Is propaganda coming with a hashtag?

While browsing the net, I accidentally found a blog called “Helping the Military to use Social Media to tell Digital Stories”. Their latest post was about one of our favorite subjects: Social Propaganda in Modern Warfare. SocialPropaganda
The post was actually featuring a presentation given on 6 December by Nicole Matejic at the Kokoda Foundation, an independent, not-for-profit think tank to research, and foster innovative thinking on, Australia’s future security challenges.
Nicole is an expert in the Defence and Law Enforcement sectors of Government and has successfully managed crisis and issues from Departmental to Ministerial levels.
Why her presentation, from quite a remote spot is of global interest? She succeded in condensating in a few PowerPoint slides examples of what makes propaganda different, in the social media era, while moving from dropping flyers to tweets and blogs.

Tweets and blogs are the new letter bombs in modern warfare.

I took the liberty to associate her slides with her comments in this file.
You can however look at the original presentation on Slideshare.

Taking  the examples drawn from the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, it appears that propaganda – while crossing into cyberspace – has changed its basic mission from directly influencing what we do, to influencing first what we talk about.

Social media is the new battleground for hearts and minds, moving the message from street posts to status posts. For the IDF, Twitter and Facebook are their  two main engagement platforms, with a lesser presence on YouTube and Pinterest.

This quote is from another source – strangely, again from Australia – referring to similar examples. Tim Martin in a post  shows several examples of use of words, images and video to manipulate perceptions via social media.

Propaganda has always evolved along with communications technology. Governments have always been at the forefront of using the latest means to  spread information, including propaganda. In some cases even for a just cause…  There should be no surprise then.

Many blogs are debating this subject, like Marketing Blogged, where you can read:

Propaganda is not dead, it’s very much alive and kicking, and is most likely to come with a hashtag




About fveltri

Former NATO and military spokesperson, currently Public Affairs consultant and President, ComIPI (
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