“On the left if you’re consuming fake news you’re 34 times more likely than the general population to be a college graduate,” says Green.
If you’re on the right, he says, you’re 18 times more likely than the general population to to be in the top 20 percent of income earners.
And the study revealed another disturbing trend: the more you consume fake news, the more likely you are to vote. It’s “fascinating and frightening at the same time,” says Green.
The BBC is a bit late to this story, having only just noticed that the largest social media-based, online, for profit fake news publisher is a Occupy Democrats that targets left wing enthusiasts with exaggerated, emotionally laden headlines and frequently false stores. Their goal is to target the emotions of liberal enthusiasts who then share the stories on social media, generating click throughs back to selling eyeballs to advertisers.
Many people think propaganda is a tool to manage “the unwashed masses”, but they are mistaken. Propaganda is effective across a broad swath of the population.
The late Professor Jacques Ellul, a French sociologist, found academics were among the most susceptible to propaganda. He suggests this is because academics are in the business of absorbing lots of information, much of which is unverifiable. They believe, he said, they should have an opinion on every subject and since their job is to instruct others, academics believe it is their duty to pass along information to others.
Ellul’s argument identifies the unexpected role that smart people often play in the consumption and distribution of propaganda.
For amusement vis a vis United Airlines, Ellul believes the purpose of “public relations” is to adapt individuals to societal norms by forcing individuals to conform. If you don’t conform, we will assault you – hah hah.
(Reference: Ellul, J. Propaganda: The formation of men’s attitudes. Translated to English from the original French text. The book assumes the reader is already well versed in the basic methods and usage of propaganda.)