Creating bespoke Infotainment and having the ability to transmit en masse is an incredibly powerful tool in terms of PR.
I am pleased Murdoch got a mention in the piece as it underscores the connection between the 'old and new' implements of manipulation.
The ways an individual forms an opinion are quite fascinating. Whilst Facebook may appear to be an ineffectual toy of children it is actually something very different for many. Messages transmitted through this channel can be decoded as 'friendly' they are bespoke and so act as a mirror to cement bias and prejudice or as in the case of fence sitters, form it.
Edward Bernays rather wordily said:
“The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country. ...We are governed, our minds are molded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested, largely by men we have never heard of. This is a logical result of the way in which our democratic society is organized. Vast numbers of human beings must cooperate in this manner if they are to live together as a smoothly functioning society. ...In almost every act of our daily lives, whether in the sphere of politics or business, in our social conduct or our ethical thinking, we are dominated by the relatively small number of persons...who understand the mental processes and social patterns of the masses. It is they who pull the wires which control the public mind.”
(Bernays is often called 'The father of PR', Born: 22 November 1891, Vienna, Austria Died: 9 March 1995)
Another wondrous quip: