The 10 strategies of media manipulation according to Noam Chomsky

The “father of modern linguistics” Noam Chomsky has compiled a list of the ten most effective and common media manipulation strategies used today in the world. But why is it essential to be able to recognize them? We will find it out in this article.



Avram Noam Chomsky is an American linguist and cognitive scientist who has played a major role in remodeling the study of language. According to The New York Times, he is regarded as one of the most important thinkers in our era. In this article, we will analyse the ten strategies of media control he drew up and which are fundamental to be truly aware of the persuasion to which we are subject every day.


1. The strategy of distraction: according to Chomsky, it consists in shifting public attention from important issues to irrelevant things, depriving people of time to think;


2. Creating problems and then offering solutions: sometimes, the powers make people think there is a certain problem that needs an outside solution, which they obviously can offer.


3. The strategy of graduation: in order to make an unacceptable measure accepted, a good way is to introduce it gradually;


4. The strategy of deferring: it is easier to accept a future sacrifice than an immediate one, therefore an unpopular decision should be introduced in advance. In this way people will accept it easier;


5. Treating people like children: this strategy is used in many advertisements. Talking to adults using childish characters and intonation will increase the probability that they will respond with the critical sense of a kid;


6. Using the emotional aspect much more than the rational one: another way to kill people’s critical thinking abilities is to convey messages full of emotional content to reach their unconscious;


7. Keeping people in ignorance and mediocrity: this strategy consists in making the public incapable of thinking by maintaining a low level of education.



8. Stimulating people to be complacent with mediocrity: convincing the public to think that vulgarity, ignorance and frivolous lifestyles are fashionable is a good way to manipulate them;


9. Strengthening self-blame: according to this strategy, convincing people that they, and only they, are the culprits of their misfortunes will make them try to fit in the environment at all costs.


10. Getting to know the individuals better than they know themselves: the scientific progress has created a knowledge gap between the elites and the population. The goal of this strategy is to block people’s critical thinking thanks to the “system” ’s advanced knowledge of human beings.


Were you aware of any of these ways to manipulate people’s psyche? Let us know in the comments!


Articolo a cura di: Marijana Jovanovic



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