Propaganda orientation as part of the larger

Propaganda is information that has been manipulated or
distorted by a propagandist to further their own agenda, displaying selectively
chosen facts, opinions, statistics and images sometimes colloquially referred
to as cherry picking (Cambridge University Press, 2018a). The information in question is
often presented via something obvious such as a poster or an advertisement but
can also take the form of more encrypted communication such as a newspaper
article which may be written to sound unbiased. The agenda being promoted can range
from charitable causes such as advocates for social change and animal rights to
political opinions, parties and points of view, often concerning wedge issues
like LGBT rights and Britain’s exit from the European union.


Cambridge English Dictionary defines propaganda as: “information,
ideas, opinions, or images, often only giving one part of an argument, that are
broadcast, published, or in some other way spread with the intention of
influencing people’s opinions”(Cambridge University Press, 2018b)

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Propaganda can be roughly divided into three separate groups
based upon their motives and sources. These groups are Black, Grey and white.


Black propaganda


Black propaganda is that which sometimes uses outright lies,
anonymous sources of information and at times, forgery, to deceive the audience
into believing it has been produced by someone other than the true author,
often the enemy of the propagandist. Subversion is its defining characteristic.
(Gallagher, 2015) Black propaganda is often
used to reinforce an already planted idea or point of view or to help someone
justify a previously questioned belief. Black propaganda is not necessarily inherently
untruthful, for example the use of postcards by British intelligence during
world war II spread truthful information about the feasting of German army and
SS officers during times of famine for the German people. (Friedman, 2004)


Example of Black Propaganda



This is a poster created to supposedly support paedophilia
as a sexual orientation as part of the larger LGBT social equality movement.
During the 1970s the singer Anita Bryant lead the “Save Our Children” campaign
to enable discrimination against gay people based on the false idea that they
would attack children. This was a common belief at that time which has since
been debunked countless times, however some people still hold on to that
belief. (Herek, n.d.)


The poster was created by anti LGBT activists on the picture
message board 4chan, it is an example of black propaganda because it is
designed to subvert its audience into believing it is a both a genuine LGBT
rights poster and it was created by either LGBT people or an LGBT charity like
stonewall which also creates similar genuine posters. The method of delivery
also fits the definition. The 4chan post claims that the image will be posted
on the social media site twitter from fake accounts with supporting material
and hashtags enabling it to spread. (Evon, 2017)


Grey Propaganda




White Propaganda



It often helps to classify propaganda by degrees of
truthfulness, that is by four basic varieties.


Big lie:




Half truth:


Complete truth: