reply to post by Sinter Klaas
Yes, governments are much happier when "the people" (citizens) will listen to what they say with the minimum amount of questioning and also do what
they are told to do. Providing the majority do this, they rarely have to worry too much about the smaller number who don't. Except, of course, for the
most vocal ones. They have ways of dealing with them.
Of course, it's helpful when those in power control most of the media. They don't even need to do this directly. In virtually all countries, there are
laws that allow governments (of any kind) to instruct the media that certain topics are not to be broadcast or even discussed -- nearly always "in the
interests of national security". These "gag orders" are very common. Some are temporary and relate to specific matters or people/events, others are
longer-term -- like not talking about the locations of secret military installations and what they do there.
While sometimes the "national security" argument may
be valid (especially in the case of military secrets), more often it's probably the
security of themselves (those in power) that they are worried about.
So, in this situation of announcing alerts, either they are genuine and authorities are trying to avoid a public backlash (and questions!
something happens, or they are "test runs" to see how well people listen, believe, and react. In either case, those in power observe the results and
if the citizens' response is not satisfactory, then they can revise their methods and perhaps find ways to gently persuade more people to do what they
want them to do.
This is nothing new. The only difference is that today, instead literally of taking (alleged) dissidents, "troublemakers" or "heretics" out into the
public square in a town and punishing them in various very brutal ways, modern technology is employed to achieve what they want, often through virtual
methods that mirror the physical ones of the past.
The mainstream media, publishing, the entertainment industry and various online sites have become very useful tools in that respect. Ironically,
movies like "Wag the Dog" give us some insights into what has probably been done, and is, very likely, still being done today.
edit on 15/6/13 by JustMike because: (no reason given)