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Misinformation in the Modern Media

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Each of us every day receives plenty of decoded data through the different types of media: television, radio, print and social media. It is crucial to filter this information because it can also be pre-set to the impact on person’s psyche and consciousness in addition to the cognitive sense. This paper investigates the true nature of modern media misinformation and government and corporate interests involved.

According to Holiday (2012), every message that is delivered via media channels has a clear impact on the structure of the person’s subconscious mind and the decision-making process. It is a matter of either influence on purchasing decision and huge corporations involved or buying votes through the political propaganda and fake news. The author underlined that media manipulation transforms everything the ordinary people read or hear. It is stated that it were previously two main threats that brought misinformation from the mass media: “government propagandist and the hustling publicist” (Holiday, 2012). However, it was en exceptions because media were a reliable source of information. This situation radically changed due to changes in public culture in which representatives of trade, banking, financial corporations use various methods of influence on the information perception of the buyer under the guise of satisfying customers’ preferences.

Holiday (2012) argued “the media - driven by blogs - is assailed on all sides, by the crushing economics of their business, dishonest sources, inhuman deadlines, pageview quotas, inaccurate information, greedy publishers, poor training, the demands of the audience, and so much more.” Media manipulation alters the balance between reality and purposely created perception in the interests of political and business representatives. The following levels of manipulation as strengthening of existing in the minds favorable for the interested entity values (ideas, attitudes), a partial change of view on a particular event or circumstance, a fundamental change of attitudes are distinguished. For a more efficient manipulation of a public opinion disinformation can be disseminated simultaneously through print and electronic media, television and the Internet, rumors.

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Fetzer (2004) pointed that misinformation is a deliberately false information, manipulating of information with the aim to misguide the person, group of persons or the society as a whole by providing incomplete or complete, but not right information, as well as distortion of its part. The purpose of this action is to make desired by media manipulator decision or rejection of the unwanted act. Modern methods of media manipulation tools and ultimately spreading of misinformation among the target audience include fabrication of facts, change the meaning of words and concepts, gray and black information, sensational information. In this case, the manipulation and misinformation effect is reached due to the small deviations used in all messages sent to the auditory, but such actions are always performed in the same direction. Media manipulators try to present the material in such a way that it will suit the requirements of the customer - political or business organization. Such a misinformation is the most effective when it is based on unconscious stereotypes inherent to the person.

Moreover, the social media is the most progressive tool of misinformation distribution measured by network expansion and the number of users influenced. Baratz (2012) argued that the speed of information distribution and rumors diffusion in social media is astonishing. The author highlighted that such a speed “contributes to social media’s power of misinformation” (Baratz, 2012). All the elements of mass media misinformation policy contain elements of betrayal, deceit, desecration of the high values and manipulation of core virtues such as trust, openness, benevolence, participation, cooperativeness, empathy and compassion. It must be remembered that in the modern media there is no place for truth, there is always corporate’s or political business’ interests.

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