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Core concepts. From bots and sockpuppets to ‘fake news’ and data mining, this section explains how propaganda is distributed in our contemporary media landscape.

Illustration shows how two minds can view the same object very differently. A human woman views a bone as a signifier of death while a dog smiles and sees it as food.

We are all biased. As much as we strive to be rational, we all make mistakes when interpreting the world around us. Learn how propagandists exploit our cognitive biases in an attempt to change our minds and alter our behavior.

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Decoding propaganda. Propaganda analysis is a vital form of mental self-defense. Learn how to detect logical fallacies, emotional appeals, deceptive language, and other common propaganda techniques. The great thing about propaganda analysis is the fact that anyone can do it.

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Case studies. Where were you during the Columbian Chemicals Plant explosion of 2014? What on earth is the “Fifty Cent Army?” Learn how governments, corporations, and political groups use bots, sockpuppets, and behavioral data to influence communities around the world.

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Propaganda Examples. The use of manipulative communication techniques is not limited to just one side of the political spectrum. From corporate press releases and government agencies to groups on the far left and the far right, this section provides examples of real-world propaganda messages. Dissecting these examples is a great way of applying some of the concepts you have learned on this site.

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Tools for fighting back. How do you know if someone is actually a bot or a sockpuppet? How can you figure out whether or not a controversial claim is true? This section contains checklists and other media literacy tools that will help you navigate our contemporary information landscape.

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Games. During the past few years, educators and media literacy activists have created fun, interactive games exploring the ideas discussed on this site. Some of these games ask you to role-play as a manipulative propagandist, and other games focus on tactics for fact-checking controversial messages you discover online. Parents and educators, please note that some of these games are designed for readers over the age of 14.

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Video. Some people prefer to explore new ideas via the world of print; others prefer video. This section includes classic propaganda videos and short video essays related to the world of propaganda. If you are planning to use any of these videos in the classroom, please be aware that some of them include language that is considered offensive in 2018.

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Looking for the old site? You are currently viewing the third version of Propaganda Critic. If you are trying to track down something you encountered on a previous version of the site, you can still view the archived version of the site.

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