The lie machine predates the lie detector test by centuries in the form of propaganda. Every day we are subjected to it in one form or another. From politics and science to commercial products and services our minds are bombarded with misleading and false information.

Rumours v Propaganda

There is a significant difference between rumour and propaganda. The former is more often started for malicious purposes to provoke adverse reaction or intrigue. The latter is utilised with the intent of playing on emotions and manipulating minds to persuade people that something is true.

Rumours tend to begin with an allegation or assertion. As they propagate people add their own spin on them and molehills turn into mountains. Conversely propaganda is immediately presented as the absolute truth and usually heavily funded.

The EU Referendum

The most recent example of propaganda in the UK was, and continues to be, the EU referendum that took place in 2016. The Remain side of the argument sought to push the idea that Britain would suffer irreparably and become completely isolated by leaving the European Union. The Leave campaign used fear of mass immigration and inferred that by leaving, the money saved would be put into the NHS. The UK government being controlled by a foreign power was also heavily played upon by Brexiteers.

There is no objectivity with propaganda. It’s designed to mislead utilising many forms of media to psychologically influence public opinion. It subtly presents misinformation with a bias toward the end goal. Often complete lies are told and censorship implemented to hide facts that don’t match the narrative. This is especially true when it’s a political campaign.

By using graphics and slogans and censoring certain uncomfortable truths, these campaigns are powerful tools for hoodwinking the public.

Non-political use of propaganda

The big lie machine is not only used politically. Non profit organisations and large corporations often use it to influence the price of stocks and shares. Highly competitive industries will start a negative rumour about a rival. By the time enough money and influence on the media has been expended, the rumour becomes a fact. This can cause share prices to plummet. It can also work in reverse by spreading disinformation to make then skyrocket! This type of campaign works on the premise that the public will believe there is no smoke without fire!

Fake News

An expression perhaps made most famous by the current President of the United States, fake news is a form of propaganda.

Newspapers and magazines whether online or printed rely on advertising revenue. “News” sites are no different wishing to increase visitors to their pages in the hope they will click on the many advertisements displayed. When a fake news article is shared on social media platforms such as Twitter or Facebook possibly millions of times, it is perceived as truth. Often it just isn’t!

Scientific research

When science gets it wrong, it’s easy to believe that scientist are liars. This is seldom the case because what may have seemed true at the time of research can be proven wrong by advanced technology and any other factors. However, some suspicion can be attached to scientific reports when the funding for them is provided by those who would benefit.

An old adage is “follow the money” and it applies today as much as it has applied in the past.

It is a great pity that the noses of people who tell lies don’t grow longer, like that of Pinocchio. However, if you believe someone has told you a fib you have recourse to a lie detector test. Whether it’s a family member, someone in your company or your spouse we are always here to help you find the truth! Call us to today to discuss our private lie detector test and how it can help you resolve any issues you have with dishonesty.