Data about Media

Media-and-Internet-Concentration-in-Canada ===================================================




Propaganda: covert persuasion of populations



A determination arrived at after consideration, Webster A conclusion or resolution reached after consideration, Oxford A determination purely based on emotion would be an instinctual response to stimuli. Fundamental goals (what ought to be done) are expected to be instinctual or cultural. Strategies that should be rational for optimality are better to be decisions than instinctual responses. 90% of our determinations are instinctual, that is why modern advertisement and PR focuses on feelings rather than specification. It consumes energy to persuade people to consent to what is not instinctual (injustice and cruelty). It is easy to persuade people to consent to what is instinctual, defensive response to fear. (Amirhassan, 26 Aug 2013)


The significant revolution of modern times is not industrial or economic or political, but the revolution taking place in the art of creating consent among the governed . . . Within the life of the new generation now in control of affairs, persuasion has become a selfconscious art and a regular organ of popular government. None of us begins to understand the consequences, but it is no daring prophecy to say that the knowledge of how to create consent will alter every political premise. (Walter Lippmann, Public Opinion)

Walter Lippmann argued that if human beings were in reality driven by unconscious irrational forces then it was necessary to re-think democracy. What was needed was a new elite that could manage what he called the bewildered herd. This would be done through psychological techniques that would control the unconscious feelings of the masses.

To maintain the relations of power: We ave to have happiness machines and engineer consent. Both Bernays and Lippmann’s concept of managing the masses takes the idea of democracy and turns it a palliative, turns it into giving people some kind of feel good medication that will respond to an immediate pain or immediate yearning.

In his work on crowd psychology Freud had described how the frightening irrationality inside human beings could emerge in such groups. The deep what he called ‘libidinal’ forces of desire were given up to the leader while the aggressive instincts are unleashed on those outside the group.

George Gallup Jr – Son of George Gallup: Prior to scientific polling the view of many people was that you couldn’t trust public opinion, that it was irrational; that it was ill-informed, that it was chaotic, unruly and so forth; and so that it should be dismissed. But with scientific polling I think it established very clearly that people are rational, that they do make good decisions, and this offers democracy a chance to be truly informed by the public giving everybody a voice in the way the country is run.

But Anna Freud believed it was possible to teach individuals how to control these inner forces. Anna Freud developed a theory of how to control the inner drives. It was simple – you taught the children to conform to the rules of society. But this more than just moral guidance. Anna Freud believed if children like the Burlinghams strictly followed the rules of accepted social conduct then as they grew up the conscious part of their mind, what was called the ego, would be greatly strengthened in its struggle to control the unconscious. But if children did not conform their ego would be weak and they would be prey to the dangerous forces of the unconscious.

Amir: To disrupt the relations of power: We ave to have unhappiness machines and engineer dis-consent. giving people some kind of feel bad medication that will respond to an immediate achievements  or immediate feel goods.

so the question for democracy is: Can we have a generation of humans who have developed the skills to let the frontal lobe be controlling the emotions, and as a result, be rational? Where we can have informed rational citizens, we can have democracy.


The hard truth is that on most policy issues, large proportions of the public know or care little about the specifics, and thus have developed no meaningful opinion about them. But news media polls typically gloss over public ignorance and apathy, and instead, through the use of forced-choice questions, squeeze some type of answer out of virtually all respondents with typically only a small percentage who volunteer that they know too little to express an opinion. The media then treat these responses as though they represent serious judgments, rather than the superficial notions that they really are. The net result is that frequently the media distort or completely mischaracterize what the American public is really thinking. (Moore, 2008, pp. 18-19)

George Bishop and his colleagues at the University of Cincinnati with a 1986 poll that found a third of respondents expressing an opinion about a nonexistent Public Affairs Act. (Moore, 2008, p. 23)

how much people know about an issue,
how committed they are to their opinion,
and how important that issue is to them. (Moore, 2008, p. 26)

Katz wrote in a chapter in a 1944 book titled Gauging Public Opinion,  “to interpret poll results adequately it is necessary to know whether an expressed attitude represents a superficially held view which may be discarded the next moment or whether it reflects a cherished conviction which will change only under unusual pressure.” In his view, it was crucial to measure the intensity of an opinion to determine, “for example, whether or not an individual with a given opinion holds that opinion strongly enough to take the trouble to go out and vote for it or fight for it.” (Moore, 2008, p. 27)

we know that even when people are familiar enough with an issue to express an opinion, it doesn’t mean they care whether their opinion prevails. (Moore, 2008, p.29)

Harris continued to poll for ABC News, he announced to his company’s researchers, “I’m going to make the next president.” In the months that followed, Harris used projective questions and selective reporting to bias his polling reports in Kennedy’s favor, and he followed a pattern of reporting good news about the Massachusetts senator while delaying, or even omitting, any favorable polls about President Carter. (Moore, 2008, p.53)

How drastically polls can manipulate public opinion:  shortly after President Bush’s reelection, when he announced that he would try once again to have Congress pass legislation to permit oil drilling in Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR). A national poll released by Republican Frank Luntz in January 2005, on behalf of the Arctic Power interest group, found a public that supported oil drilling in ANWR by a margin of 17 percentage points (51 percent to 34 percent). Yet in direct contradiction, a similar poll conducted December 13 through 15, 2004, by John Zogby for the Wilderness Society found the public opposed to oil drilling in ANWR, by the exact same margin (55 percent opposed to 38 percent in favor). It seemed more than coincidental that the poll results happened to conform with the desires of the sponsoring organizations. And a look at the questionnaires shows how easy it was to shape the findings into mirror opposites. Luntz preceded his question on oil drilling with 13 questions that dealt with the cost of oil and with energy dependence on foreign countries. By the time the interviewer got to the question of exploring and developing oil reserves in ANWR, many respondents were primed to solve the country’s energy needs by opening up that area to the oil industry. Zogby, on the other hand, framed the issue in a less biased way, asking only one question related to the oil industry before the drilling question. But that one question helped present the issue as an environmental matter, and in that context a solid majority of the respondents opposed oil drilling. A key to understanding how easy it was to manipulate respondents into giving the desired answers is recognizing that most people had little knowledge about ANWR going into the survey. The Luntz and Zogby examples illustrate how pollsters are often treated as guns-for-hire. In each case, the policy question itself was neutral, but the questionnaire context of each poll was manipulated to produce the desired results. Find the right pollster, get the right answer. This is not to say that on every topic, polls can produce whatever a sponsoring organization might want. But on topics about which most people know very little, enormous swings in results can easily be obtained by careful questionnaire designs.  (Moore, 2008, pp. 82-85) Those in power frame the issue to favor their position, the press limits its coverage of sources that might disagree with the administration and also directly mimics the framing to avoid appearing biased, the pollsters in turn develop surveys to dovetail with the news stories, and the people—many of whom have little idea of what is happening— are pressured into answering questions that reinforce the original positions of those in power. (Moore, 2008, p. 109)   Most legislation goes unnoticed by the vast majority of the public, so indeed the Congress and the president can in principle “get away with” enacting many laws that serve the interests of the few at the expense of the many. (Moore, 2008, p. 160)

Moore, D. W. (2008). The Opinion Makers: An Insider Exposes the Truth Behind the Polls. Beacon Press.


For research on the press’s rush to support the war, see: W. Lance Bennett, Regina G. Lawrence, and Steven Livingston, When the Press Fails: Political Power and the News Media from Iraq to Katrina (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2007); Michael Massing, Now They Tell Us (New York: New York Review of Books, 2004); and Eric Boehlert, Lapdogs: How the Press Rolled Over for Bush (New York: Free Press, 2006).


If people believe that their opinion is part of a consensus, they have the confidence to speak out in both private and public discussions, displaying their convictions with buttons and car stickers, for example, but also by the clothes they wear and other publicly visible symbols. Conversely, when people feel that they are in the minority, they become cautious and silent, thus reinforcing the impression of weakness, until the apparently weaker side disappears completely except for a hard core that holds on to its previous values, or until the opinion becomes taboo.   Elisabeth Noelle-Neumann, The Spiral of Silence: Public Opinion Our Social Skin, 2nd ed. (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1993), p. 202. Also see:

Noelle-Neumann, E. (1974). The spiral of silence: A theory of public opinion. Journal of Communication, 24, 43–51.


“All media are extensions of some human faculty- psychic or physical”  (p.26)

The wheel is an extension of the foot; the book is an extension of the eye; clothing, an extension of the skin; electric circuitry, an extension of the central nervous system” (pp. 31-40).

McLuhan, Marshall, & Fiore, Quentin. (1967). The medium is the massage: An inventory of effects. New York: Bantam Books. —————————————————————————————

 Brain is sensitive to the following emotions which are consuming most attention from brain processing power:


Friend/foe  default is foe

  Trying to change someone creates a big status and certainty threat. Suppress causes reduced life experience, express influences te environemnt Cognitive change and control strategies: 1- emotional labeling 2-Reapprasial, re-framing,   re-contextualizing “You can see this as a kind of race between the emotional information and the reappraisal information in the brain: Emotional processing proceeds from the back to the front of the brain, and the reappraisal is generated in the front of the brain and proceeds toward the back of the brain where it modifies emotional processing,” Re-framing is a way of changing the way you look at something and, thus, changing your experience of it. ======================================================= A paper on social construction of common sense and normal  Social Construction of reality   Some myths were explanations for natural phenomena. Some myths have been constructed to symbolize and direct wishes. Some myths will continue to be explanations of ideals. An Informatics Theory of Effective Journalism abstract    If you don’t read the newspaper, you are uninformed; if you do read the newspaper, you are misinformed. It’s easier to fool people than to convince them that they have been fooled. Mark Twain   The communication on Internet, is mediated by and on a physical medium owned by a third party, the supreme court in Canada has ruled that the ownership of a laptop by an organization doesn’t cancel the right of privacy of the user over the data user stores on the hardware. this should limit the rights of media network providers. twitter has won a case not to release the twits of many follower of wiki-leaks.


1. The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms guarantees the rights and freedoms set out in it subject only to such reasonable limits prescribed by law as can be demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society.

Fundamental Freedoms

Marginal note:Fundamental freedoms

2. Everyone has the following fundamental freedoms:

  • (a) freedom of conscience and religion;
  • (b) freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression, including freedom of the press and other media of communication;
  • (c) freedom of peaceful assembly; and
  • (d) freedom of association.

a href=””   Theories Used in IS Research  


Social Media. A Critical Introduction

“Christian Fuchs’ revised text should be mandatory reading for students, scholars, or anyone trying to understand the changes and continuity that characterize social media. The book is a smart, thorough and well-documented resource that should be useful to all.” — Janet Wasko, University of Oregon


Table of Contents:

1 What Is a Critical Introduction to Social Media?


2 What are Social Media and Big Data?

3 Social Media as Participatory Culture

4 Social Media and Communication Power


5 The Power and Political Economy of Social Media

6 Google: Good or Evil Search Engine?

7 Facebook: Surveillance in the Age of Edward Snowden

8 Twitter and Democracy: A New Public Sphere?

9 Weibo and Chinese Capitalism

10 The Political Economy of Online Sharing Platforms in the Age of Airbnb and Uber

11 WikiLeaks: Can We Make Power Transparent?

12 Wikipedia: A New Democratic Form of Collaborative Work and Production?

III Futures

13 Conclusion: Social Media and its Alternatives – Towards a Truly Social Media

Detailed Table of Contents:

1 What Is a Critical Introduction to Social Media? 1
1.1 What Is Social about Social Media? 5
1.2 What Is Critical Thinking and Why Does it Matter? 8
1.3 What Is Critical Theory? 10
1.4 Critical Theory Approaches 19


2  What Are Social Media and Big Data? 3
2.1 Web 2.0 and Social Media 34
2.2 The Need of Social Theory for Understanding Social Media 37
2.3 Explaining Social Media with Durkheim, Weber, Marx and Tönnies 44
2.4 A Model of Social Media Communication 49
2.5 Big Data 52
2.6 Conclusion 61

3  Social Media as Participatory Culture
3.1 The Notions of Participation and Participatory Culture 66
3.2 Online Fan Culture and Politics 72
3.3 Social Media and Participatory Culture 73
3.4 Henry Jenkins and Digital Labour 76
3.5 Jenkins’s Response to Criticisms 78
3.6 Conclusion 81 

4  Social Media and Communication Power 85
4.1 Social Theory in the Information Age 86
4.2 Communication Power in the Network Society 88
4.3 Communication Power, Social Media and Mass Self-Communication 90
4.4 Communication Power in the Arab Spring and the Occupy Movement 98
4.5 Conclusion 110


5  The Power and Political Economy of Social Media 121
5.1  Social Media as Ideology: The Limits of the Participatory Social Media Hypothesis 122
5.2  The Cycle of Capital Accumulation 128
5.3  Capital Accumulation and Social Media 130
5.4  Free Labour and Slave Labour 143
5.5  Conclusion 148

6  Google: Good or Evil Search Engine? 153
6.1 Introduction 154
6.2 Google’s Political Economy 155
6.3 Googology: Google and Ideology 162
6.4 Work at Google 164
6.5 Google: God and Satan in One Company 167
6.6 Google and the State: Monopoly Power and Tax Avoidance 170
6.7 Conclusion 176

7  Facebook: Surveillance in the Age of Edward Snowden 183
7.1 Facebook’s Financial Power 185
7.2 The Notion of Privacy 186
7.3 Facebook and Ideology 190
7.4 Privacy and the Political Economy of Facebook 194
7.5 Edward Snowden and the Surveillance-Industrial Complex 198
7.6 Conclusion 206 

8  Twitter and Democracy: A New Public Sphere? 217
8.1 Habermas’s Concept of the Public Sphere 218
8.2 Twitter, Social Media and the Public Sphere 227
8.3 Political Communication on Twitter 231
8.4 Uncivil Communication on Twitter 240
8.5 Twitter’s Political Economy 242
8.6 @JürgenHabermas #Twitter #PublicSphere 243
8.7 Conclusion 246

9  Weibo: Power, Ideology and Social Struggles in Chinese Capitalism 251
9.1 China’s Capitalism 254
9.2 Weibo’s Political Economy 268
9.3 Weibo and Social Media Ideologies 273
9.4 Chinese Social Struggles in the Age of Weibo 276
9.5 Conclusion 279

10  Airbnb and Uber: The Political Economy of Online Sharing Platforms 283
10.1 Uber: The Pay per Service Sharing Model 284
10.2 Airbnb: The Capitalist Sharing Economy’s Rent-on-Rent Model 291
10.3 The Sharing Economy: A Capitalist Ideology 299
10.4 An Alternative Sharing Economy Beyond Capitalism? 305
10.5 Conclusion 312

11  Wikipedia: A New Democratic Form of Collaborative Work and Production? 317
11.1 The Communist Idea 319
11.2 Communication and Communism 323
11.3 Wikipedia’s Political Economy 324
11.4 Criticisms of Wikipedia 328
11.5 Conclusion 334


12 Conclusion: Social Media and its Alternatives – Towards a Truly Social Media 341
12.1 Social Media Reality: Ideologies and Exploitation 341
12.2 Social Media Alternatives 345
12.3 Towards a Truly Social Media and a New Society 355

References 357

Related Materials, suited for classroom use: 

– Video: Conversation with Simon Lindgren about digital sociology, social media and theorising the Internet (YouTube)
– How the Frankfurt School Helps Us to Understand Donald Trump’s Twitter Populism (blog post)
– What The US Presidential Election Result Tells Us About the Failures Of Big Data Analytics And Neoliberalism As Big Data Capitalism (blog post)
– The Facebook/Admiral Scandal Shows The Limits And Dangers Of Big Data Capitalism (blog post)
– Legal Struggles in the Age of Uber-Capitalism: Are Uber-Drivers Workers or Self-Employed? (blog post)
– User-Generated Ideology on Social Media: A New Study Shows How Users Oppose and Support Jeremy Corbyn on Twitter (blog post)
– Expanding Tweets From 140 Characters to 10,000? Not Nearly Radical Enough  Link
- Bosses' Right to Snoop on Staff Emails Is An Invastion of Privacy and Ignores the Way We Work Link

Psychoanalytic Theory Of Communication

Media Malaise Theory