Social Media?

2020-05-07 |

Power of The Media

With the accelerated development of humanity, communication types have also undergone a serious transformation. In parallel with the development of communication, the exchange and dissemination of ideas are also developing. As known today, it is possible to see ideas on many topics from magazines to sports news, from art to politics. However, the truth of these documents and news is a big question mark. A lot of information is redesigned on different goals of different people and applied to communication networks and affects people's opinions. States and politicians especially use media and social media to manipulate public view to their own purposes. Politicians view the media as a propaganda tool and to make it real they use social media, newspapers and magazines .

Politicians are using social media to change people's political views. In social media people think that they have chance to select views and opinions. In fact, as Adorno says, politicians try to create an illusion for people. People will think that they are free, but the ideas they choose will be designed in advance. There is an increasing body of proof for each passing election that national governments and political parties utilize social networking sites to distribute misinformation. (Bradshaw, 2017) While doing this, political regimes carry out transactions especially using advertising and personal data. Most relevant example of this has been seen in the 2016 United States elections. Cambridge Analytica, a data processing company on a global scale, conducted data studies on a significant number of user information, such as 50 million, received from Facebook and conducted studies in favor of Trump (Schneble, 2018). As a result of these studies, a “silent propaganda” has been applied according to the behavior of people or the posts they have made. While doing this, political advertisements were shown according to the behavior patterns, micro-targeting, of Facebook users. Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, has also been heavily criticized within the US, especially because these advertisements are shared without control and can be created by anyone. As can be seen in this example, politicians are using social media to change people's political views in terms of elections.

Secondly, politicians used newspapers as a propaganda tool to spread their ideas to the public and keep the public calm. Examples of this propaganda can be seen especially in the First World War. Ottoman Empire used newspapers to manipulate public opinion. According to Köroğlu, Ittihat ve Terakki Committee brought Turkish journalists to Gelibolu, where they wrote about war (Köroğlu, 2007, p.8). Contrary to this, journalists either portrayed the losses as successes or actually dismissed them to escape the collapse in civilian morality. For example, there is no notice in the newspapers of the failure of the Ottoman attack on the Suez Canal. Even the Kafkas Campaign was extensively filtered. The catastrophic outcomes of the War of Sarıkamış, in particular, were generally kept secret from the public. When the Ottoman army was withdrawing in Sarikamish, on 4 January 1915 Tanin wrote an article called "Great Victory" reporting that 2,400 Russian soldiers had been defeated by the Ottoman army and achieved an utter win (Karaman, 2016, p.75). As seen in these examples politicians use newspapers to manipulate public opinion.

Moreover, politicians try to use magazines as a tool for political propaganda. The biggest benefit of the magazines here is the visual and personal release. One of the most relevant example that can be given is the manipulation techniques used by Nazi Germany. The Nazi government has used magazines and eye-catching cover images to specifically target women. They asked women to maintain control at home and have children to serve for the Nazi government. According to Brashler, officials of the Nazi party used their propaganda department to constantly trying to influence women with photos of pregnancy and domesticity to keep women at home, and men in the public sector (Brashler, 2015). Moreover, Brashler said propaganda's illustrate women as happy, smiling and mothers surrounded by kids. Propaganda tells stories about how women are happy with children (Brashler, 2015). Thanks to this, they tried to show all the women in the country as a multilevel housewife and mother. The Nazis tried to take advantage of women's birth characteristics. Nazi Women's magazine, Frauen Warte, the covers have images of German women in the countryside on them, cute kids and flowers. Inside the magazine there were articles from war news, child rearing, home care advice, and career advice on a range of topics (Brashler, 2015). Shults indicates that despite Nazi’s traditionalist propaganda stressed the practical aspects of childbearing, such as the need for exercise and fitness (Shults, 1982). Because, if women are healthy during pregnancy, children are going to be healthy. Also, there are propaganda magazines which show women should make sports. In addition, women's feminist feelings were tried to be suppressed in these propaganda, according to Evans (Evans, 1976). Anti-feminist propaganda was given to German women through a sense of motherhood. Because Nazis thought it would be difficult to control women if feminist emotions are not suppressed. As seen in these examples, the Nazis used propaganda styles that women could enjoy. Thanks to this, they have effectively used the means of communication that can reach women. As seen in this example, politicians manipulate people politically through magazines and use them for their own purposes.

To conclude, politicians are using the media to spread their ideas and manipulate public opinion. While doing this, politicians use social media and magazines as tools and affect people to serve their own purposes.


  1. Bradshaw, S., & Howard, P. (2017). Troops, Trolls and Troublemakers: A Global Inventory of Organized Social Media Manipulation (Vol. 2017.12, pp. 1–37). Oxford Internet Institute.
  2. Brashler, K. (2015). Mothers for Germany: a look at the ideal woman in Nazi propaganda. Graduate Theses and Dissertations.14354.
  3. Evans, R. (1976). German Women and the Triumph of Hitler. The Journal of Modern History, 48(1), 123-175.
  4. Karaman, M. (2016). Birinci Dünya Savaşı’nın İlk Yılında Tanin, 75.
  5. Köroğlu, A. (2007). Ottoman Propaganda and Turkish Identity, 83.
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  8. Vedder-Shults, N. (1982). Motherhood for Fatherland: The Portrayal of Women in Nazı Propaganda(GERMANY), ProQuest Dissertations and Theses.

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