well organized, I don't think progressive groups can fight back against their propaganda weaponry they have amassed on-line.

But for the most part, they are preaching to the converted. A recent study that concluded people were getting their news from social media also concluded that false news was getting discarded quickly. Digital natives have a whole different mindset about accessing the news that is important to them when it is important to them. Not everyone of course. This is a broad generalization. The thin edge of the wedge is the environment.

The right is correct to be terrified of education. Canadian young people are very educated on climate change. They weren't taught "both sides" they were taught facts. Climate change is a lived experience that they know will impact them for the rest of their lives. Again, not everyone. Just as a group they are more aware not less aware than our generation. They don't waste time. They are accustomed to endless choices in music and entertainment and news sources and information on whatever interests them at their fingertips. They have been taught how to judge sources on the internet. The lead generation are the children of boomers.

I have a daughter and nieces and nephews and teachers in the family so I do have a biased view. My daughter and her friends are not necessarily typical of her generation. In fact they probably aren't. Even so I think the long term trend is towards a more educated and knowledgable population. It seems the more educated people are the more likely they are to lean left.

The right is  primarily preaching to the coverted or fringe elements. Politicly they are in a quandry over social conservatives. They need them but they give the party a bad name. They are an uneasy coalition of social conservatives, fiscal conservatives, and libertarians. There are some obvious incompatibilities.

Social media is an opportunity not a threat if you believe in your message.

Mighty Middle

There have been recent and specific threats against Bill Morneau several others in cabinet requiring extra RCMP and House of Commons security.

To me this is more proof that the rhetoric on social media by the Alt-Right in Canada is getting worse. Only reason we didn't see a level of this type of threats, when Harper was PM, was because those groups were supporters of his. But Trump has given permission for this type of activity south of the border.

https://twitter.com/glen_mcgregor/status/1004002992541130752

progressive17 progressive17's picture

Lack of unity among progressives is the alt-right's best weapon against progressives. They all vote for one party. Progressives would rather fight among themselves and condemn each other for ideological impurities.

Michael Moriarity Michael Moriarity's picture

progressive17 wrote:

Lack of unity among progressives is the alt-right's best weapon against progressives. They all vote for one party. Progressives would rather fight among themselves and condemn each other for ideological impurities.

I think the difference between democratic socialism and a less terrible type of neo liberal capitalism is more than a quibble over ideological impurities, but perhaps that just means I'm a foolish radical. Not that we actually have a party which supports democratic socialism, of course, but the NDP is significantly better in that regard than the Libs, from my point of view.

Sean in Ottawa

quizzical wrote:

the Gunns already beat him to BC Proud.

more money has always gone to propaganda by the right. i include the Liberals too in the right.

emotional propaganda works. people feel bad about themselves if they're not proud so they buy in to the emotional appeal to feel good about themselves.

the NDP need to start a Honest Ontario, or something like that page, highlighting people want to be honest or real.

The problem is that claims of honesty are a central component.

Also, if you look at the campaigns of Ford and of Trudeau and others you will see that there is a consistent flase claim to be on the side of the people, middle class etc.

Combatting lies is not simple. Thinking you can answer back in the same media is also a problem becuase this is a class war and the other side will always have more resources.

You are correct that a response is needed but it will have to be very well thought out logic to support what is a collapse in critical thinking. Unfortunately very few work on logic. Appeals to emotion will favour those with more money and willingness to lie.

There is no easy answer. But again, you are right that without one we are in very serious trouble.

Sean in Ottawa

Mr. Magoo wrote:

Quote:
So what can we do to combat this propaganda? Ignoring it won't make it go away. Or are Coinservative supporters such an expert on spreading this propaganda and we are powerless to stop it?

I don't think they're specifically better at making a falsehood look like the truth.  I think they just get to promote things that people want to believe.

Both the right and the left have dined out for years on the idea that "we're all getting the short end of the stick", and "the 'real' powers seek to steal from us and most of us don't even know it".  They differ on those 'real' powers, of course, but the message is the same:  someone is screwing us.

The right wing argument is much more simple. It requires no though about which side you are on. Often it is racialized but otherwise the point is a one-size-fits-all argument. The argument that there is a class division is more difficult as people have to consider where they are in that and what they believe in. To say we are all screwed by x -- implies a unity not found in the more accurate class conflict discussions or in social justice contexts. It is a contradiction of social inequality so it is doubly effective.

Sean in Ottawa

Michael Moriarity wrote:

Mr. Magoo wrote:

Both the right and the left have dined out for years on the idea that "we're all getting the short end of the stick", and "the 'real' powers seek to steal from us and most of us don't even know it".  They differ on those 'real' powers, of course, but the message is the same:  someone is screwing us.

Serious question. After watching events from 1980 to now, do you think there is any doubt that someone is screwing us? (And of course, screwing people in less fortunate countries even harder than us)

Absolutley yes. Big doubt. It starts with an understanding that there is no universal us and that some people are getting what they want at the expense of others.

Sean in Ottawa

voice of the damned wrote:

Michael Moriarity wrote:

Mr. Magoo wrote:

Both the right and the left have dined out for years on the idea that "we're all getting the short end of the stick", and "the 'real' powers seek to steal from us and most of us don't even know it".  They differ on those 'real' powers, of course, but the message is the same:  someone is screwing us.

Serious question. After watching events from 1980 to now, do you think there is any doubt that someone is screwing us? (And of course, screwing people in less fortunate countries even harder than us)

As a progressive, I would likely agree that people are being screwed economically. But I think at least part of the MM/Magoo exchange was whether or not people are getting screwed in terms of being victimized by propaganda, and having particlular viewpoints suppressed.

On that point, I would say the evidence is far from affirmative. All an interested observer has to do is type "The Conservative Party Of Canada sucks" into a search engine, in order to find a treasure trove of information and arguments putting forth the truth of that proposition. If people don't have the interest or the wherewithal to do that, I'm not sure it's the fault of the mainstream media, biased though they may be in favour of right-wingers.

 

I think you miss what is going on here -- If you have a split between  the "haves" and the "have nots" you do not win with a bare majority of the "have nots."

Assume that you can get 1/2 of the have nots to understand your message. Then take the half who you have not reached and add the "haves" to it and the majority remains with the "haves."

All that is required in math is to define the haves big enough that it is bigger than the size of the majority of the "have nots" who get what is going on. This means that the more clueless the "have nots" are the more aggressive the have's can be as it takes fewer to be defined in the have group. The more aware the "have nots" the bigger you have to define the haves to be to include them. This means a wiggle in just how far the right has to move to the centre in order to dominate the majority who are actually have nots.

For many years I have called this the coalition of the greedy and the stupid. In fairness we should call it the greedy and the ignorant. The point is that this coalition is constructed based on a moving definition of haves to be smaller or greater depending on the size of the aware have-not majority. So if in the total population you have 10% have and 41% have not ignorant and 49% have not aware then the haves have their majority.

Now when you have a First Past the Post system you can have a 10% have 60% have not aware and 30% have not ignorant and get a have majority.

You just need the amount of propaganda to engineer this. Considering that the haves have the majority of disposable wealth, this is not difficult.

What is important is to make sure that electoral systems do not get very democratic and election financing is kept to the rich. Then the 10% can rule.

Sean in Ottawa

Michael Moriarity wrote:

progressive17 wrote:

Lack of unity among progressives is the alt-right's best weapon against progressives. They all vote for one party. Progressives would rather fight among themselves and condemn each other for ideological impurities.

I think the difference between democratic socialism and a less terrible type of neo liberal capitalism is more than a quibble over ideological impurities, but perhaps that just means I'm a foolish radical. Not that we actually have a party which supports democratic socialism, of course, but the NDP is significantly better in that regard than the Libs, from my point of view.

Let's pause a moment from the extreme partisanship and recognize the full face of the dynamic in parties.

In Canada you need a significant level of popularity to have any power especially with the FPTP system. Each party has to compomise on what they believe to get a strong enough support level to do anything. Then each voter views this result and makes the same calculation.

Voters who have the exact same objective but a different conclusion as to what it takes to get that critical mass, or willingness to engage in the calculation can come to different conclusions about their party.

This means that the Liberals include some people (in the party and supporters) who are possibly as left as many NDP supporters but who believe that they can achieve more compromising to get into power and do something. Others in the NDP beleive this compromise cannot be trusted and its gains not worth the sacrifice. Both arguments are part of the political calculation voters make and are supported in part by the FPTP system.

I would agree with Quizzical and many others here that the Liberals are not a worthwhile vote as they deliver too much of right wing result. However, I cannot ignore that there are Liberals who support that party not becuase it is right of the NDP but becuase it gets power. Where the NDP leads the Liberals consistently, people who supported them out of compromise over conviction tend to leave them for the NDP and the Liberals become the third party.

This dynamic exists within the NDP as well. There are NDP supporters happy with the ideological position of the party to be sure. Then there are those who believe in this compromise and while they may actually be aligned more left than the party chose this as a compromise that has a chance at influence or power. This compromise may indeed be less on ideology than the one made to vote Liberal and more on the access to power. The point is that each party attracts based on a combination of where they are ideologically and where they are in terms of the size of consensus they might be believed to achieve in order to get power.

All of this explains (same true on the right as well) why parties move left or right more than their beliefs based on judgments about what the general population will support.

This way of looking at things, actually leds to a few key points:

1) the Liberals and Conservatives are indeed very different in that the Conservatives are generally a compromise in how far they lean to the right. The Liberals have a constituency they need to engage on the left, even if they do not do it honestly. They get their critical mass by having the people who are at the centre added to by people who are more to the left but are attracted to this critical mass. The reality is that there are important distinctions between all the major parties and it is false to suggest any two are the same (Conservatives say the NDP/Liberals are the same and the NDP say the Liberals and Conservatives are the same).

2) The truth is that the difference between Liberals and Conservatives is variable and grows or declines based on the politics of the day (what people believe possible) more than the beliefs of the party itself or their supporters. This is why I have said a party has the complexion of the opposition. The Chretien Liberals before 1993 were to the left competing with the NDP but were quite to the right when in power as the competition came from the right as the NDP lost party status.

3) It can be true that the anger at a party may be misplaced when leveled against individual members since the differences may be less ideological than about a calculation as to which is the greatest good - more pure positions or more access to government.

4) This issue of strategy rather than ideology is often more emotional as it includes concepts of betrayal and possibility rather than a brick wall of a difference in ideology. This is why NDP-Liberal conflict is often more heated than NDP-Conservative. Why waste your breath on a Conservative you have no hope of moving and why be angry about strategy when their objective is known to be opposite? The fact that the Liberals include people who can be as left as the NDP but who have no faith in the possibility of the NDP will always lead to more hatred for that party than the one who is more clearly the opposite. It leads to clearer accusations of dishonesty on both sides even if the Conservatives lie to pretend that they are closer to the centre than they are really.

5) suggesting there is a magical dividing line between corporatist / capitalist and socialist is absurd and a waste of time. It is used by those who want to lump in the Conservatives and the Liberals but it is undeniable that this is simplistic and the reality is a continuum -- and one full of compromises by individual people based on presumptions about access to power and "making a difference."

6) The fact that this is a continuum means that those on the right will also compromise. This is the reason Business interests hedge their bets and support Liberals against the NDP or in two party provinces they may support the NDP. This makes the Liberals look more similar to the Conservatives but it is just a continuation of the same dynamic of people on left and right compromising into groups big enough to vie for power. It also explains the demise of the PCs federally and growth of the Reform party and then the need for the rhetorical unity. This is not a flux of ideology so much as one of optimism for their project. There are some in the centre who do move between the Liberals and Conservatives accordingly. The number is small (perhaps only 10% of voters) but enough to bring a party between third place and majority.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
But I think at least part of the MM/Magoo exchange was whether or not people are getting screwed in terms of being victimized by propaganda, and having particlular viewpoints suppressed.

Not really on my end.  I was just noting that the left says "you're getting screwed by the elites (and the media, and the corrupt government, and the corporations)" and the right says "you're getting screwed by the elites (and the corrupt government, and the immigrants, and the media)".

My point was that in either case, it's an easy sell.  Even as they argue forever about who they mean by "the elites", or what makes the government "corrupt" or which side the media is really on.

Sean in Ottawa

Mr. Magoo wrote:

Quote:
But I think at least part of the MM/Magoo exchange was whether or not people are getting screwed in terms of being victimized by propaganda, and having particlular viewpoints suppressed.

Not really on my end.  I was just noting that the left says "you're getting screwed by the elites (and the media, and the corrupt government, and the corporations)" and the right says "you're getting screwed by the elites (and the corrupt government, and the immigrants, and the media)".

My point was that in either case, it's an easy sell.  Even as they argue forever about who they mean by "the elites", or what makes the government "corrupt" or which side the media is really on.

It is a terrible statement as it reinforced that there is a single you. this is the dynamic the right want you to think of. The left should never play that game. The left need to promote the idea that there is social injustice meaning there is no universal "you." There is a class war and the rich are winning. Speaking about people as if they are all united ignores that reality.

Mighty Middle

Ontario Proud, the right-wing Facebook giant in Ontario’s election, eyes federal election involvement

http://nationalpost.com/news/politics/ontario-proud-the-right-wing-faceb...

Sean in Ottawa

Mighty Middle wrote:

Ontario Proud, the right-wing Facebook giant in Ontario’s election, eyes federal election involvement

http://nationalpost.com/news/politics/ontario-proud-the-right-wing-faceb...

So much for the promise you made.

Pondering

The have nots are 99% of the population. The left has to stop handing the upper middle class to the right. People making a 100K or even 200K are not the problem.

6079_Smith_W

Pondering wrote:

People making a 100K or even 200K are not the problem.

Actually those in that bracket who are arguing against things like a living minimum wage (and there are plenty) are very much part of the problem. This isn't just about the super rich and everyone else. If it was we wouldn't have the governments we do.

Paladin1

Pondering wrote:

The right is correct to be terrified of education. Canadian young people are very educated on climate change. They weren't taught "both sides" they were taught facts.

Can't agree with you here. I think Canadian young people THINK they are very educated on climate change but the problem is their education more often than not comes from Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, IFuckingLoveScience etc..

A lot of them are the same ones that see "something viral" on Youtube then race out to video tape themselves doing it. Like snorting a condom up their nose. There's a lot of videos of youth at various protests who can't articulate why they're there or what exactly their talking points even are.

What the right should be terrified of is how easy Canadian youth can be brainwashed, conditioned or lead around by the nose while under the guise of thinking independently.