What is manufacturing consent?

16. März 2022

DW’s Washing­ton bureau chief Ines Pohl, star­ting at 5 minu­tes in.

Ent­ry point:

This was about hearts and minds, if I can put it that way, he hit lots of emo­tio­nal points, that par­ti­cu­lar­ly hit home to ame­ri­cans, he tailo­red that speech to his audience.”

Abso­lute­ly, ah, ah Phil. He real­ly under­stands, how to reach a spe­ci­fic audi­ence, I mean - we mus­tn’t for­get, he is a trai­ned come­di­an [?], and he real­ly knows how -, kind of, you know, which but­tons to push to reach, as you say - the hearts and minds of the audi­ence, and he did so - I mean, just by invo­king all the tra­ge­dies in the ame­ri­can histo­ry, like the attack on Perl Har­bor, or the 9/11 ter­ro­rist attack, with the­se - images - he invo­ked in the speech, he did­n’t only reach out to the law­ma­kers and poli­ti­ci­ans, but also to every sin­gle ame­ri­can, and on top of that, he play­ed this - very emo­tio­nal, ah, video, so he also under­stands, how to use images. So in a way that was a very, very - modern [?] speech, we just heard from pre­si­dent Selenskyj.”

Advan­ced course -

Meta Plat­forms (FB.O) will allow Face­book and Insta­gram users in some coun­tries to call for vio­lence against Rus­si­ans and Rus­si­an sol­di­ers in the con­text of the Ukrai­ne inva­si­on, accord­ing to inter­nal emails seen by Reu­ters on Thurs­day, in a tem­pora­ry chan­ge to its hate speech policy.

Repor­ting by Mun­sif Ven­gat­til in New Delhi and Eliza­beth Cul­li­ford in New York; edi­t­ing by Jona­than Oatis, Ste­phen Coa­tes, Shri Nava­rat­nam and Kim Coghill

src: click

Now retrac­ted:

Meta Plat­forms, the parent com­pa­ny of social media giants Face­book and Insta­gram, now says users can­not share posts cal­ling for the death of Rus­si­an pre­si­dent Vla­di­mir Putin or other heads of sta­te after all.

The move came as Russia’s ban on Insta­gram came into effect on Mon­day, blo­cking access to the social media plat­form for some 80 mil­li­on users across the country.

Meta’s latest poli­cy, detail­ed in an inter­nal com­pa­ny post seen by Reu­ters, marks a U-turn from a pre­vious decisi­on that was said to tem­pora­ri­ly allow some posts on Face­book and Insta­gram cal­ling for the death of Putin or his Bela­ru­si­an coun­ter­part Alex­an­der Lukashenko.

We are now nar­ro­wing the focus to make it expli­ci­tly clear in the gui­d­ance that it is never to be inter­pre­ted as con­do­ning vio­lence against Rus­si­ans in gene­ral,” Meta glo­bal affairs pre­si­dent Nick Clegg wro­te on Sunday in a post on the company’s inter­nal plat­form that was seen by Reuters.

We also do not per­mit calls to assas­si­na­te a head of state…So, in order to remo­ve any ambi­gui­ty about our stance, we are fur­ther nar­ro­wing our gui­d­ance to make expli­cit that we are not allowing calls for the death of a head of sta­te on our plat­forms,” Clegg said.

src: click


[Wal­ter] Lipp­man argues that, when pro­per­ly deploy­ed in the public inte­rest, the manu­fac­tu­re of con­sent is use­ful and necessa­ry for a cohe­si­ve socie­ty, becau­se, in many cases, “the com­mon inte­rests” of the public are not obvious except upon care­ful ana­ly­sis of the collec­ted data, a cri­ti­cal intel­lec­tu­al exer­cise in which most peop­le are unin­te­res­ted or are inca­pa­ble of doing. The­re­fo­re, most peop­le must have the world sum­ma­ri­zed for them by the well-informed, and will then act accordingly.

That the manu­fac­tu­re of con­sent is capa­ble of gre­at refi­ne­ments no one, I think, denies. The pro­cess by which public opi­ni­ons ari­se is cer­tain­ly no less intri­ca­te than it has appeared in the­se pages, and the oppor­tu­nities for mani­pu­la­ti­on open to anyo­ne who under­stands the pro­cess are plain enough.… [a]s a result of psy­cho­lo­gi­cal rese­arch, cou­pled with the modern means of com­mu­ni­ca­ti­on, the prac­ti­ce of demo­cra­cy has tur­ned a cor­ner. A revo­lu­ti­on is taking place, infi­ni­te­ly more signi­fi­cant than any shif­ting of eco­no­mic power.… Under the impact of pro­pa­gan­da, not necessa­ri­ly in the sinis­ter mea­ning of the word alo­ne, the old con­stants of our thin­king have beco­me varia­bles. It is no lon­ger pos­si­ble, for examp­le, to belie­ve in the ori­gi­nal dog­ma of demo­cra­cy; that the know­ledge nee­ded for the manage­ment of human affairs comes up spon­ta­ne­ous­ly from the human heart. Whe­re we act on that theo­ry we expo­se our­sel­ves to self-deception, and to forms of per­sua­si­on that we can­not veri­fy. It has been demons­tra­ted that we can­not rely upon intui­ti­on, con­sci­ence, or the acci­dents of casu­al opi­ni­on if we are to deal with the world bey­ond our reach.
— Wal­ter Lipp­mann, Public Opi­ni­on, Chap­ter XV

The poli­ti­cal eli­te are mem­bers of the class of peop­le who are inca­pa­ble of accu­rate­ly under­stan­ding, by them­sel­ves, the com­plex “unse­en envi­ron­ment” whe­r­ein the public affairs of the modern sta­te occur; thus, Lipp­mann pro­po­ses that a pro­fes­sio­nal, “spe­cia­li­zed class” collect and ana­ly­ze data, and pre­sent their con­clu­si­ons to the society’s decisi­on makers, who, in their turn, use the “art of per­sua­si­on” to inform the public about the decisi­ons and cir­cum­s­tan­ces affec­ting them.[5]

Public Opi­ni­on pro­po­ses that the incre­a­sed power of pro­pa­gan­da and the spe­cia­li­zed know­ledge requi­red for effec­ti­ve poli­ti­cal decisi­ons have ren­de­red the tra­di­tio­nal noti­on of demo­cra­cy impos­si­ble. The phra­se “manu­fac­tu­re of con­sent” was intro­du­ced, which the aca­de­mics Noam Chom­sky and Edward S. Her­man used as the tit­le of their book Manu­fac­tu­ring Con­sent: The Poli­ti­cal Eco­no­my of the Mass Media (1988). Chom­sky has exten­si­ve­ly cri­ti­ci­zed Lippman’s the­sis as deeply oppo­sed to democracy.

src: click

edit: More back­ground: click

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