May 2015

Doubt as a strategy of influence : the benzene case

The American Petroleum Institute’s strategy during the past several decades has highlighted big organisations’ key practices of influence in order to minimise any negative discourse, the utilization of counteracting trials and the reinforcement of their stance towards competitive products or ultimately, binding legislations.

Moreover, this strategy is based on orchestrated doubt, which is not unusual. However, with Internet development, this type of strategy has continued to evolve. An evolution has taken place, which allows individuals and organisations, regardless of size, to promote their arguments. Digitalization has redefined everyone’s stance, as information creation and immediate broadcasting are not confined to big organisations or authoritative people anymore.