How to Spot a Propaganda Trial Balloon – #PropagandaWatch

by | Nov 18, 2020 | Propaganda Watch | 51 comments

Your thoughts and opinions are incredibly important to those who want to direct your behaviour. So it should be no surprise that propagandists float trial balloons in order to gauge public reaction to new proposals before going ahead with their plans. Join James on today’s #PropagandaWatch as he breaks down this important mechanism of propaganda.

Watch on Archive / BitChute / LBRY / Minds / YouTube or Download the mp4

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  1. 1) “Coronavirus: New fines likely for outdoor drinkers in Ireland”
    By Shane Harrison
    BBC NI Dublin correspondent
    2) “Coronavirus UPDATE: Ban on outdoor drinking to be discussed by government ministers”
    All LMFM News
    Tuesday, November 17th, 2020 6:38am
    By Ruth O’Connell
    3) “Policing a ban on street drinking ‘a non-runner’, say gardaí
    Members of the force surprised at ‘rush to change laws’ over a Twitter video
    about 19 hours ago”
    Conor Lally
    4) “Proposed outdoor drinking ban put on hold by Cabinet”
    17/11/2020 | 13:11 PM

  2. Hi! Can we talk about the IoT and EMPs?

    TLAV recently did an interview with Vanessa Beeley about how the US is planning an EMP related simulation exercise in 2021.

    And given recent correlations between things being simulated and then actually happening (ahem, Event 201, ahem) we may want to give the EMP topic more consideration.

    A lot of folks have been talking about the accelerated rollout of 5G, AI, and the IoT, as the US and other countries race to catch up with China.

    here’s the kicker:

    An EMP event would be one way to move things in this direction: blow out the existing legacy systems, make sure all the replacement infrastructure and appliances are Smart/IoT enabled, and voila: you fast forward your country’s pace towards an AI-optimized future.

    This sort of fits in with the trial balloon idea: right now there’s a lot of controversy happening around 5G, with various factions making claims and promoting/squashing reports re whether or not it poses any safety risks (

    Anyway. Just wanted to put this on the map as a topic that could benefit from some discussion.

    Also, fwiw, this engineer guy has some good advice about how to prepare for an EMP:

  3. I’m guessing that since you’re in Denmark, you’ve heard of this Danish study that showed that masks are worthless:

    I’ve forwarded the link to a few coworker friends who constantly wear masks, but I’m sure they’ll say something like, “Well, the COVID over there must be different than what we have here in the US.”

  4. In the 1980s the Oregon governor agreed with FEMA to hold exercises based on a scenario that they would organize citizens to help clean up after a nuclear war. Shit hit the fan and the people came out in force against the idea. They still had the exercise but changed the focus. Now they were rounding up protesters that were opposing a fictional war with our southern neighbors.

    • Governor (Eat My Shorts) Kate Brown implored Oregonians to alter or cancel get-together plans for the Thanksgiving holiday. I don’t celebrate that despicable holiday but the Grinch stole Thanksgiving is the parody of our new lockdown.

  5. Kinda how we ended up with the Berlin wall. Instilled overnight between the 12th and the 13th of August 1961 it wasn’t much more than a barbwire fence. Without significant objections from the people or the international “leaders” it slowly became more and more of a wall.

  6. Does anyone else feel like Kaci Hickox, the Ebola nurse forcibly quarantined by the state a few years ago, may have been a trial balloon for the current plandemic?

  7. I absolutely agree, that this mechanism is a very common and currently widely used one in the escalation of the Covid1984 rollout of global fascism.
    This technique is being used to test the waters continually and gradually introduce new ideas/gears of this dystopian reality, that were unthinkable three or four steps earlier – the “red lines”, that people thought they had at some point get weakened and relativized by incremental attrition.
    A few details I picked up when looking at the mainstream media and government officials’ use of this method here in Germany:
    1. Most of the “bold” steps into territory of real pushback (by skeptics) are introduced by people who are vested with a certain expertise, eminence or tenure in the political or “scientific” field and which appear regularly in the media. In Germany these are e.g. Markus Söder (Bavarian PM), Karl Lauterbach (SPD), Jens Spahn (Minister of Health), Christian Drosten (Charité Virologist).
    2. Interestingly, the proposals are almost always directly negated by some other officials (in the media), which however do not diverge in a general sense (in their general mindset) from the official narrative. I think this method is used to at first introduce the ideas into the public discussion space (from a formerly off-limits position) and (like you said) to gauge public acceptance.
    3. Very commonly, those new ideas are soon accompanied by some official surveys, which are blatantly obviously doctored.
    4. I think this fight for the space between all of our ears is partially also really fought out on the streets. The large demonstrations in Germany were progressively met with different strategies to (1) really dissolve the resistance at the demonstration and to (2) discourage people from attending next time as well as to (3) negatively shape the opinion of media consumers with regard to the protesters. (x) The first large demo in Berlin (1st of Aug) was rather rapidly disbanded by the local police, and the media used many of the very few “Reichsbürger” (publicly seen as esoteric right-wing weirdos) insignia and images on site to paint them as the driving force of those demonstrations. (xx) The second large demo in Berlin (29th of Aug) included a staged/false flag “storming of the Reichstag attempt” by right-wing protesters (again the Reichsbürger movement). (xxx) The latest large demo (Leipzig, 7th of Nov) now included more portrayed violence potential against the police (most probably again by organized intelligence-associated agents provocateurs) and included steering the whole large demonstration crowd route to a small right-wing demostration at a different locality within the city, where the media could take nice pictures of the large peaceful gathering together with the irrelevant and basically unrelated extremist event.
    The officials dealing with the situation therefore try different approaches at each new event (this also has to be viewed as some kind of trial balloon) with regards to media coverage and on-site handling of the demonstration…

  8. Hello James

    I suspect any number of gun-control proposals are indeed trial balloons(especially in the U.S.). I believe the ultimate goal of the Globalist agenda is an unarmed populace worldwide. The U.N.(among other countries) has the same or similar statue of a pistol with the barrel tied in a knot…why..? This is their goal.

    • Yellobird
      “…unarmed populace worldwide…”

      Thats a regular desire of any ruling class…the reason Europe was unable to do what Japan did was the decentralized kingdoms fighting each other all the time alternating with external Muslim invaders.

      The thing is that having a gun is seen as a magic tasliman that grants freedom, yet plentiful private firearm did not make Iraqi’s free… people who have solidarity and principles will tend to become free but people who are selfish and subject to vices will always become slaves.

      On Japan… I lol’d at this

      “…He also asserts that the farmers will become more prosperous if they concentrate on farming rather than on rising up. Finally, he promises to use the metal from the melted-down swords to make rivets for a Grand Buddha statue in Nara, thus securing blessings to the involuntary “donors.”…..”

      Hahahaha..nothing changes, but this article just keeps on giving..

      “…In fact, Hideyoshi sought to create and enforce a stricter four-tier class system, in which everyone knew their place in society and kept to it…..”

      Sounds like today.

      “… This is rather hypocritical, since he himself was from a warrior-farmer background, and was not a true samurai….”

      JUST like the tech giants and others who loved freedom of speech and expression when it made them wealthy or let them attack the status quo.

  9. Howdy James,

    The poll tax balloon was overthrown here in the UK in 1990 Not the bigger war with Iraq, though, despite massive turn out. However, war with Syria (sorry to keep linking BBC but it comes up first on DuckDuck Go), was voted against when everyone and their aunts wrote to their MPs opposing it. Polls keep saying that there is an almost 50 / 50 divide over the vaccine. I’m sure this is wrong, the same as Brexit vote showed country torn in half, too. Daily Mail comments (this is one of the only UK rags that allow comments) shows as many as 80% are opposed to vaccine and also know this is to bring in reset, Agenda 21/30. Personally don’t know anyone who will have vaccine or intend not to see family this Christmas, despite .gov dictates. Seems here that Covid narrative is falling apart. Will be interesting to see how things pan out here.
    At least life’s not boring!

  10. I have an example of a trial balloon! I live in Los Angeles, California. Last month, for Halloween, LA County public health officials issued a guideline that banned trick-or-treating. One day later, they walked that statement back to say that it was not “recommended.” What happened to cause the turnabout? Apparently, enough people complained that they softened the restriction.

    If only people cared to stand up against masks, social distancing, etc. as much as they did against the ban on trick-or-treating! This is a strangely silly example that shows the power we have when we object and refuse to comply.

  11. California considers a curfew: Will it help the COVID-19 surge? – SF Gate – Nov 18, 2020

    Curfews are increasingly becoming a tool to control coronavirus spread, and California now may issue one.

    Gov. Gavin Newsom hinted at the possibility during his Monday press conference.

    “We also are considering, full disclosure, a little bit of a preview, the notion of a curfew,” Newsom said. “Now, before you jump in terms of your mindset and whether that’s a good idea or bad idea, we are assessing that as well.”

    “It avoids a full shutdown and allows some of the economy to move forward,” said UCSF infectious disease expert Dr. Peter Chin-Hong. “It allows some businesses to remain open while eliminating a bulk of the risk.”

    Chin-Hong also said he worries that if a curfew also required the closure of public transportation, it might impact essential workers who go to and from their jobs at night.

    That said, Chin-Hong added, “I love the idea of curfew as symbol. When you think about curfew, it signals that we’re in a serious time. The situation is dire. It does make you sit up straight and know that something is going on. We use multiple modalities, you want people to have some life, you want businesses to have some livelihood while not overwhelming hospitals. It’s not the magic bullet. It’s one of several modalities.”

    Yep. You want to have some life. Not too much though. Just enough. But you can’t forget to sprinkle a little life into our recipe.

    Anyway, the statements by Gavin Newsom of a potential curfew seem like a trial balloon. You have the media reporting on his statements, and you have a comment section of angry people trashing the idea. If the comment section were any measure, it would appear that the people of California do not want this. Valuable data for the trial ballooners?

  12. Hello James….Here is an article that provides the exact context to your latest article….A ‘snitch’ line set up by our provincial leader with a local newspaper acting as the sounding board to ‘gauge’ the mood of the public….You hit this one out of the park as well…cheers, Perry.

    • That Manitoba article was an interesting read, because it gave a lot of statements from different people expressing a wide range of views.

      I’m not used to seeing that sort of lengthy reporting down south in the states, especially since we have a Civil War going on between the Red and the Blue.

      In response to the “snitch line”, I liked this fella’s response:

      “So the government is encouraging you to report your neighbours if they don’t follow the new rule of gathering numbers.
      Before following this advice you should really consider the fact that the government won’t be there to help you jump start your car or lend you tools or a cup of sugar if you needed it.
      They won’t be an extra set of eyes to watch over your property if you are away.
      They won’t keep an eye on your kids if they are playing in the street and someone strange is hanging around.
      We need each other.
      It’s how we get by and live in peace, because at the end of the day the government won’t be standing on your door step to help you out when this gets real.”
      – Reagan Rome

  13. They usually pretend some unknown insider “leaked” the information.

  14. I consider large and small corporations as microcosms of fascism where Group-Think is mandatory. Higher management have their frequent Bilderberg Meetings where they compete in psychopathic qualities, with the losers being let go despite having gone though the same rigorous pruning process. Dedication to chosen careers and loyalty to the company is not a prerequisite and may also be frowned upon, lest it involves concern for its people. A divide is intentionally created between the management of specialists and the remaining staff, with special perks announced for the former while the ‘sheep’ are trained with ‘bells and whistles’ to aspire to get onto the Succession-List. The higher management continually release trial balloons, in gradual stages, as they squeeze them into doing more for less while observing and recording their reactions on ‘score-cards’. One Trial Balloon was ‘Insurance-Credits’ based on the Employees Waist-Measurements but this attempt did not fly because of the obesity-epidemic. Then there was the increasing case-load of two new clients a day to 2+1 occasional client, then 3 clients to 3+1 occasional client and so on. Within a year, I saw our case-load move to 5 new clients while we also continued to see our regular clients and perform our regular duties. Some employees left, some loved their work and stayed, others could not afford to leave. Soon a healthy work-place turned into ‘a colosseum while the Caesars looked on’. There was a planned and continual turnaround of staff, along with the fanfare of new announcements, till their day came in this cycle of ‘Churn, Burn,Turn’. For some, it was like the ‘Battered-Syndrome’ or the “Stockholm Syndrome”, that cause people to stay in abusive relationships and not seek assistance; sometimes only seeing the reality of the situation when they are out of the ‘fish-bowl’. ‘Propaganda Trial Balloons’ is a catchy phrase and I now see them everywhere. T.Y. James.

    • Forcible vaccinations while we have minimum social support. Some people are wearing diapers in their own yards, even when alone. Families and Communities were already divided up and this is ‘trigger-time’ for the perpetrators. Now they are going after Religious and Traditional Communities that live together. All the other draconian laws will follow using the same control principals of Divide and Rule; Reward and Punishment; Problem, Reaction, Solution and others. I’m wondering if ‘Ignorance is Bliss,’ as some go about their daily business believing that these hardships will go away if they and others follow instructions. Someone asked me why I needed to know what is happening and my response was that when I ago down, as you will too, at least I will not be in shock, resorting to Benzos.

  15. A new New York State law mandates that passengers in the back seat must now wear seat belts, too. Just this afternoon, while I was driving down the parkway, I happened to see one of those digital highway signs overhead warning about this new rule…. The last bastion of relative freedom finally dashed away!….“Kids, no bouncing around the back seat no more. Buckle up, goddamn it!”

  16. I’m so glad to hear that this law has been put on the back burner – for now. I saw a Danish blogger on Twitter saying that the proposal had been binned due to the pots and pans protest.

    I live in Scotland, and your comments about the Danish population being relatively statist are interesting. We have the same phenomenon here in Scotland, and it’s probably due to so many jobs being dependent on the State. I hadn’t thought of that as a reason why so many people are devoted to the government and think it has their best interests at heart.

    A couple of months ago I joined a small protest group making a noise outside the Scottish Parliament. The organiser was verbally abused by a former colleague, and then arrested, and is now forbidden from joining any public gathering until next year.

    Police are arresting anyone who tries to speak at Speakers Corner at Hyde Park in London. So I’m not sure how a “pots and pans” demo would go down in the UK police state.

    Sadly I think we in the UK have brought this on ourselves, due to the mass hysteria. People are not acting rationally. A couple of weeks ago, I was just about to leave my home to attend a protest rally when my sister appeared unexpectedly. She asked me where I was going. I said “a protest rally”. She said “a protest against what?” I said “anti-lockdown”. She immediately erupted in an astonishing outburst of fury.

    I tried to answer her fury by saying that I wasn’t saying that Covid doesn’t exist or that it doesn’t have serious consequences for some people, but she just shouted me down, saying “I don’t want to talk about it, or we might fall out”!

    This is serious cognitive dissonance. My sister is very intelligent and generally very rational, and we usually get on very well. I have experienced this reaction with other people, though usually around actual discussions on which we have different opinions. Many people are making a huge effort to shut out anything that might disrupt their world view, and if you say or do anything that disturbs that world view, they cannot take it. They explode in anger.

    This is what we are up against. I see more people wearing face masks every day, in cars on their own or out on the streets. It’s mass hysteria, a psychological game.

    • Thanks Harris.

      I feel compelled to have my voice heard, the more crazy regulations we get. Scotland is indeed a beautiful place, and the small numbers of us here who realise the dangers of what is really going on are determined to keep it that way, and as you say, to return the warmth to everyone’s hearts. Perfectly put.

  17. Excellent point James! I see this “trial balloon” strategy to be used continuously here in Germany. An example of the Covid-19 hoax, very in the beginning back in April, some “B” politicians started to say things like, “I am open to mandatory vaccination”. They abandoned the idea, now they say the vaccine will not be mandatory. But let us not deceive ourselves, they will force them on children if they want to attend school, as they already do for the measles. Back to the trial balloon strategy. In my opinion the answer and evaluation to the “trial balloon” is performed via social media, email, whatsapp, phone call surveillance, and less by public surveys, and of course if the people go to streets that is a clear signal to at least postpone the idea to a later point, because they do not just give up on such important issues as mandatory vaccination, they postpone it and come back again when the time is mature. I think the strategy to end the pandemic, is not be happy when the politicians give up on tyranical ideas, we have to go for the whole and replace these politicians/leaders, and I mean the “whole” political class by it. The pandemic only ends when the “people” reject the current government/alternative political parties and make their own “Great Reset” of the government/political system

    • I can only agree – I think this completely overlaps to my statements above and my observations here in Germany.

  18. Update on my part of the world – here in England we are in Lockdown 2…second wave came to fruition…and here in my city (Bristol, the south west) we have jobsworth covid marshalls employed by the City Council, in high vis jackets and masks (yeah walking the streets in masks) patrolling various parts of the city, “being vigilant”. I was on the bus, maskless with two of them last night. No confrontation, no questions, I was surprised…although I heard the one mumble to the other, “you have one sitting behind you”. Ha!

    They are testing the waters constantly here…suggesting we are NOT coming out of lockdown for Christmas and other such twaddle, that I hear second hand…have also heard that parliament are going to have a 90 minute discussion about gyms (a lot of gym owners clubbed together and made noise about mental and physcical health, small business owners, etc…and approached MPs I guess?) My gym was on the local news, but they edited out the most important bits the owner passionately spoke about, obviously agenda, agenda and all that…

    Oh and they are employing masses of people to vaccinate us…a huge drive to get this programme done, ugh!

    My online shopping basket is now limited to 95 items…I am not panic buying…

    Most people ignore what is being said and done…it is so grating. Watching that awful interview by Owen Jones at a London anti-lockdown protest was painful….they are openly making fun of us. I do hope we are the last ones laughing!

  19. Thanks everyone.
    I want to thank all the Corbett Members on this Thread for giving updates to situations in their neck of the woods.

    It helps broaden my awareness. I appreciate it.

    There are many of us who read these comments.

  20. While it is important to educate yourself, and understand what’s going on, it’s now time to act before it’s too late. Mr Corbett is essential to understanding and nothing diminishes that, but he is a Canadian in Japan and in no position and expresses no interest in the physical need to organize and repel this ongoing assault.

    They have committed the brazen crimes of 9/11, mid-east wars (exponentially) and undermined our ability to speak freely in this country protected by the first amendment. We have politicos in dc wringing their hands and failing to apply the laws of the US Constitution, which every American understands at least as far as that FIRST and most important amendment.

    it is coming to winter. We must organize a plan and do so openly. Let’s figure out which station to take over and do it. Let’s gather our MILLION MAN/WOMAN/LGBTQDKLDJKH and get out in the streets and take it over, control the programming and ensure we get a signal out. Is this possible? It’s just a plan an idea, but we need to start formulating one.

    And it must be done openly. We are NOT the criminals, we are removing them. Remember that.

  21. Marshall McLuhan’s global village seems to have evolved into a global whorehouse.
    The Cabal has chosen for it’s latest mass public fiction exercise Covid-19. Deep micro-bioscience is sufficiently baffling to most people that the science bull schist may be heaped on in triple portions of fiction.
    Is there anyone occupying any salaried office that still believes that human individuals have actual human rights?
    The masks obviously inhibit free speech, to say nothing of free breathe.
    Freedom to pursue natural immunity? You may choose the vaccine needle or a bullet in the head.
    The logic of the average office holder says: yeah, human rights are great but my salary comes first and I follow chain of command orders. Oh well $$

  22. I think the 2012 Animal Planet ‘documentary’ Mermaids: The Body Found was a Trial Balloon of sorts.

    It’s a ‘documentary’ revealing the existence of living mermaids and the government coverup of their existence.

    It was presented, in every way, as a real documentary but with unusually convincing actors playing the roles of various involved people (experts/scientists/officials/etc) and CGI used for the mermaids.

    When it aired a viewer would’ve had to really go out of their way to find out that it was fake.
    It duped an enormous number of people (including intelligent people I knew IRL), and, without a doubt, that was the goal.

    The question is: Why?
    Was it just about ratings/money?
    I still don’t know.
    It’s absolutely bizarre.

    I suspect that it was an attempt to:
    1. Test the gullibility of the public and
    2. Induce feelings of anger & betrayal, and once bitten, twice shy skepticism, towards government coverup conspiracy claims/speculation/theories. Particularly in cases where the viewer subsequently proceeded to share this mind-blowing mermaid conspiracy with friends & family only to eventually have someone point out that it was completely fake, that they were duped and that they were spreading a fake conspiracy.

    • Animals

      I am not familiar with that “documentary”’, but from your description of it, the conclusion of your post might be correct. Creating doubt and confusion is one of the biggest screwdrivers in their toolbox.

      (I have a DVD of a film called Mr. Peabody And The Mermaid. It wasn’t until watching it for a third time that I realized it was a work of fiction. Several friends wrote me off as a nutcase when I passed the movie around in my initial excitement.)

      • I watched Mr. Peabody And The Mermaid.
        Because it’s black & white and they had the actress/swimmer swimming underwater in a well made tail suit, it’s entirely convincing (visually), but I’m not sure what you mean about not knowing it was a work of fiction.
        Do you mean you thought the movie was based on a true story?
        Do you mean you thought they had found an actual mermaid to use in the movie?

        • Animals

          (I was kidding. It’s just an amusing, silly movie.
          My favorite part is the ex-smoker character).

    • AnimalsArentFood I remember this documentary! I knew many non-conspiracy heads who fell for this and actually tried to convince me mermaids were real. Then so many others who dismissed everything I said as I was a conspiracy theorist and conspiracy theorists believed in mermaids. To further the divide!

  23. The just need to make us accept its inevitable, we may or may not LIKE whatever they plan but a psychological war guy I saw in a doc once said the point was to make people accept they cant win. The flip side is how rapidly that illusion can vanish.

    Trial balloons on normalizing pedophilia are getting more common… they used to float a “crazy” psychologists idea for acceptance or normalization every year or so. The regular insertion of the idea into peoples minds is classic Lenin ” ..Probe with a bayonet: if you meet steel, stop. If you meet mush, then push..”

    “Desmond is amazing” “Cuties” and whatever other filth they promote are to inch acceptance of the inevitability (LATER comes the idea of its desirability) of normalization…. they did the same thing with the homosexuals (No, NOT saying ‘gays are pedos’) in the 1990’s on TV and (good or bad) they utterly changed the way normal people react to gays in public.

    That huge shift in only 10 or 15 years should make everyone scratch their head and wonder what else they can do… I know people who have had a 180 degree shift in attitudes WITHOUT NOTICING OR CONSIDERING any reasons for or vs either position just thru retiring and watching too much TV.

  24. CRINGE-WORTHY PRONUNCIATION. James please continue to follow
    this story, as time allows.
    You are correct in deducing that NATIONAL DEFENCE is lying
    about shutting down the Canadian military B-Mod capability.
    David Pugliese reported on Nov. 13, cancellation of “a controversial
    plan”. It is not a “plan”. The initiative was funded, staffed, and
    is now tasked. It only remains to discover how they conceal themselves.
    By the way, I cringe every time I hear you try to pronounce the
    name “Pugliese”. It is pronounced Pooh-gleecy.

    As well, just because Pugliese investigated this story… do not
    assume that he is a civil libertarian. His stuff is designed to churn
    butter on Parliament Hill… to get some newsworthy debate going.
    He will pursue the story no further.

    • The Brigadier who designed the program, secured its
      funding, and expects to prove his worth to the Pols
      in Ottawa, went silent when the Pugliese story broke
      on November 13. He stayed off Twitter on Nov. 13 – 14th
      and (uncharacteristically) remains silent on his pet project.

      As I said, it only remains to discover how they conceal
      the operation.

  25. 11-year-olds & Informed Consent Behind Parent’s Backs? There’s Something Rotten In the State of [not Denmark] The USA.
    “#PeoplePower wins in Denmark while DC steals OUR children without OUR knowledge.
    Even Disney’s Ariel was 16 & love-stricken when she signed HER voice away… not an 11-year-old little girl.”

  26. Here in Nelson B.C.the city hired a full time sustainable development consultant to advise them. It didn’t take long before a public meeting to float the partial closing, to turn an arterial, one lane each direction road, into a one way street while adding a two way bicycle route that would take up one lane of the existing roadway.The reaction from the public was split. I attended this opinion gathering meeting and found that the data on offer from the city was highly improbable. I also voiced that the diverted traffic would affect property values of those now subject to increased traffic flows and that this would negatively affect taxes collected on those properties. Others had other valid objections. Closing roads, as we see being done in Britain, is an incremental agenda of sustainable development to get people to slowly abandon their use of private vehicles. Council tabulated the division among the people attending and dropped the proposal. Nelson has snow on the ground for at least three months of the year which curtails many bicyclist from riding during this time and other routes were suggested that would not interfere with motorized vehicle traffic and provide a completely safe route, a linear and large municipal park in accessing the Baker Street shopping, our mall, and government services and administration area.

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