Why obvious lies make great propaganda

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For leaders like Trump and Putin, telling big lies isn't about persuasion -- it's about power.

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At first glance, US President Donald Trump and Russian leader Vladimir Putin seem to have wildly different communication styles. But what they share is a tendency to repeat big, obvious lies -- a tactic researchers have dubbed the “firehose of falsehood.” Whether it’s lying about Russian troops in Crimea or falsely claiming millions of people voted illegally during the 2016 election, both leaders demonstrate a kind of shamelessness when it comes to telling and retelling big lies. And that’s because firehosing isn’t actually about persuasion. It’s about power.

Read the original "firehose of falsehood" report:

Read more of Masha Gessen’s work at The New Yorker: newyorker.com/news/our-columnists/how-pu...

Read more of Christopher Paul’s work at RAND: rand.org/about/people/p/paul_christopher...

On Strikethrough, Vox producer Carlos Maza explores the challenges facing the news media in the age of Trump. Follow Carlos on Facebook for more: facebook.com/CarlosMazaVox

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