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The communicative components of a psychological / information operation

Обновлено 27.03.2024 15:51


Psychological / information operation is, first of all, communication, therefore we are interested in the types of communicative processes that most effectively serve its purposes. G. Jowett and V. O'Donnell define propaganda as manipulation of a symbolic environment, which can be without a physical environment, and with it. In the latter case, we have a variant of the influence of new communication technologies on the essence of propaganda, that is, changing the conditions for transmitting messages forms certain characteristics of the message itself. Yu also wrote on this topic. Lotman, when he was thinking about the problem of translating texts written in different cultural languages. With such recoding, there is always a fraction that cannot be translated, and it is this fraction that most successfully reproduces the essence of this type of communication channel.

An important component of a psychological operation is another audience, usually by definition it is always an audience outside their country. This is necessarily noted in the relevant definitions.

For example, "An organization for 'international communications' means an organization in one country for communication either with the world as a whole or with a separate audience in another country." Since this is a different audience, we know its language and culture less well. Sometimes, believing that we know, we get negative results due to real ignorance. For example, the field charter for psychological operations of the United States speaks about the use of the ace of spades during the Vietnam War, which is a symbol of death for Western culture. But this was a mistake, because this symbol does not have such a meaning in Eastern culture. Or such an example as leaflets that were written in imperfect Japanese, which caused smiles at the first stage of the psychological warfare of the Pacific operation. The effect of such international communications can be directed at both individual and mass consciousness. There are operations for remote influence on the leader, which allows you to achieve maximum accuracy in communication. This is made possible by a detailed knowledge of this person and his communication channels. On the other hand, mass consciousness as a special object is also subject to accurate and objective measurement. The success of psychological surgery depends on the accuracy of this study.

Within the framework of psychological operations, we will be interested in two options for information actions:

entering characteristics;

replacement of characteristics.

The types of characteristics introduced are determined by three main components of the communication process - the target audience, the key message and the communication channel. At the same time, the key communicator (or the leader of public opinion) is also, in our opinion, an element of the channel, since it is quite seriously connected with it.

Researchers identify two types of key communicators: universal, associated with all channels, and specific, associated with a specific channel.

The message must meet the personal needs of the recipient of the information. For example, during World War II, propagandists conveyed the following message to German soldiers: "Wouldn't it be better to use your courage and strength for your own life when Germany is rehabilitated after the war?" The message should also not attack, it should speak to the audience in its language, recognize the bravery and professionalism of the enemy soldiers. At the same time, one should emphasize the inevitability of one's victory and the obligatory defeat of the enemy.

When planning psychological operations, attention is paid to the choice of a communication channel through which any message can be transmitted. At the same time, even the crowd in the American field charter is considered as a variant of the channel, which is also the recipient of this message.

In the Soviet and post-Soviet space, the level of trust in the source of information is a very important parameter, since quite often official messages do not find support among the population precisely because of the low level of trust. It is in this area that an important link between the government and the population has been lost, at the same time in the United States, government public relations actively developed during the depression years, when the government had nothing but words to offer its population.

Radio was a popular means of propaganda during the Second World War (which was later duplicated during the Cold War). At that time, this was the main tool for Germany: it had a network of 26 radio stations. At the same time, foreign broadcasting was monitored to fight back against rumors. However, there is one drawback in this model: it is not possible to refer to other people's data in order not to distribute it yourself. Professor Ya. Zasursky in the program "The Third Superfluous" rightly stressed about Western propaganda in Soviet times, it told us about events inside the country, not outside it.

Such topics will always be popular if you keep quiet about them.

A message can affect the characteristics of a communication channel in different ways. One or another channel can be rebuilt according to the information it receives. For example, media coverage during the Persian Gulf War, due to the introduction of special censorship on visual messages, affected the creation of computer graphics. The same system in a new situation can build up other "muscles". One researcher on the Gulf War writes: "Anti-war critics in the media accused the television networks of trying to decorate the face of the war with the help of videography. But this criticism was not taken into account, because the essence of good television design is aimed at attracting the viewer, while hiding aspects that are repulsive. Well-made graphics are theoretically capable of raising the rating." The author's next conclusion is even more serious: "Never before has a carefully made electronic image dominated the coverage of the conflict" (P 80).

As a result, films from the Vietnam War period that showed the real conflict began to look outdated. All this once again demonstrates that the channel gives its characteristics to the message and thanks to this, the viewer sees a symbolic picture of the channel, and not real situations. The graphics came out on top due to a shortage of personnel, i.e. the very essence of the channel came into conflict with the lack of real filling, which manifested itself in solving the problem in a purely Hollywood way - with the help of animation, albeit computer.

R. Maklaurin distributed the factors of persuasion into such:

source factors;

content factors;

channel factors;

audience factors.

Prestigious sources are considered more reliable, especially for a short period. At the same time, if the audience feels that the source is trying to change public opinion, the effectiveness of the messages immediately decreases. Bringing the audience and the source closer together increases the power of persuasion.

Regarding the content of the message, E. Bettinghouse wrote that the meaning is contained not in words, but in people. R. McLaurin also talks about the meaning of the content for non-verbal action, meaning by it the support of goals by action.

From the point of view of the audience, there are messages whose persuasive power is felt or not felt by the audience.

Research in the field of psychological operations and in the field of Public Relations begins with the so-called communicative audit. As a result, an answer should appear to the question of which channel or combination of channels is desirable for this type of audience. As a result of the analysis of the audience, we can answer the question of what we are vulnerable to, what is our susceptibility to certain propaganda messages.

After conducting such a communicative audit and an appropriate analysis of the audience, you can more clearly formulate your actions and goals. Knowledge of public opinion allows us to take the next step - to try to build a national model of the world. This model makes it possible to see the positive and negative characteristics of objects.

In general, the research has the following objectives:

to identify target audiences;

motivations and views of individuals and groups of selected audience types;

analysis of vulnerability points from the point of view of psychological surgery;

determining the most effective message content;

defining communication channels;

evaluation of the effectiveness of psychological surgery programs.

Let's emphasize once again what we started with: we are talking about communication parameters. Even a detailed (cultural or ethnographic) analysis of the audience aims to build a more accurate communication flow, which as a result can help save material and intellectual resources. The choice of alternatives in all these cases is carried out only from the point of view of increasing the effectiveness of propaganda communication.

The scope of psychological operations in the modern world is not narrowing, but, on the contrary, is expanding. F. Taylor sees the following reasons for this: "Psychological operations were no longer tied to the traditional battlefield, since the global information space became such a field. They were used in low-intensity conflicts, for example, colonial and guerrilla wars, which needed high-intensity propaganda, they were used in the escalation of the conflict in Vietnam." The opposite side, for example, the IRA terrorists, attaches no less importance to their propaganda activities. In the modern world, the role and status of psychological operations are not decreasing yet, but are increasing, as the role and status of the information component of modern civilizations are increasing.

Factors for improving the efficiency of an information operation. Information operations have become an important part of military strategy today. R. Nixon already believed that a dollar invested in propaganda is more important than a dollar invested in weapons, since it starts working immediately. However, we still do not understand enough what these new opportunities for influence bring with them. The apologist of this trend in the USA is V. Schwartau declares: "Most people, and certainly most in Washington, have no idea what problematic issues should be raised in order to create a national information policy." Society (especially in countries with economies in transition) faces the task of stabilization. Among them is the creation of a new macro identity. In the CIS countries, the transition from the "Soviet man" type to new types of identity has almost stopped, including joining various voluntary associations, whereas in the USA almost 75% of the population belong to such associations, i.e. a more multi-layered and, consequently, more stable structure is being created.

The communication system is not chaotic, not random: it is constantly being rebuilt, acquiring more optimal forms. What factors influence the increase in influence?

The equivalence factor.

Countries at the post-industrial level of development are equally ready for impact through the same type of role of the information component. At the same time, countries that have not yet reached this level do not have information points of vulnerability. However, they, in turn, can influence post-industrial countries on an equal footing. As R. Pfalzgraff and R. Schultz write, "post-industrial societies are more dependent on information and will become the most vulnerable in the information war."

For example, terrorists act in the same way, for whom interaction with the media is becoming an obligatory element of strategy today.

The factor of the social environment.

A person who is influenced by an information operation makes a decision not by himself, but taking into account his social environment.

Americans took this factor into account during the Vietnam War: many did not desert until they received confirmation from relatives or friends that the Vietnamese government would fulfill its promises regarding good behavior and other aspects of the amnesty program. Therefore, we are talking about taking into account the existing social networks of influence, building your communication taking into account existing relationships.

Communications are of a social nature, which should be taken into account when planning interaction. The task is to transform mass communication into concrete decision-making at the individual level.

The factor of visual dominance.

Recent information campaigns have proved the importance of controlling the visual component of communication. On the one hand, television has become dominant among other media in terms of its impact on mass consciousness. In addition, the visual message is not only better perceived and stored in memory longer, but is also perceived as true ("it is better to see once than to hear a hundred times"). A verbal message must undergo an appropriate verification of the degree of conformity with reality when processed by a person. The military operations in the Persian Gulf demonstrated the results of such control: there were no photos of broken American tanks or dead/wounded soldiers. The control over the visual image led to its absence in television news, which was reflected in the appearance of computer animation in the news.

The factor of thematic dominance.

Communication adapts to those topics that are essential for a particular context. For example, in the history of the former USSR during the period of perestroika, such a topic was the economic issue: political demands are propagandistically linked to the standard of living.

A little hyperbolizing, we can say that such an object as a sausage has become one of the main factors in the introduction of democracy. This is especially beneficial in an aggressive environment, by which we mean a communicative environment where messages of the opposite content operate. When one niche was saturated with arguments, there was a transition to another niche, which was free. At the same time, there was a transition from one niche to another in the mass consciousness. As a result, slogans like "Who ate my meat?" they find their realization where the enemy's positions are weak.

The form dominance factor.

In a propaganda message, both the content and the form "work". In some cases, the successful form of the message becomes the main factor of influence, since in the early stages it is very important to attract attention to the message, which is done by a form that also helps to memorize the message. In this, one can see a rapprochement with sacred and poetic texts, which can be influenced by form alone. This type of impact has been used by mankind since ancient times, and it must be taken into account when planning modern information campaigns.

The factor of discrepancy between one's own and someone else's communication.

The object of the impact of psychological and information operations is fundamentally "not its own population." There is a corresponding lack of equivalence, which is not always taken into account by those who plan this type of communication. For example, an analysis of the action of North Vietnamese propaganda showed the ineffectiveness of using standard terms in it from the point of view of the internal audience, for example, "American imperialists". For the Germans during World War II, the theme that did not work in propaganda was the "capitalist Jewish rebellion." The effectiveness of propaganda is also lost with a strong overestimation of their positions (and a corresponding underestimation of the enemy's positions).

The factor of heterogeneity of the audience.

Even the opponent's audience only seems homogeneous, in fact it is not. For example, an analysis of German prisoners of war during World War II showed that only 10% of them were actually fanatical Nazis, and 25% should be added to them, who can be recognized as Nazis with some reservations.

The factor of translation into action.

It is about translating a communicative message into action, i.e. translating a verbal message into a non-verbal one. This applies not only to the enemy, civilians are also being prepared for a possible behavior after peace is concluded in order to prevent the destruction of civilian communications and the plundering of resources. The translation of a verbal message into a non-verbal one is characterized by a clash of two different norms, which must be taken into account when creating propaganda messages.

The refutation factor of counterarguments.

The propaganda message should be formulated in such a way as to refute possible counterarguments, anticipating them in advance.

The notification should contain two fundamentally different levels: argumentation and counterargument at the same time. This is very important, because such a message gets into the mass consciousness in conditions when many other messages act against it. There can be only one opportunity for communicative contact, which should be used to the maximum, including assigning it the functions of the second stage of communicative contact, immediately responding to possible objections from the audience. Two communication options should already be present in the original propaganda message, since it may be the only one.

The context detail factor.

It is necessary to know as much as possible the context in which communication takes place and a decision is made. P. Katz says in this regard about working with all carriers of such information, including tourists. "Specific and detailed information is needed on a wide range of issues, including personal safety, travel restrictions, police methods and means of surveillance, the role of religion and religious leaders, traditional as opposed to "progressive", social models, the role of small business in the "new social order", prohibitions on communication processes, "the tone of social control", the role of education in the "new row", the degree and level of social services." In such lists, one of the important items acceptable to a given society is communication models. For the United States, the main source of such information is the CIA and military intelligence, as well as the USIA.

Here are the types of questions to define the model of society.

What are the main issues of concern to the local population?

Do these problems concern all or only certain segments of the population?

Can this problem be exploited by the enemy?

What ideas find an emotional response in society?

What is the degree of influence of political doctrines or religious dogmas on communication?

What types of music, literature, drama, painting and other cultural symbols evoke an emotional response in society?

Who are the key communicators for a religious figure, a politician, a teacher, a worker, a farmer, a businessman, a policeman, a military man?

What are people's hopes for the future?

What are considered possible and acceptable life goals?

Do the inhabitants of the country feel that they belong to a single ethnic society?

What values justify the existence of a system of social stratification?

Which elements of society will be against changes in class stratification and why?

Who is considered to be responsible for the relevant problems in the country and why?

How does the population feel about the opponent as a whole?

What changes in thoughts have occurred recently or after relevant actions or events?

What links can be established between changes in public opinion and events or actions?

What is the level of effectiveness of opposition propaganda?

Into which subgroups is the population divided in relation to relevant issues?

What are the points of vulnerability and sensitivity of target groups in terms of motivating topics or topics that should be avoided?

Which media are effective means of communication for specific groups?

Which communications are recognized by the group as reliable?

What behaviors can the target group be persuaded to adopt?

Is there a cult of heroism about the military?

In these matters, it is interesting to detail, which leads to the construction of a specific model of society, where segments with fundamentally different behavior are clearly identified.

The factor of the difference between visual and verbal messages.

Visual characteristics are focused on action, on the reflection of appearance, additional features that do not always have a verbal reflection. Vsevolod Meyerhold emphasized the need to own a drawing for a director: "Before placing people on stage, you can use either the simplification method (in connection with a primitive decorative panel as a background), or the "sculptural" method ("without decorations", as in "Human Life" in my staging)."

Information wars significantly strengthen a strong player and weaken a weak opponent, since their advantages can only be taken advantage of at another civilizational level. If information wars and psychological operations are aimed at a foreign audience, then such a profession as a spin doctor arises to work in the information space of one's own state. The spin doctor works to direct public thought in one direction or another. It is especially important in situations where public thought has gone a crooked way through the wrong behavior of leaders, unauthorized leaks of information, etc., i.e. the spin doctor works primarily with negative situations.

The CIS countries are faced with only one side of this phenomenon - the war of compromising materials. But no less important and much more difficult is another aspect of this problem - correcting the situation that has arisen as a result of a change in public opinion in the right direction. G. Kurtz sees the importance of "spin wars" in the fact that for most people national policy has no meaning in their daily lives. The two sides - the attacker and the defender - have to make extra efforts to draw the attention of the population to their problems. Moreover, it is possible to use methods from the field of information warfare, where operations of concealment and impotence are distinguished.

The former are intended to mislead the enemy's information systems, the latter to overload them. Very often, the first method is used in our political life.

Admittedly, the spin doctor's work was not new to the Soviet system. One of the main functions of a spin doctor is to create appropriate expectations of an event before it occurs. The Soviet system also possessed these tools perfectly. For example, Western researchers define such a scheme of a typical Soviet information campaign:

identification of the shortcomings of the system through the publication in the press of numerous letters from workers;

Adoption of a resolution aimed at eliminating certain shortcomings;

reports from local leaders on the success of the campaign.

There is also, albeit very conditionally, taking into account the opinion of the population as a starting point for making a decision.

As a result, we can imagine such a scheme of influence as the main one: the transition from one system to another - from an information system to a system of action. Information ® Action.

Such a transition requires appropriate transcoding of one type of message into another. To simplify transcoding, it is necessary to rely on certain networks available in society, by which we understand the ways of distributing information characteristic of this society. Let's name some of them.

Social networks, which include key communicators, as well as discussion networks, in which information is transformed from public to individual. Information will not be effective if it is not accompanied by the following discussion.

Communication networks as acceptable ways for a particular society to receive and provide information. The main thing, both in this and in other cases, is the coincidence with the existing ways of transmitting information in a given society or its segments.

R. Maklaurin speaks of reliability as the immediate operational goal of a psychological operation. "All psychological operations try to establish the authenticity of the message, the communicator and, usually, both. Reliability is a key factor in psychological operations, having short-term and long-term importance in maintaining a specific operation." Reliability in general is actually becoming a fairly dynamic category, because the same message that comes from different communicators has different reliability for the audience.

In principle, the choice of the optimal route of the message is due precisely to the fact that its effectiveness increases as a result, and does not remain constant or decrease, for example, due to the transmission of this message.

Taking into account the transition from information to action highlights the types of messages that are directly related to actions.

For example, a postcard telling about the next bombing will have maximum effectiveness. There is nothing the opposite side can oppose to this postcard, which indicates a decrease in counter-propaganda activity in this case.

Special attention is paid to the means of obtaining information available in this society, which were designated above as communication networks. In the planning schemes of American psychological operations, it is proposed to pay attention to this issue:

How does information get to people?

Who depends on the radio, newspapers, or other individuals for information? ■ Who listens to the radio and when?

Who goes to the movies?

Who reads what magazines?

By the way, P Katz also talks about the above-mentioned reliability characteristic when he emphasizes that it is necessary to understand which types of messages will be believed the most, which types of messages are perceived by the audience and lead to the desired actions. This is also due to the fact that messages must comply with group standards.

There is even such a good term as information behavior, with which you can characterize this entire area.

There are strategic and tactical psychological operations. In some cases, the difference between them is very conditional, in others, on the contrary, it is significant. "Although strategic and tactical psychological operations coincide in many specific cases, there is a significant conceptual difference between communications to support long-term state interests and to support immediate offensive operations." This also applies to the use of certain arguments to influence the population in different periods.

We are gradually moving towards clarifying the information components of society, which makes it possible to develop both operations to protect our own information space and offensive operations, knowledge of which is also necessary in modern society.

Features of radio propaganda as an asymmetric information action.

We must recognize radio propaganda as fundamentally asymmetric, since conducting propaganda broadcasting to another country is associated not only with its complete political and economic inconsistency with what a person usually hears, but also with the fact that, according to the laws of propaganda, it is impossible to respond to the speeches of "enemy voices" so as not to draw attention to them. At the same time, thematically, these broadcasts are focused on other types of messages that do not exist within the country, since repetition would lead to the fact that no one would simply listen to them. Thus, we can talk about three fundamental asymmetries associated with international broadcasting: the lack of equivalence of countries causes a discrepancy between worldviews and interpretations of events, the inability to respond through other media, as well as the discrepancy of messages.

The importance of this side of propaganda is demonstrated by the war in Yugoslavia in 1999, when radio and television centers also became targets of attack by NATO troops. In parallel, a network of radio transmitters was deployed with the introduction of twenty-four-hour broadcasting by NATO countries.

In the history of radio broadcasting, it was the former Soviet Union that first used radio broadcasting to solve international issues: This was in 1926 during the conflict with Romania over Bessarabia. In 1922, when the first broadcasts began, Moscow had the most powerful transmitter in the world. In 1929, Radio Moscow broadcast in four languages, in 1933 - eleven. The West perceived this as a call for revolution in their countries.

Radio was also of particular importance for Germany. In 1938, Goebbels distributed 25,000 receivers in Austria, tuned to German stations, in order to organize propaganda support for the "Anschluss". For Goebbels, it was the radio that was the main means of propaganda. The distribution of single-frequency receivers was then used during the Vietnam and Persian Gulf Wars. Shortwave radios were banned in Japan during World War II, as, by the way, in the former USSR during the wars.

Already during the Cold War, when jamming of radio broadcasts in the languages of the peoples of the USSR was used, the BBC took into account that the most educated citizens still listen to messages in English.

It was the BBC that held the palm tree in modeling its objectivity and ensuring an appropriate level of trust among listeners (although the English researcher G. Rawnsley rightly emphasizes: "Authenticity, balance and truth are used to sell a political message in the same way as open propaganda techniques." This status of the BBC is also confirmed by the fact that Soviet troops in Afghanistan created rumors, presenting them precisely as a BBC message. During the events in Hungary in 1956, people also believed the reports coming from the BBC. In the former Soviet Union, the BBC was seen as a much less propagandistically saturated source. Modeling reliability, objectivity, but from the side of a "hostile" voice, can also be considered as an unusual option, which means that this is again an asymmetric resource.

Asymmetry acts as an unpredictable action, to which it is difficult to give a symmetrical, that is, an assumed, response. In this regard, crisis situations have great opportunities for influence. Their main information factor should be recognized as an information vacuum, since there are delayed responses and actions on the part of government structures. The lack of information is compensated by rumors and reports from other people's radio stations.

In 1961, during the landing on Cuba in the Bay of Pigs, no one calculated the sufficiently understandable psychological consequences of this invasion. After all, it made sense only with the continued support of the Cuban people, which did not happen. The doubtfulness of such support was indicated by naval intelligence and relevant research by the USIA. But no one wanted to listen to this, the USIA was suspended altogether, and its head, Ed Murrow, learned about the invasion only from journalists. Kennedy's advisor A.

Schlesinger said that if he had seen this naval intelligence data, the invasion would not have happened. The USIA data also spoke of F.'s support.

Castro is his people. As a result, according to the West, the USSR received a propaganda victory without spending a cent for this.

The United States immediately learned lessons from this failure, Ed Murrow became a member of the special group that worked against Castro, a member of the National Security Council. He became the director of CBS news, replacing the propaganda direction of the Voice of America with the Third World, from proclaiming the successes of free enterprise to explaining the American role in the world.

When the crisis of 1962 arose, associated with the deployment of Soviet missiles, and the blockade of Cuba began, in the explanation of one of the leaders of the USIA about the speech of J. Kennedy has already mentioned such propaganda purposes:

to gain the understanding and support of Cubans about the blockade and possible further actions;

to convince the Cuban opposition not to interact with the Castro regime and to stop premature and ineffective uprisings.

By the way, the war in Kosovo also immediately caused the need to explain the reasons for the bombing not only to the international community, but also to the population of Yugoslavia. Due to weather conditions, 2 million leaflets were taken to the territory of Hungary (Komsomolskaya Pravda - 1999 - April 9).

There were also examples of asymmetric actions during the Vietnam War. The chairman of the Vietnamese division of the USIA, J. Meklin, proposed to single out the intelligentsia, students and the middle class from among the target groups in order to project their discontent to a wide audience in North Vietnam. We also consider this an asymmetric action, since the feelings of one stratum of society begin to be presented as the feeling of the whole nation. This "amplification" of only one voice really makes a monologue out of the dialogue. In Vietnam, J. Meklin repeated the identification of the most dissatisfied part of society by analogy with other socialist countries. His decision to direct propaganda not only to the North, but also to the South was also interesting. The same propaganda themes should have made sense for South Vietnam.

This propaganda war was eventually lost: The Voice of America did not have the level of trust that would enable it to carry out its tasks. American analysts believe in this case, propaganda wins when it is supported by victories on the battlefield, propaganda alone is not able to replace bad politics.

Methods of restructuring the communicative space.

Psychological / information operations primarily use the existing information space, relying on effective communication flows that already exist in it. There are two ways to make changes to this space:

1) by changing the message set;

2) by changing the organization of the space itself.

An example of the first option is a comparison of newspapers before the period of perestroika, the period of perestroika and today. Such a comparison will demonstrate the sharp thematic changes in the content of newspapers that have occurred during this time. Let's also recall the war of compromising materials, which can also be considered as a variant of the thematic shift. Another option for such a transformation is to change the priority of messages: more attention is given to the desired message, at the same time it reduces the level of attention to messages that are uninteresting from the point of view of the propagandist. The same is used in the case of filing a negative: power structures can send a negative message for them along with another negative one, rather than cause a surge of negative attention twice.

At the same time, and more effectively, changes can be made by rebuilding the information space itself. Let's look at some possible options for these changes.

Context expansion: when one group of society is given the right to vote by the media at the expense of others. In a speech to socialist countries during the Vietnam War, propagandists gave the floor, for example, to the intelligentsia, whose dissatisfaction with the situation was projected onto the whole society, while the voice of a small proportion of society became the voice of the whole society, which was beneficial for propaganda purposes.

Deceleration/ acceleration of information processes: depending on the needs, some information processes can be slowed down, others can be accelerated. As a result, the processes necessary for the communicator are accelerated/slowed down. For example, by opening a country to news from one part of the globe, we accelerate the development of common values and ideals. Another example, by slowing down the process of publishing books, creating our own film and television productions, we stop the processes of our own understanding of the situation, accepting the interpretations of other parties whose products we consume.

Replacement of key communicators: as it is written in the American charter on psychological operations, if key communicators do not work for the right purposes, they should be replaced by providing other key communicators to the society. Accordingly, each abrupt change puts forward new types of key communicators. For example, the period of perestroika pushed journalists and writers to new political positions for them.

Creating a passive majority: television is focused on factual material coming from various sources, it is impossible to recreate a clear picture of the world from it yourself. Accordingly, only the picture that the communicators want to give is perceived as true. Such an interpretation is perceived as the only possibility, it is immediately remembered.

The reorientation of the text from external to internal orientations: a message created based on the internal interests of the audience itself has a greater impact, so even American postcards from the Persian Gulf War talked about the Arab brotherhood. In the propaganda against Vietnam, the "Chinese card" was also played - references were made to Vietnam's old enemy China, that it was he who was interested in the war. The American Psychological Operations Manual provides an example of the use of folklore characters in counterinsurgency in Asia.

The transition of personal information into public discourse: "foreign" radio stations have always been distinguished by the fact that they gave out information that was fundamentally prohibited, for example, details from the life of the Soviet high society. During the Second World War, the British had the Gustav Siegfried Eins station, which was used as a source of "black" propaganda. For example, after interrogations of captured German submariners, compromising information about some German military and officials went on the air, resulting in resignations or suicides.

Using mythological matrices to comprehend new situations: it is about using existing mythological matrices to enhance influence on the population. For example, Mr. Rawnsley believes that the coverage of the Hungarian crisis was more successful than the coverage of the Suez crisis of the same year. This is due to the fact that the subject of coverage was understandable for propagandists, which allowed them to speak the language of black and white assessments.

In addition, the demonization of Nasser failed, although it was carried out according to the same model, since Nasser was not perceived as an enemy in its purest form, as was the case with the Soviet Union.

Attempts to present information in whole blocks: topics incomprehensible to the majority of the population (like the "currency corridor") are fundamentally not subject to their own understanding and processing, they enter the mass consciousness only together, they are recorded unchanged in memory.

The constant repetition of such topics contributes to their block memorization.

By the way, totalitarian sects use the same methods when they submit their information: incomprehensible texts are still remembered, but without appropriate comprehension.

Most of these principles are asymmetric, that is, unexpected on the part of the recipient of the information, which in turn makes them such that there are no ready-made answers.

The possibilities of asymmetric construction are not revealed by modern theories of influence, for example, rhetoric. The "alien" is always modeled as asymmetric, and is actively used by propaganda. During the cold war, the enemy was always perceived as asymmetric, even the presence of the same types of weapons was always fair for one side and unfair for the other. Both the USA and the USSR claimed: "The new missiles are for peace, theirs are for attack." Both Nixon and Reagan portrayed the USSR as an "evil empire." The USSR presented itself together with "progressive humanity", the USA - with reactionary. During the wars, various atrocities were attributed to the enemy; for example, in both the first and Second World Wars, it was said about the production of soap from dead people.

In general, there is an exaggeration of the difference: "ours" are only positives, "theirs" are only negatives. This can be called contrasting propaganda, and it fully corresponds to the principle of asymmetries.

On the other hand, there are situations that require symmetrical construction. For example, during the election campaign, candidates try to say what the population expects them to say. This is specifically tested on experimental groups. For example, during the 1996 US presidential election, when conducting experiments, each recipient rated certain parts of the candidate's speech on a scale from 0 to 100, what on average received a score above 80 was considered a good topic.

Symmetry is also necessary to ensure the unity of the state from the point of view of a single system of values common to all the people. A. Migranyan sees in such a system one of the four basic elements that create the state. As one of the ways out of the crisis, he considers a fundamentally asymmetric solution: the new government could sacrifice one of the oligarchic groups, directing the anger of the population at it.

The United States drew several conclusions from the propaganda defeat in Vietnam: one of them has already been mentioned above: nothing can replace local propaganda, since knowledge of language and culture is essential for the art of effective influence. This is surprising in this case because the United States has conducted fairly detailed studies of Vietnamese society, including models of influence on it. All this also suggests that it is impossible to build a new society in the CIS countries based on interpretations of reality provided by some other party. Only your own understanding of the situation makes it possible to have a real impact on it.

Serebryannikov, considering perestroika and post-perestroika processes in Russia, cites such an unknown fact: the leadership of the USSR prohibited conducting psychological operations in Vietnam and Afghanistan, since it was a foreign territory. Due to the opposite active position on this issue, one of the heads of the department of special propaganda, Major General L. Shershnev, was even dismissed.

S. Rastorguev builds a general scheme of the work of the Russian mass media in 1990-1997 for such purposes:

relaxation of society through the idea of the absence of enemies (goal: society as a whole disappears as an object of consciousness);

to force society to listen to only one development paradigm, for example, the Western one, and not the Muslim or Chinese one (the goal is to weaken public consciousness);

to force society not to reflect by removing serious analytical investigations of problems in the media (the goal is to slow down public thinking);

to focus the attention of society on other problems, for example, internal cataclysms, acts of terror (the goal is that the protection subsystem becomes unable to perform its functions);

constantly saying that society is getting better, everyone treats it better (the goal is to weaken historical memory and a sense of identity);

media assurances that this state is not exactly what it should be (the goal is to create a passive state of consciousness) We can consider such analyses to be the hyperbolization of their authors, but we should not reject even the theoretical possibilities of restructuring the information system of society. After all, it is possible to mislead society even in critical periods, for example, Japan, thanks to its disinformation system in 1939-1941, was able to completely unexpectedly attack the United States at Pearl Harbor. By the way, the Japanese used such an interesting name for propaganda as the "war of opinions".

Mr. Rawnsley also cites two significant conclusions from the work of propagandists during the Hungarian uprising. We have already mentioned one of them. It is obvious from the fact that Hungarians went to street battles hoping for American support:

there was a significant communication gap between American politicians and propagandists;

Propagandists should take into account exactly how the target audience will react to their messages.

The information space of a modern state should be able to work not only with positives, but also with negatives - those threats that arise hourly. It is working with negative situations that is a test of the effectiveness of the information space.

Based on the above, two variants of information asymmetry can be identified: asymmetry of the first degree and asymmetry of the second degree. If in the first case it is an asymmetry in any context, then in the second case it is only in a specially constructed context. For example, the USSR did not report that the downed U-2 Powers pilot was still alive. The United States was brought to their version of the incident statement, after which completely different information went out. The USSR used this model of the second degree of asymmetry once again when N. Khrushchev came to Paris for a summit meeting, and then demanded that the United States apologize, without which he would not have started the meeting and returned home.

The US propaganda in Vietnam could not get rid of such an asymmetric disadvantage as the "foreign invader", which led to their propaganda defeat, although this propaganda war was developed according to all laws.

An example from the First World War can be given: from May to October 1918, the Allies distributed in Austria-Hungary 60 million copies of 643 booklets in eight languages, 10 million copies of 112 different newspapers in four languages. In response, an equally powerful mechanism is being created to generate the necessary news for the propagandist.

Under such conditions, within the framework of a particular topic, sometimes there is a need for asymmetric solutions. For example, V. Kostikov recalls from the time when he worked as Boris Yeltsin's press secretary: "More often we simply did not react to such publications, because experience has shown that refutation only fuels rumors." Or another example: A. Gore never mentioned the name of M. Lewinsky (we are talking about the sex scandal associated with B. Clinton).

This is the creation of an obvious asymmetry, since the ether is filled with the opposite.

By the way, both the riddle and the anecdote are also examples of information asymmetry, because they try to hyperbolize only one feature, often not the main one, to give a description of the entire subject. Solving the riddle, we return to the symmetrical version of the world. But its balance is not creative and uninteresting. Therefore, the riddle is the first variant of asymmetric information.

Information asymmetry allows you to restructure the information space most effectively, since it is created not only with a certain construction option, but also possible reactions to it from the enemy. That is, information asymmetry is a more complex information product that takes into account not only the interests of the communicator, but also the next step on the part of its recipients.