This guide summarizes the experience of many activists in facing enemy propaganda during the past years. We post it here to share our experience and to improve it in discussions with other activists.
What to post on your media platforms:
1- Post the content that you produce yourself, like your opinions, you artistic or intellectual creations, and your impressions on the events.
2- Post the photos and videos you recorded yourself.
3- Post your investigations about verifying media content from the official sources.
4- Post cultural, artistic, and social content that supports your camp without breaking any copyrights.
What not to post on your media platforms:
1- Do not post rumors: A single rumor can destroy your entire credibility and harm all your content. For example, news about "weapon shipment seized" remains a rumor until it is declared in the official sources of those who seized the shipment, and acknowledged by the official sources of those who sent the shipment and those who should have received it.
2- Do not post any personal materials, like private messages or discussions, unless everything in the content has been verified from its official sources. For example, if somebody told you about some operation, if the news about this operation is not published in the official sources of those responsible about it, treat it as a rumor and ignore it completely.
3- Do not post invitations that could cause chaos or ignite people's emotions, Even if you are absolutely confident about its credibility. Help people personally using your personal relations, not through your media channels.
For example, During the Arab Spring, invitations to donate blood were used to cause chaos, spread fear, and disrupt daily life. Invitations to support people in need were used to finance sending weapons and illegal drugs to the Arab Spring mercenaries.
What to report on your media platforms.
1- Report the ideas, opinions, experiences, media, and creations that fellow activists in the resistance axis post on their media platforms, if you are sure it complies with this guide.
2- Report balanced documentary content. Do not report single view documentary content even if it is produced by someone you trust. Your credibility is more important that reporting about some unbalanced content.
3- Report the news or declarations that you find important and relevant, after you confirm it from its official source. Do not report reports about other people without verification from the official source.
4- You may report full recordings of the enemy's live events. However, you should avoid reporting parts of these events. You should also avoid reporting studio or media productions, or any non-live productions of the enemy.
What not to report on your media platform:
1- Do not report the enemy's media statements, even if you attended the statement yourself, and even if reporting it would give you an advantage. Remember that your cause is more important than a silly scoop.
2- Do not report the enemy's media statements, even if it was exclusive to you. Remember that your cause is more important that reporting some silly exclusive news.
3- Do not report the enemy's media statements, even if you found it silly, contradictory, and even if you think it supports your cause. These statements are designed to infiltrate your media platform like that.
4- Do not report the enemy's media statements, even if you thought you can completely destroy it. These statements are designed to infiltrate your media platform like that.
5- Do not report parts of a content that you did not see in full. For example, do not report a section of an article that you did not completely read. Do not report a scene from a video of film you did not see in full.
How to face the enemy's media campaigns
1- Look for the target of the campaign, and try to oppose it. In all cases, never respond to the enemy's claims directly.
Example: The "Stop the killing" campaign aimed at equating the Syrian Army with the terrorists. We faced it with "Stop the terrorism" to emphasize the difference between the Syrian army and the terrorists.
Example: The "Distrust the Army" campaign aimed at weakening the internal front, we faced it with the "defense in depth" campaign to support the internal front and protect their back.
2- Focus on what the enemy tries to hide. If the enemy spreads some easy to debunk lies, they might want to hide something else. Do not be fooled, and keep your focus on what matters.
3- Expose logical fallacies as they are an essential tool of the enemy's media campaigns. Avoid using any logical fallacies in your campaigns.
4- If you want to respond to the enemy's narrative, direct your response to the enemy's camp, and use the enemy's media platforms, not your own platforms. Remember that if you use your own platforms to respond to the enemy, you will be helping the enemy propagate his narrative on your platform.
Example: ridicule the enemy's narrative in front of their audience, not in front of your own audience.
How to handle enemy propaganda when it infiltrates our camp
The enemy has a continuously working propaganda machine, and they continuously spread huge amounts of lies and misinformation. Our strategy is to explain the facts while ignoring the enemy propaganda. However, sometimes, some enemy propaganda might spread in our camp, and to counter it pay attention to the following:
1- No matter what the enemy says, you always focus on explaining the facts to your audience.
For example: If the enemy spreads bad news, focus on the actual situation and never mention what the enemy spreads, treat it as if the enemy propaganda does not exist.
2- Never mention the enemy propaganda, and never allow any link between what you say and the enemy propaganda. You always tell the truth, and enemy always lies. There is no link between lies and the truth.
Example: If the enemy produced a TV program with tons of fallacies, accusations, and lies. Do not respond to the program, but rather focus on spreading the facts and the evidence, without mentioning the enemy's program in any way.
3- If the enemy falsified your statements or positions, do not deny the falsified statements, but rather remind your audience about your official source, and invite people to follow the official sources to avoid any falsifications.
Questions and Answers:
Q1- I got a transcript or recording for a conversation between an enemy activist and an enemy leader. Do I report it?
A1- No, Keep it in your archive, mention it later when it becomes history, but never report the full conversation.
Q2- I have to report some of the enemy's content, although that contradicts this guide.
A2- Never report enemy content no matter what the reason is. Re-read this guide and try to understand it and use it in your everyday life.
Q3- I get many enemy leaks, many of them could be considered evidence. How do I report them?
A3- If you get a full recording of a live event, you may report it. However, if you get a small leak or an excerpt, it could be a targeted leak designed to demoralize our camp. In General, if you are not able to choose what to report from the entire source, do not settle on reporting what the enemy has chosen for you.
Q4- How to face fallacies and false assumptions and conclusions
A4- Educate yourself about logical fallacies, and try to expose the underlying fallacy, not the narrative that uses it.
Q5- One of my colleagues does not comply with this guide, how do I deal with that?
A5- Discuss the guide with him/her, and decide how to proceed based on the discussions.
Q6- How can I contribute to this guide?
A6- Your contributions are welcome, send them here http://www.alayham.com/contact
Al-Ayham Saleh and a few friends.
Published in 13-01-2014. Updated on 22-11-2015
English translation on 25-11-2015 by Al Saleh