“Black Propaganda” during WW II

Spin, strangeness, and charm

I used to think that “black propaganda” was something like “propaganda pushing a black legend” or “libelous propaganda”. But like so often, there is a difference between (often vaguely defined) usage of a phrase in ordinary conversation, and its precise definition as a “term of art”.

Thispaperon propaganda during WW II washighlyinformative. Briefly, in the “business”, “white propaganda” is defined as propaganda “under true flag”: it reveals its origin and does not purport to come from a neutral or opposing side. Examples on the Axis side are the Tokyo Rose and Axis Sally radio broadcasts, as well as the “Germany Calling” broadcasts of the pseudonymous Lord Haw-Haw.

In contrast, “Black Propaganda” is defined as propaganda under false flag: originating from the opponent’s side but disguising itself as friendly, for the purpose of sowing misinformation, confusion, demoralization, or all of the above. The term “Grey Propaganda” is used for cases…

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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Peter Steven Shea
    May 24, 2020 @ 05:28:10

    Believe many more people should be aware of just how powerful propaganda can be. Read Delmer’s Black Boomerang about 40 years ago. The title comes from the [then] present day Germans believing that most were against the war, when in fact that was English propaganda. Especially instructive is the use of – fact, fact, less than fact, fact, lie, fact – method of presentation. Propaganda is most apparent these days with facts used quite out of context.
    {Not sure how it fits with applied price theory} But thanks for posting

    Liked by 1 person

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