Propaganda and Its Use in the 2016 Presidential Election

Bill Brown III

The 2016 presidential election was a divisive political event that voters still discuss to this day. One of the biggest topics related to this election was the use of propaganda to influence voters. This study was completed in order to compile information related to the use of propaganda during the 2016 presidential election, and to determine how such propaganda was used to influence the final result of the election. This was done by analyzing studies from academic sources, as well as official reports from the U.S. government. The information was then condensed into a political cartoon, along with a relevant audio discussion of the cartoon’s contents and the information behind the artwork. The study found that propaganda was spread through both left wing and right wing media outlets, with both outlets giving more attention to Trump as a candidate, whether the attention was positive or negative. The study additionally found that fake news was the most prevalent form of propaganda used during the 2016 presidential election, and that it was most commonly spread through social media. Furthermore, the study determined that the Russian government greatly influenced the 2016 presidential election by spreading fake news through third party sources in order to sow discord in American politics. In conclusion, the study determined that voters must take greater care to fact check news sources and be made aware of their own susceptibility to propaganda.

Bill Brown is a freshman student at the University of South Carolina. He is a student with the Honors College, and is majoring in Media Arts. Bill is a South Carolina native, born and raised in Easley, South Carolina, a small town located in the upstate, just short of the mountains. He held the position of Commanding Officer in his high school’s Navy JROTC program, which instilled him with an interest in the American government. However, his passions for the arts and for film led him to pursue a career in filmmaking. Though mostly apolitical, Bill is known to keep up with political affairs within the country, holding on to his interest from high school.