Big Brother is faking you out

So that incorrigible dolt who keeps on saying the same damn thing no matter what you tell him/her—parroting the US propaganda line in spite of all the counter-evidence, and in the face of every counter-argument—may not exist.

From Josh Mitteldorf:

Mark,
Here Brian Lynch says that political operatives (presumably in Homeland Security) have advanced from having an army of trolls leaving comments on social media and blog pages to having hundreds of thousands of robotic Facebook and Twitter accounts that respond personally to individuals, seeking to create the appearance of a consensus of like-minded response to a given news event, from a “synthetic community” that is algorithmically tailored to each targeted individual.
This is way beyond Orwell’s imagination, and takes “manufacturing consent” to a whole new level, IMHO.

Propaganda in the Digital Age – Mind Control on a Massive Scale

By Brian Lynch

“World War III will be a guerrilla information war with no division between military and civilian participation.” – Marshall McLahun

I noticed it during the 2016 election. My Twitter and Facebook accounts were awash in anti-Hillary comments. Many comments seemed to piggy-back on my own reservations about her. Other comments were wildly inaccurate and mean-spirited.

I was a Bernie supporter and not happy with the way the DNC and Democratic leadership conducted the primaries. Still, Hillary Clinton seemed the better choice in my view.

When anti-Hillary tweets and messages mirrored my concerns I sometimes “liked” the comments or added my own to support of my views. But then there were many outrageously false anti-Hillary claims. I mostly ignored these, but sometimes took issue. This often led to debate with some implacable troll on social media. I engaged them not to change their minds (impossible), but to make sure others would be exposed to a reasonable set of facts.

During these internet encounters I noticed a lot of respondents chiming in with “likes” or retweets supporting the opposition side. The longer the debate, the greater the number of these silent opposition supporters. sometimes as many as 20 or 30 different accounts. Some mute retweeters even continued to pile on days after the conversation ended, and they latched on to randomly stupid or other statements made by the original Hillary hater.

That’s when I realized something unusual was happening. I assumed these respondents were part of a coordinated system of trolls. I didn’t know I was experiencing a technically advanced propaganda attack. I managed to resist the feeling that the consensus was against me, but did start to wonder if I was talking to myself.

After the election, all these feverish Twitter and Facebook respondents suddenly disappeared. Did anyone else notice that?

Only now am I beginning to learn the full horror of this new cyber-based propaganda.

When many of us think of propaganda we think of what spies call “active measures” like dropping fliers from airplanes, broadcasting news on Radio Free Europe, writing op-ed pieces under pseudonyms or stealing and releasing classified documents to publicly embarrass adversaries. The Russian connection to the DNC email hacks and subsequent Wikileaks publication appears to be of this sort. It seems a little high tech because the theft was by hacking, but at its root it old-style propaganda. And media attention to it only serves to distract us to the whole new world of electronic propaganda unleashed during the election. New, covertly developed, military-grade propaganda techniques were used by private corporations, and perhaps foreign actors, to tip our election results on a scale never seen before. The internet was weaponized against us.

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