Every year we learn a little about propaganda. We go over testimonials, "the ol' bait-an'-switch", transfer, etc. One technique that tends to get glossed over is the red herring.
A red herring is (according to Merriam-Webster) "something that distracts attention from the real issue". They find their place in mystery novels, movies, and commercials, although not incredibly often. However, they are used enough for me to mention them.
One of the strongest uses of a red herring that I can think of was a character on the show "A Pup Named Scooby Doo". His name was a quite literal display of the term: Red Herring. Freddy would always blame Red for the mysteries his crew investigated, even though it was never/almost never his fault. Comedy was a part of it, but this display mostly just detracted from what was going on at the time, a classic red herring.
I've only wrote one red herring that I can think of. It was included in the satire that I posted in two segments a few weeks ago, "Never Impressed". In that case, I used a literal red herring in a fish tank to confuse readers, get a laugh, and depressurize tension that I built up, only to ramp it up a tiny bit in the next sentence.
Because I haven't used them too often, I don't really know a whole lot about proper use of red herrings. Nevertheless, they are a legitimate tool in your writing toolbox that you can (and possibly should) experiment with.
Have you included red herrings in your fiction?