When World War II began, most Americans viewed propaganda as a tool of totalitarian dictatorships. Furthermore, many remembered with hostility the fervor of World War I propaganda efforts, which were later regarded as violating basic rights as well as conveying misinformation. At first, the government was reluctant to engage in propaganda campaigns, but pressure from the media, the business sector and advertisers who wanted direction persuaded the government to take an active role. Even so, the government insisted that its actions were not propaganda, but a means of providing information. These efforts were slowly and haphazardly formed into a more unified propaganda effort, although never to the level of World War I.