In the aftermath of conservative columnist Charles Krauthammer’s observation that the first person to shoot down a surveillance drone on U.S. soil will be a “folk hero,” the drone industry has committed itself to launching a propaganda blitz aimed at bombarding the public with positive messages about the technology.
“After issuing a statement denouncing Krauthammer’s remarks as “irresponsible” and “dangerous,” (Michael) Toscano said the AUVSI would go on the offensive against critics. While the strategy is still being shaped, Toscano made it sound like something straight out of a crisis-management textbook — or Orwell. The AUVSI wants to bombard the American public with positive images and messages about drones in an effort to reverse the growing perception of the aircraft as a threat to privacy and safety,” reports Salon.
Toscano, president of the Association of Unmanned Vehicle Systems International, is eager to keep the PR nice and simple. “You have to keep repeating the good words,” he said, adding that the word “drones” should also be dispensed with because of its negative connotations and replaced with the term “remotely piloted vehicles”.