Information is an integral element required for comprehensive communication and accurate interpretation of messages. The video presented has been useful in understanding the intent of circulating different media content (Attkisson). It notes that most online advertisements intend to dictate human behavior in the consumption of commodities. Developing inaccurate information and circulating it through different social media platforms is a strategy used to improve sales of vital products, especially medicine. Additionally, the video also highlights the framework used to spread information with particular motives or specific interests (Attkisson). For instance, it highlights that sponsoring firms of pharmaceutical products ensure objective coordination among medical practitioners and professional journalists. The intention is to spread information persuading the users of its positive and attractive attributes. Moreover, the video identifies online media platforms where information distortion is executed strategically. For instance, WebMD and Wikipedia are used to ensure potential consumers are convinced about an advertised product. The platforms are open, implying any online member can edit information after researching a given topic. The video has also been critical in understanding how to differentiate various types of information (Attkisson). For instance, platforms using informal language in the medical field could spread uninformed messages across unsuspecting internet users. Similarly, non-compliance to research ethics in communicating findings and results could also indicate a fake source of information. Advertisement practices intended to improve sales of a product unfairly should be regulated to ensure fair competition. However, the video shows that some multinational corporations have an added advantage in attracting high sales through online marketing (Attkisson). Media manipulation, consequently, can result in social, political, and economic conflicts, as evidenced in the U.S.
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I believe media manipulation has contributed substantially to fake news that destabilizes societies in different dimensions. Ideally, online and social media platforms have become a vital source of information to many people. Digital information is consumed by people from diverse demographics, mainly including teenagers and young adults (Attkisson). This category of individuals has access to online sources of learning material for academic reasons. Consuming inaccurate information can result in faulty intellectual development aimed at improving knowledge levels among individuals. I am convinced that ill-motives of spreading messages across online platforms are tactically implemented to exploit a particular group of population. For instance, creating an uninformed ecosystem of medical information in online media can mislead both medical students and patients. Professionals in the healthcare industry would be misguided on the ethical integration of medication practices away from profitability. In other terms, inaccurate media content develops a culture of profitability among doctors and nurses who should be committed to ensuring prompt recovery among patients. Similarly, unsuspecting online users seeking medical information on a short-term illness could obtain messages that attract chronic complications. I am fascinated to learn that not everything on the internet contains accurate information. Traditionally, open sources such as Wikipedia and WebMD are mainly mistrusted as any individual can edit content (Attkisson). This approach presents an opportunity for information manipulation sponsored by multinational corporations. However, it is interesting that even secured, verified, and accredited websites might contain inaccurate content intended to increase sales or manipulate public opinion. Online sources have contributed to incomprehensive knowledge development as internet users cannot differentiate between verified and invalid content. Most importantly, media manipulation is responsible for social conflicts during political periods, as evidenced in the U.S. General Elections of 2020.
“Astroturf and manipulation of media messages” YouTube, uploaded by TED University of Nevada, 2020.