How Can Propaganda be Both Positive and Negative

What is Propaganda

Propaganda is statements or ideas that are often exaggerated or false, and are spread in order to help a leader, cause, a government, etc. They can influence and change the attitudes of people towards a specific cause, person or a political agenda.  Propagandas are often used for social, religious, and political causes. As a concept, propaganda has neither a positive nor negative connotation. However, if it is used to promote positive change in society, propaganda can be termed as positive, whereas if it is used to damage and degrade, it can be termed as negative.

How Can Propaganda be Both Positive and Negative

Positive Propaganda

Propaganda is often used by the government and other organizations to promote positive messages and lifestyles. For example, messages about healthy eating habits, drunk driving, effects of smoking, drug use, vaccine programs, violence against women, etc. are often conveyed through propaganda. Propaganda can also be used to promote unity, solidarity, and harmony among people during conflicts. Thus, propaganda can be positive, if it is used to help people and promote positive change in the society.

How Can Propaganda be Both Positive and Negative - 1

Negative Propaganda

Propaganda can also be used in a negative way to cause damage and degrade people.  It is a powerful weapon during the war and is used to dehumanize and create hatred towards the enemy, by creating a false image of the enemy country or nation in the minds of the people.

This type of propaganda may be used in a variety of insidious ways. Demeaning disinformation about the history of a certain country or a group may be promoted in the education system, using media to create and circulate false information are some of these methods. For example, the German government under Hitler’s rule used propaganda to favor and promote Nazism.

During the World War II, the United States used propaganda to urge people to support the war by joining the word, saving food and material, and buying war bonds. This was mainly done by instigating hatred for the enemy.  The following poster is an example of this propaganda. 

How Can Propaganda be Both Positive and Negative

As seen from these examples, propaganda can be either used in a positive way or negative way. Although the term propaganda itself is neutral, the way in which it is used can make propaganda positive or negative. 

Image Courtesy:

“Anti-smoking ad” By Stellapark025 – Own work via

“”More toolie you crackie more happy jappie. Nations fall when workers stall.” – NARA – 515023.” By  U.S. National Archives and Records Administration (Public Domain) via

About the Author: Hasa

Hasa has a BA degree in English, French and Translation studies. She is currently reading for a Masters degree in English. Her areas of interests include literature, language, linguistics and also food.

Related pages

life cycle of angiosperm and gymnospermtulsi and basilexamples of open syllablesmelanin pronunciationdifference between gymnosperms and angiospermsslang colloquialismunicameral and bicameraldifferentiate between a state and a nationwriting a eulogy for a grandfatherdifference between soluble and insoluble fibertransnational company meaningdifference between forest and woodsdifference between vermicelli and spaghettinpn vs pnp transistorsendnotes vs footnotesasthmatic bronchitis vs bronchitissmooching lipswhat is the difference between cilantro and corianderdefine electrostatic inductionwhat is the difference between a covalent and ionic bonddifference between acculturation and assimilationdifference between wasps and hornetsaverage speed and average velocitytwo closed syllablesparalanguage examples of communicationdifference between sore and soarlargest peninsular riverdifference in ceramic and porcelainwhat is the difference between high school diploma and gedexamples of climax in literaturediamante poem meaningconfessional poemsashimi sushi differencedifference between aside and soliloquyinterstate definition intrastatemadame definenaturalism literature definitioninternal and external rhymedifference in sorbet and sherbetexample for assertive sentencedifference between pitbull breedsparamagnetic materials definitiongrana of chloroplastdifference between grace and favourthylakoids functionester c calcium ascorbatedefinition of producer surplusdiamagnetic paramagnetic ferromagneticparenchyma collenchyma and sclerenchymadistinguish between hypotonic hypertonic and isotonic solutionswhat is the difference between connotative and denotative meaningcapsule slime layerplateau landform definitiontuff or toughpluripotent vs multipotentdifference between consulate and embassywhat is the difference between a diocese and an archdiocesedifference between meiotic and mitotic cell divisionthe difference between adjective and adverbhow to find the area of a decagonabstract diction examplesdifference cologne perfumebacilli cocciformula for displacement in physicsmeaning biannualpositive vs normative economics definitionshiba inu vs akitamegaloblastic anemia blood smearcatabolic reaction definitiondeclarative and imperative sentenceswhat major works did chaucer write in middle englishpost modernism vs modernismexplain the difference between an autotroph and a heterotrophpolar and nonpolar bonding