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  • The practice of twisting information in a clever and unscrupulous manner for the purpose of influencing people and misleading them into action.

    Examples of—as well as accusations about— manipulation have been noted in advertising content for products and services, in campaign messages by candidates seeking political office, in the reporting of news, in organizational communication, in recruiting posters for the armed forces, and in government information dissemination. Regarding the latter, the American presidential candidate Adlai Stevenson made a statement in 1957 about “distortion and manipulation of the news—not by the press, but to the press.”

    People often do not perceive deviations from the truth because the deviations are either minor or because they come from sources people deem reliable. Therefore, the deceivers succeed in misleading their targets, ...

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