More and more people are deliberately “playing” the media for personal gain. This gain can be purely financial, but also informational and influence wise. I’ve explained in other posts how the Neo-Nazi group “Nordic Resistance Movement” displayed excellent media savvy during the planning and execution of their recent march in a southern Norwegian town. Unable to spread their message through conventional means in the mainstream press, they expertly baited both the media and the general populace into giving them free media coverage worth a tremendous amount of money.
I further explained in the post that their goal, their condition for victory if you will, was to garner as much attention as possible. Attention equals recruitment, monetary donations and spreading their influence through the wide dissemination of their message. They achieved all this through baiting both the outrage-horny media and the non-media savvy population at large. The media coverage was massive both at the time, and in the weeks since their march. To say that the coverage has been out of proportion to what actually took place is to downplay actual events severely.
Yesterday, I read in a leading national newspaper a lengthy piece by a man taken away in handcuffs for obstructing this march. He wrote at length about his displeasure about this group being allowed to voice their opinion in public, and his treatment by the police. Does he seriously not realize that he is playing right into the hands of the group he so vehemently opposes? I thought that this story had been played out, after all it took place in early August. But no, people like this outraged man, politicians virtue signalling ahead of the national election coming up and other social commentators are fuelling the fire of this story. And fuelling this story is helping the Neo-Nazi group recruit more followers, garner more donations and spreading their views far and wide.
Another prime example of the media providing free media coverage/PR upon “request” took place this week. A “Sugar Dating” website placed some intentionally provocative billboards around the capital city. They absolutely knew one hundred percent that feminists, politicians, leftists of all stripes, the consumer protection agency and so on would throw a fit. The result being completely predictable, high resolution pictures of the billboard in question being plastered all over newspapers, websites and so on. The website address to the company behind the billboards prominently displayed in every single picture. As a cost-saving measure for advertising, this tactic is absolutely brilliant. All the blogposts, letters to the editor and so on lamenting the phenomenon of sugar dating, all bring more attention to the for-profit company behind this whole kerfuffle.
Others with knowledge about information warfare have employed similar tactics to garner influence and name recognition beyond their natural limits. The new political party Alliansen (The Alliance) have successfully used the very same method for spreading knowledge about their existence far beyond what they would naturally have based on their number of supporters. Their leader is an expert at raising provocative issues on Twitter and social media. It has been claimed that even after all we saw with Trump, that social media still has limited influence in electoral politics. The Alliance proves these claims to be incorrect. Social media influence requires new media savvy, and few of the conventional political parties have that. Their poor showing is then used as proof for the inefficacy of social media outreach.
The Trump-style tactic of deliberately baiting the media into covering you with provocations works remarkably well, even after almost a year has passes since his election. One would think that people would have caught on to this tactic by now, but it still works like clockwork. If what we have seen so far is any indication, it will remain viable for a very long time to come.