Fake news and propaganda: Trump's democratic America and Hitler's national socialist (Nazi) Germany

David E. Allen*, Michael McAleer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


This paper features an analysis of President Trump's two State of the Union addresses, which are analysed by means of various data mining techniques, including sentiment analysis. The intention is to explore the contents and sentiments of the messages contained, the degree to which they differ, and their potential implications for the national mood and state of the economy. We also apply Zipf and Mandelbrot's power law to assess the degree to which they differ from common language patterns. To provide a contrast and some parallel context, analyses are also undertaken of President Obama's last State of the Union address and Hitler's 1933 Berlin Proclamation. The structure of these four political addresses is remarkably similar. The three US Presidential speeches are more positive emotionally than is Hitler's relatively shorter address, which is characterised by a prevalence of negative emotions. Hitler's speech deviates the most from common speech, but all three appear to target their audiences by use of non-complex speech. However, it should be said that the economic circumstances in contemporary America and Germany in the 1930s are vastly different.

Original languageEnglish
Article number5181
JournalSustainability (Switzerland)
Issue number19
Publication statusPublished - 21 Sept 2019

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
For financial support, the first author acknowledges the Australian Research Council, and the second author is most grateful to the Australian Research Council; Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST), Taiwan; and the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science. The authors wish to thank four reviewers for helpful comments and suggestions.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 by the authors.


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