Sylvain Timsit manipulation strategies

Sylvain Timsit manipulation strategies

French writerSylvain Timsit In 2002 he described the 10 strategies of mass media manipulation through the media (decalogue often attributed erroneously to Noam Chomsky). His intention was to highlight the psychosocial tools that allow people to be distracted from what is really important. In this way, the real problems that the population suffers are blurred by manipulating public opinion with the help of the media, achieving a more submissive and uncritical society.

Historically the media have proven to be a tremendously efficient way to shape public opinion. Thanks to them social movements have been created or destroyed, financial crises, stimulated ideological currents have been hidden, and they are even said to be producers of reality within the collective psyche.


  • 1 Sylvain Timsit manipulation strategies
    • 1.1 The distraction strategy
    • 1.2 Create problems and then solve them
    • 1.3 The gradual strategy
    • 1.4 The defer strategy
    • 1.5 Address the public as if it were a child
    • 1.6 Use the emotional aspect before reflection
    • 1.7 Keep the public in ignorance and mediocrity
    • 1.8 Encourage the public to be complacent with mediocrity
    • 1.9 Strengthen self-healing
    • 1.10 Knowing individuals better than themselves

Sylvain Timsit manipulation strategies

But do you know what kind of psychosocial strategies and tools are used to influence people? Fortunately, Timsit has managed to synthesize and expose most of these practices, some more obvious and others more sophisticated, although apparently all equally effective, to achieve population manipulation through the media.

The strategy of distraction

This is considered the main element of social control, and consists in diverting public attention from important problems and the changes decided by political and economic elites, through the technique of flood of continuous distractions and insignificant information. The strategy of distraction is also essential to prevent public interest in essential knowledge in other areas such as science, economics, psychology, etc. The goal is to try to keep the attention of the audience distracted, away from the real social problems, captivated by unimportant issues. Keep the public busy, with no time to think ...

Create problems and then solve them

This method is also called "problem-reaction-solution" It creates a problem or a 'situation' that aims to cause some reaction in the public, but in reality what is sought is that the mass accept the measures to be taken. For example: urban violence is allowed to develop or intensify, or attacks are organized, so that the public is the final plaintiff of security laws and policies to the detriment of freedom. Another example would be: to create an economic crisis so that the backward movement of social rights and the dismantling of certain public services is accepted as a necessary evil.

The gradual strategy

It's about achieving the acceptance of an unacceptable measure, applying it gradually, slowly, even for years. That is the way in which radically new socio-economic conditions such as neoliberalism were imposed during the 1980s and 1990s: making privatizations, increasing precariousness, mass unemployment, wage control, does not guarantee a decent income, etc. All these changes would have led to a revolution if they had been applied suddenly.

The defer strategy

Another way to to accept an unpopular decision is to present it as “painful but necessary”, obtaining public acceptance at the time, with the promise of applying it in the future. It is easier to accept a future sacrifice than an immediate sacrifice. First, because the effort should not be made immediately. Then, because the public always has the tendency to naively hope that "everything will improve tomorrow" and that the required sacrifice can be avoided. This gives the mass more time to get used to the idea of ​​change and to accept it with resignation when the time comes.

Address the public as if it were a child

Most of the publicity directed to the general public is done using a discourse, arguments, characters and somewhat childish intonations, as if the spectator were a child of little age or little knowledge. The more you try to fool the viewer, the more you tend to adopt a childish tone. Apparently when someone addresses a person as 12 years old or younger, it is easier to suggest it, since they tend to get a response or reaction also devoid of critical sense as a person of 12 years.

Use the emotional aspect before reflection

Using the most emotional side of people is a classic technique to stop the rational analysis of a situation., as well as its critical sense. On the other hand, the use of an emotional register makes it easier to access the unconscious to implant ideas, desires, fears and fears, compulsions, or induce behavior.

Keep the public in ignorance and mediocrity

It's about getting that the general public is unable to understand the technologies and methods used for their control (cuts in education, cuts in teachers, scholarships, expensive masters, careers impossible for almost a large population, cultural VAT increases as if it were a luxury item ... and much more).

Encourage the public to be complacent with mediocrity

Promote the belief that it is okay and It is fashionable to be a vulgar, uneducated, unintellectual or correct person... there is nothing more to see which television spaces become audience leaders like Big Brother, survivors, soccer that goes around any other programming.

Strengthen self-healing

Make the individual believe that only he is to blame for his own misfortune, mainly due to their lack of intelligence, their poor abilities, or their lack of effort. Thus, instead of rebelling against the economic system, the individual is blamed and self-helpless, which leads to a depressive state, one of whose effects is the inhibition of his action. And, without action, there is no revolution…

Knowing individuals better than themselves

Over the past few years, advances in science have been so accelerated that they have generated a growing gap between public knowledge and those owned and used by dominant elites. Thanks to biology, neurosciences and applied psychology, the "system" has enjoyed advanced knowledge of the human being, both physically and psychologically. The "system" has got to know the common individual better than he knows himself. This means that, in most cases, the "system" exercises greater control and great power over individuals, greater than that of individuals over themselves.