Have you ever come across a propaganda so subtle that you almost got trapped?

A netizen recently asked, “What is propaganda but people don’t seem to realize it is propaganda?”. Here are the top responses.

Internet Memes

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“Internet memes, especially any that are political or reference culture war nonsense.

They’re deliberately created by people who are trying to manipulate their audience into feeling or thinking a certain way.”

Movies Backed By US Military

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“Any movie that’s made with the ‘cooperation’ of the US Military.”

Certain Video Games

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“Certain video games, or at least the Modern Warfare franchise. Activision has a weird amount of former national security officials in high positions. There are also interesting choices, like how they put the infamous ‘Highway of Death’ (when the US destroyed the retreating Iraqi military convoy during the Gulf War) in one of their games…but blamed it on Russia.

Also, in MW2, you start out guiding a missile strike on an Iranian general named ‘Gabroni’ who looks suspiciously like Suleimaini (excuse the horrible spelling) that we assassinated during the Trump administration.

In the game, Russia is supporting Iran (believable enough) who is turn supporting ‘Al-Qatala’, an obvious reference to Al Qaeda. It’s almost a throwback to the speech W. Bush gave in which he dubbed North Korea, Iraq and Iran the ‘Axis of Evil’ as if they were working together in conjunction with Al Qaeda.”

News Reports

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“When the news regurgitates some government official’s comment or press release uncritically.”

US Schools

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“Saying the pledge of allegiance in US schools every day.”, said one.

“There’s a lot of propaganda in US schools and I find it shocking how seldom it’s referenced.”, another added.

80’s Cartoons

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“Those 80’s cartoons everyone is so nostalgic for? He-man? Thundercats? Transformers? GI Joe?

They were 220-minute toy commercials, with a message slapped just to comply with Broadcast standards and regulations, but they were blatantly creating brand awareness of plastic nonsense.”

Romanticizing Hard Work

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“The idea that hard work or working long hours is inherently virtuous.”, said one.

“Particularly the idea that hard work or working long hours *for your employer* is inherently virtuous. I’m all for doing things that benefit yourself or the people you care about. There’s virtue in that.

The idea that work outside of a formal job ‘doesn’t count’ or ‘isn’t real’ is super insidious, though.”, said another.

Police Discounts And The Likes Of It

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“Police discounts and other such worship that implies entitlement to privileged over ‘regular’ citizens. I have seen first-hand the kind of backlash that can come down on a local business that discontinues its police discount program. As far as I’m concerned they extort tribute like they’re shaking you down for protection money.”

Anything Created By The American Dairy Association

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“Anything created by the American Dairy Association such as generic milk commercials or pro-dairy literature in doctors’ offices.”

‘Rags To Riches’ Tropes Promoted By Capitalism

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“Every ‘rags to riches’ trope promoted by capitalism.

The beauty of capitalism is that the stories are individually true. They can always find one, do a photoshoot, and tell the narrative – 100% true.

The propaganda part is that they’re peddled as normal and probable, making millions of people think this system is ‘freedom’ and the surest way for everyone to become a multimillionaire.”

Anything Discouraging Renewables/Nuclear Power

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“Anything discouraging renewables/ nuclear power because they are too unreliable/ dangerous.

This is just oil, coal and gas companies trying to distract everybody from the fact that they are much more dangerous than any other power source and keep our reliance on them up for a bit more profit.

In 100 years, we will run out of all of them and the world will fall into chaos as a result of this and climate change. But they don’t want you to know that because of money.”

Health Insurance Companies

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“Health Insurance companies are necessary for ‘healthcare’. The Trillion they take from us and our companies (each YEAR…and growing) wouldn’t fund actual care (and without deductibles)…apparently only they can steal it and deny our care. Ugh!”

Logos On Shirts

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“Logos on shirts. NIKE, Apple, all of it and people are proud to be companies advertising boards.”


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“Patriotism is definitely a form of propaganda. Your country is the best and all the others are hell. They churn out movies, tv shows, music, books, comic books, ads, you name it to stoke your patriotism so that you are loyal to your country even when your country does some messed up nonsense.”

Scientific Research

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“Science…I am pro-science and pro-fact-based analysis. But some of these PhD and Master research papers are basically a bunch of scientists agreeing with each other rather than trying to prove or disprove a point.”

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