Propaganda & Mass Persuasion: Unhealthy Propaganda?

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Unhealthy Propaganda?

“As the dangerous eating disorder anorexia nervosa reaches epidemic proportions among young girls and women, hundreds of pro-anorexia web sites keep appearing on the internet. These web sites, which appear to be put up by young anorexic females and friends, offer advice on dieting tips for drastic weight loss, strategies to trick parents into believing that their daughters are eating , and praise on behalf of extreme thinness. Visual propaganda on these Pro-Ana (anorexia is personified as “My friend Ana”) Web sites features photographs of famous models and movie stars that have been altered to make them appear even thinner than they actually are. Photographs of extremely obese women are also shown to trigger extreme fasting.” (Jowett & O’Donnell p.11)

Propaganda and persuasion can be used to promote products or push political figures, but when it starts to show the positives of self destruction one might call it unhealthy, unethical or even, criminal. It is denigrating, rude and selfish to push your beliefs on someone else, especially when no good can come of it! Not only are you being disrespectful by pushing your beliefs on a certain party but often times are being misleading! The commonly known propagandist often tries to twist the facts to highlight their argument, rather than educating the public on the truth. The parties responsible for showing the positive aspects of anorexia are simply ridiculous. The truth of the matter is that there is far more harm that can come from this type of behavior in comparison of the short term fix one might obtain.


Blogger A. Mattson said...

An interesting post and example.

How are these web-sites (however misguided) examples of propaganda? If you put up a web site promoting a cause or issue that you feel strongly about, are you a propagandist? Or is this just about personal opinion? When do we move from one person's opinions to an organized campaign of mass persuasion? Does that require some form of organization? Or is every blogger with an axe to grind a propagandist?

2/10/2008 11:51 PM  

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