CONTROVERSIAL TOPICS- Social Movements and Mass Manipulation
Societies are constantly changing, developing, going from idea to idea; but what is it that drives those changes, and who is it that chooses the direction that a society decides to evolve into? People are constantly falling into new fads or trends and picking up old ones. People are constantly finding new ways to experience entertainment, have fun or get excitement; they look to old ideas to inspire their future endeavors.
Generations come and go, always influenced by those around them, the world, different societies, listening to everything the ‘officials,’ government, or the media tell them. Popular ideas and popular people tend to spark new traditions that last for awhile and influence the youth of a nation.
The word manipulation often has a negative connation, however it does not necessarily have to mean something negative. However it is true that most people that practice this operative on a large scale often use it for self driven purposes. It simply means to administer direction or influence, typically to an exterior group of people. A boss manipulates the workplace so his employees can do their job, a government manipulates the nation so the citizens are able to function as a society. Social manipulation is the process of driving psychological interpretations of a society to produce a particular outcome.
Social movements are the result of attempts to manipulate or change society through any type of various means. These types of manipulations attempt to broaden any specific view point to get more people to ‘believe in’ a specific concept or idea, leading to additional support to push an idea for social change or social principle to take place. This is why many people choose to vote for a candidate they know nothing about, because they simply same a billboard with their name on it more times than the other guy!
It is unfair for any population to be subject to this method of control if it is not in the best interest of all the people in that society. People are often manipulated by the directives that are contrary to the successful longevity of their society. Many times people are pushed to believe in or support an idea that, in the end, will not benefit all the people, or will not help their society to maintain an enduring status.
This is why it is absolutely critical when any piece of information comes out, or any social movement rises up., it is heavily weighted against all the evidence so the society can make the best, informed decision to produce proper results, or the best decision for all people. Just knowing about manipulative techniques and educating yourself on their tactics can help prevent one from falling victim to those who wish to manipulate society.
The Media is the primary source of processing information to a large group of people. Various means of producing change through the media have been produced over the years.
Activism – The cooperative arrangement of smaller groups of individuals that perform specific duties in attempts to incorporate change. Writing letter, picketing, advertising, public speaking are all forms of influence these groups use to spread their propaganda. This is the typical process for both positive and negative changes to be processed in a society; when the minor of people band together to become the majority, and influence the government for a permanent change.
Advertising – Typically used by commercial companies; advertising is the primary medium used to reach a large populace in attempt to manipulate public interest and created the ideal need for products, typically through the medium of T.V, Radio, mailers, etc.
Propaganda – Propaganda is the use of advertising a specific point of view concerning any given topic. It is aimed at influencing an audience towards the particular viewpoint of the originator. Propaganda is typically formatted to be viewed continually in different manners in order to convince its audience of its authenticity or to convince them that the idea presented is something the public needs to accept.
There are various techniques used to convince a society that a particular idea is valid or to manipulate others to follow. Psychological tactics are used to convince or alter a person’s perception to gain the support or alliance of others.
Censorship – If communication can be suppressed, it can be controlled. Governments and organizations will influence public discourse and determine what can and cannot be said, sometimes making specific activities illegal. Censorship can be important in some cases, protecting personal privacy, intellectual property, and help maintain moral decency in a society by preventing obscenities. However the ability to censor public speech has never been a benefit to society.
Distraction – If you can deter a person’s thought process from an idea you do not want them to consider, you have successfully manipulated them into a distraction. Distractions are very powerful as manipulators often use whatever means possible to keep people arguing over issues that keep them away from a conclusion that would be contrary to their idea or desired result.
Emotional Triggering – Some manipulators have determined specific triggers to bypass a person’s decision making thought process and appeal directly to their emotions. The mind and rationality is a mental filter designed to keep a person on a path of logical activities, however when this filter can be by-passed, a person can begin to act on impulse, apart from rational thinking.
When this happens, a manipulator will direct a person towards or away from a desired goal using specific psychological triggers. A good example of this is to appeal to people sexual desires by putting sexually suggestive materials in their advertising.
Fear Mongering (Scare Tactics) – One of the many types of emotional triggers, the use of fear to influence people towards the goals of the manipulator. It has been said that love and fear are the two most powerful motivators in the human psyche (by: psychology today).
Hoaxes – Fraud is a very powerful manipulative tool that can be used by any group of people. If you can create a story that cannot be completely validated or add just a small amount of lies to a well-known truth, you have created a well establish hoax. Hoaxes can be very powerful forms of manipulation as they often are aimed at triggering specific psychological reactions within a targeted audience.