Disney’s “secret army” of Moms spread Disney promotional propaganda #marketing #astroturf

Disney has a secret army of mothers who flood the internet with Disney propaganda

While this sounds like a big deal and “secret” and what not, it is just “astro turf” public relations.

“Grassroots” organizing is when a group of people supposedly come together to promote something (often political or government policy related). The idea is that it is a movement that arose from the people.

In reality, nearly all “grassroots” movements today are “astro turf” operations, carefully orchestrated and run by public relations organizations. To learn more about how astro turf operations are run, see our previous post on astro turf propaganda. The best astro turf operations enlist participants who do not even realize that are being controlled as part of a public relations operation – participants think they are part of a grassroots movement!

Disney has enlisted an estimated 1,300 mothers who frequently blog about positive Disney experiences. Disney provides them with enhanced experiences at Disney theme parks with the hope this leads to further positive messaging, influencing the bloggers friends and followers  Participants blog and share their positive experiences on social media, enabling Disney to incorporate an astro turf army of moms into their social media marketing (also known as propaganda). The Mom’s who participate are fully aware of the PR efforts underway by Disney; this is not a secret.

None of this is new! Astro turf lobbying and astro turf marketing have gone on for years. Social media is merely a new platform for astro turf marketing.

Corollary: Absolutely nothing can be taken at face value: The innocent comments about a great experience at a restaurant or theme park may very well be sponsored. “Grass roots” lobbying efforts for a local city park or a state or Federal law are almost always driven by a professional public relations agency engaged in astro turfing. Social media  has expanded the ease with which fake grassroots messaging can be quickly delivered to millions of people.

Astro turf marketing is a powerful and effective method of propaganda that is frequently used to sell a product, service or an idea (such as new government program or policy).

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“Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they aren’t after you” – Joseph Heller

Here are the set of advertising trackers used by a local newspaper that is part of the USA Today Network, owned by Gannett Communications, the largest newspaper publisher in the U.S.

65 of them on a single page!

Separately, I paged down through my Twitter feed and after a few pages, a total of 119 trackers were blocked – so far. If I continued paging through the feed, even more trackers were blocked.

Trackers could be used merely to determine how many times an ad has been displayed, or how many times seen by the same browser, or to gather information.

In reality, they are tracking as much as possible and stuffing it into giant databases. If you visited 3 web sites that displayed DoubleClick ads, as an example, they can link together your visits between those web sites. Over time, they can discern your interests (do you visit many computer or photography related web sites?) and probably your sex, age and income range. This data is extremely valuable to advertisers as it enables them to target ads right at your interests!

You can block many trackers using browser plug ins or privacy browsers like Epic. You can and should frequently delete your browsing history and “cookies” to reduce the effectiveness of these data collections.

 

Google AdWords put fake news ads on fact-checking web sites

Funny – Google’s Adwords system has been placing “fake news” ads on web sites like Snopes.com that do fact checking about, often enough, fake news.

Source: Google reportedly put fake news ads on fact-checking sites – CNET

Most professional media sites run fake news advertising right alongside the legitimate stories and advertising. Obviously, they do it to generate revenue but lumping fake news with real news seems a bad choice. Especially if you miss the small, greyed out  “Sponsored content” hovering nearby.

How Facebook profited from marketing hate

Until this week, when we asked Facebook about it, the world’s largest social network enabled advertisers to direct their pitches to the news feeds of almost 2,300 people who expressed interest in the topics of “Jew hater,” “How to burn jews,” or, “History of ‘why jews ruin the world.’”

Source: Facebook Enabled Advertisers to Reach ‘Jew Haters’ — ProPublica

Why and how does EBay share searches with Facebook?

I am using the Epic Privacy Browser which blocks trackers and deletes history and cookie type information at exit.

Yesterday, I looked on EBay (not logged in to EBay) to check prices on a used camera. I am pretty sure I was not logged into Facebook either. I may have to experiment to see what they are doing.

Today, I log into Facebook and Facebook shows me an ad – “Inspired? Take another look!” with a link to the used camera I was looking at.

This is disturbing to find myself stalked online by EBay and Facebook, even when I am taking steps to avoid being stalked. This is not right.

Google is a propaganda company that really does spy on you, more than you know

But Google is, first and foremost, an advertising company and its largest product is a targeted advert service, which it sells to the biggest brands in the world.

Billions of annual web searches, location and email data allow it to target the population with specialised marketing – and there is no reason why it couldn’t do the same with your voice data, too.

Source: How Google is secretly recording YOU through your mobile, monitoring millions of conversations every day and storing the creepy audio files

Google’s business is advertising – to persuade you to purchase a product or service, to support someone’s policy choices, to adopt someone else’s agenda.

The business of Google is propaganda, broadly defined.

Google is very effective at this because Google knows nearly everything about you. They store enormous amounts of data about you, including erroneous information – and there is no way to correct the erroneous information they have collected or interpreted.

  • Google scans your emails – Google knows what you’ve bought online (thanks to email confirmations of your purchases). Google knows when you’ve bought or sold a home or stocks (due to email confirmations).
  • Google knows where you have traveled to, where you stayed, what businesses you stopped at – yes, they log all of this. If you have Location services on, on your phone, Google tracks all of your activity. From this, Google can determine, for example, that you have stopped at many espresso coffee shops.
  • Google voice, used to transcribe text messages, stores all of your voice recordings and text messages in the Google cloud. Ostensibly this is used by Artificial Intelligence algorithms to improve their voice recognition capabilities. (Similarly, every time you are tagged in a photo on Facebook, Facebook uses that to improve automatic facial recognition software so that FB can automatically identify you in photos – or perhaps real time surveillance video camera images.)
  • Google stores your entire Chrome web history (even if you delete the history in Chrome it remains stored at Google).
  • Of course, Google also backs up your contact list, calendar, apps and app data from your device.
  • Google logs each time you use an app on your Android phone.
  • Google also stores erroneous information. Because my email address at Google is a simple one, many people with a similar name mistakenly enter my email address rather than their own address which is typically a variation of mine. Consequently, I receive erroneous emails about my alleged purchase of a Mercedes Benz, a BMW, an Apple computer, DISH network services, CenturyLink communication services and so on. I have also received other people’s notice of discontinuation of services due their failure to pay their bills.Google likely thinks I am a deadbeat because they have no way of knowing that those emails are erroneously sent to me due to email address mistakes by others.
  • Google stores vastly more invasive information about you than the NSA.

Google stores all this data and performs extensive data analysis on all aspects of your life in order to target advertising to you. Literally, Google has created a massive and detailed dossier of your life, plus they include erroneous information. There is no way to correct erroneous information in the Google dossier.

You can, should and MUST delete this data log. To delete this data, log in to your Google account and go to this Google page and hack away.

After looking at the history Google has recorded, I will be getting  rid of as much Google as I can. I am no longer comfortable using Google services.

For many of us this is tough – once you have given out your email address to friends and businesses and online web sites and services, we may literally have dozens or hundreds of places we need to change our email address. For many this can be a lot of work.

 

Rent A Crowd “Crowds on Demand” – and How Absolutely Everything is Fake

A local politician came out to speak to an enthusiastic audience? Could be an entirely fake audience of paid participants.[1]

A local protest takes to the streets to demand ACTION over whatever – and gets extensive media coverage? Could be a fake group of paid participants. Or sometimes, it is a mix of paid actors plus others who think its an organic, grass roots event. But its fake too.

There are “public relations” firms (a.k.a. propaganda firms) that specialize in hiring crowds of people to create a media friendly spectacle. Here is a screen capture (August 14, 2017) of crowdsondemand.com:

Source: Crowds on Demand | Celebrity Experiences for Rent | Entourages, Paparazzi and Fans| Strategic Publicity Stunts | Corporate Events

We are surrounded by public relations/propaganda messaging campaigns 24 x 7. The term “grass roots” refers to an action that is allegedly coming “from the people”. The term “astroturf” refers to fake “grass roots” programs, like the above, designed to trick politicians and leaders into taking action based on a false perception of a “grass roots” effort. Most “grass roots” efforts today are actually “astroturf” operations run by professional propaganda outfits. More on our blog, here.

Powerful people in our society use rent-a-crowds to give the appearance of support to their own agendas. They could could be a business (say wanting to expand a building and needing local public support), a property developer wanting to build a new development, a non profit activist group seeking to raise donations, a politician seeking support for legislation – and on and on.

I first learned about this from an item shared on social media, an item, which like the “fake photos”, is incorrectly attributed to the Charlottesville, Virginia riot. Here it is – note the ad actually references Charlotte NORTH CAROLINA – not Charlottesville, Virginia.

  • Snopes also looked into this and was unable to confirm that Crowds on Demand was not involved in Charlottesville, VA or at similar protests. The company would not say much about what they do, except to say they do not support hate groups.

Notes

[1] The flip side of this is the use of paid audience members who are trained to help shape the discussion in the direction the politician or other leader desires. This is done even at local community meetings. Ostensibly a meeting is held to obtain community input. In reality, the decisions have already been made and the purpose of the meeting is to steer the group into a consensus around the decision that was already made. Techniques include rearranging seating to avoid “organized blocks” from emerging, the use of “planted” audience members who are called upon and give feedback supporting the desired meeting outcome, and other methods. These are methods of persuasion, propaganda and control. We are subjected to them daily without even realizing that we’ve been “had”.

Advertising IS Propaganda, and is the business model for Google and Facebook

“Facebook and Google get their revenue from advertising, the effectiveness of which depends on gaining and maintaining consumer attention.”

Source: My Google and Facebook investments made a fortune, but now they’re a menace

The very essence of Google and Facebook, at their core, is to operate as the world’s most sophisticated propagandists. Their business model is based on advertising, which is literally propaganda messaging intended to encourage you to adopt someone’s agenda, specifically, to buy something (products and services) or to agree with something (politics).

Each company builds electronic dossiers on every individual user of their service. They scan your emails, they examine your text messages, they use ad networks to track your online web site visits, they track your “Likes” and “Shares” (each of which tells them what you are interested in) they examine your list of friends to seek out what may be common interests – and then use their knowledge of you to create idealized advertising messages and ad placements to “hit” you when you are most vulnerable to those messages.

Social media is the most powerful, friction-less propaganda medium in world history. Google and Facebook are both mammoth entities that are in the position of controlling the world’s future. Facebook claimed that political propaganda on Facebook had no impact on recent elections – while simultaneously selling itself as a platform for highly effective advertising, which is just another word for propaganda messaging. Facebook is either lying or deluding itself.