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  • Propaganda 2.0 : Herman and Chomsky’s Propaganda Model in the Age of the Internet, Big Data and Social Media

    Christian Fuchs

    Chapter from the book: Pedro-Carañana, J et al. 2018. The Propaganda Model Today: Filtering Perception and Awareness.


    Thirty years ago, Noam Chomsky and Edward Herman published their book Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of Mass Media (1988). The World Wide Web had not yet been invented and internet use was neither common nor widespread. Today, notions of propaganda are not widely shard and tend to sound strange to our ears. Also the notion of the mass media has been replaced by speaking of the media in general, which is due to the fact that digital media, such as the internet, have integrated interpersonal communication, group communication, organisational communication and public communication at the level of society in one communication technology. In this contemporary age of digital and social media, it is time to revisit and reassess Herman and Chomsky’s Propaganda Model (PM). This chapter begins with reflections on concepts of propaganda and its relation to ideology. It then focuses on aspects of the Model and relates them to the realm of the internet: size/ownership/profit-orientation, advertising, powerful information sources, flak, and anti-communism. The PM reminds us of the importance of thinking critically about capitalism’s dominant political economy and ideologies when we analyse the internet today. Given the power of companies such as Google and Facebook, we must consider the role of new monopolies, digital labour, targeted advertising, asymmetric attention and visibility, and online ideologies when critically analysing digital capitalism.

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    How to cite this chapter
    Fuchs, C. 2018. Propaganda 2.0 : Herman and Chomsky’s Propaganda Model in the Age of the Internet, Big Data and Social Media. In: Pedro-Carañana, J et al (eds.), The Propaganda Model Today. London: University of Westminster Press. DOI: https://doi.org/10.16997/book27.f

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    Published on Oct. 25, 2018