2015/10/30

Counterintelligence for Social Media

Reader Bradford C. Walker passes along a wealth of timely and important information about how organized groups manipulate social media and its users.
This link from Cryptome came across my Twitter feed late last night, and when I looked at it I knew that this post was to come. 
I want you to look at that link and bookmark it. Archive it if you're particularly worried about it going down the Memory Hole. It is important to note the links to the UK's GCHQ agency and their involvement in the same sort of shenanigans that the US's NSA is now known to do thanks to Edward Snowden, but I want you to scroll down and start reading the body of the page. I want you to read the techniques for online information manipulation and control with an eye to the forums, subreddits, blogs, comment sections, etc. that you frequent (or did in the past) and see if you recognize any of them being used. 
I do. You see, this is not just something political campaigns do, but rather something that other interested parties--some of whom are not paid to do it--employ, such as the Social Justice cult. They do it for the same reasons that their counterparts working for real power players do: to take and wield real power. Influence is not something to laugh off; if you're not actively defending your brain via critical thinking (i.e. the Trivium Method), then you're vulnerable to being influenced in this manner.
My comment: reading through the techniques for dilution, misdirection and control of online forums, I was fascinated--and more than a little unsettled--by how many I've seen used in the field.

Read the guide and learn to recognize when you're potentially being being had. If new commenters suddenly appear on a site you frequent in the midst of a developing controversy, if they make a bunch of unsupported allegations from a position of assumed authority, and if they're given to emotional miscues while pursuing a single-minded line of argument, you may be dealing with trained shills.

2 comments:

  1. I've seen forum moderators use every single one of these techniques in the past - but not always for nefarious purposes. Sometimes they're used precisely to keep the forum on topic and focused, and to combat the trolls. I've even used a few of those techniques for those purposes in the past.

    But I've never seen a comprehensive list like this put forward before, and it's very right to note that in some hands they can be used exactly as noted to shutdown, mislead, or destroy a forum.

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  2. It's not that I don't believe that various individuals and groups try to manipulate forums for various reasons, but these "COINTELPRO Techniques" seem indistinguishable from general jackassery.

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