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Guardian UK - 'Sock puppet' software creates fake online identities to spread propaganda

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TomCADem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-09-11 03:23 AM
Original message
Guardian UK - 'Sock puppet' software creates fake online identities to spread propaganda
Edited on Sat Jul-09-11 03:28 AM by TomCADem
Thankfully, the U.S. Government is subject to the Freedom of Information Act, thus this contract has been exposed and made public. However, what about entities or groups that are not subject to FOIA? Could the Chamber of Commerce or Karl Rove's Crossroads PAC use a similar tool to wage a propaganda campaign?

http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2011/mar/17/us-spy...



The US military is developing software that will let it secretly manipulate social media sites by using fake online personas to influence internet conversations and spread pro-American propaganda.

A Californian corporation has been awarded a contract with United States Central Command (Centcom), which oversees US armed operations in the Middle East and Central Asia, to develop what is described as an "online persona management service" that will allow one US serviceman or woman to control up to 10 separate identities based all over the world.

The project has been likened by web experts to China's attempts to control and restrict free speech on the internet. Critics are likely to complain that it will allow the US military to create a false consensus in online conversations, crowd out unwelcome opinions and smother commentaries or reports that do not correspond with its own objectives.

The discovery that the US military is developing false online personalities known to users of social media as "sock puppets" could also encourage other governments, private companies and non-government organisations to do the same.

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joshcryer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-09-11 03:42 AM
Response to Original message
1. Ahh, it's all so clear now:
Right-Wing Sock Puppets Pretending to Be Liberals Assault Progressive Websites

http://readersupportednews.org/pm-section/78-78/5872-ri...

:hi:

Keep up the good fight.
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Syrinx Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-09-11 04:12 AM
Response to Original message
2. and it was advertised right out in the open... sort of...
I remember someone posting about this several months ago. It was advertised as a "business opportunity" on a federal website. I don't remember the exact URL, but I think it was something along the lines of "biz.gov." :shrug:
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tomm2thumbs Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-09-11 06:10 AM
Response to Original message
3. it's call the AOL chat room

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aquart Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-09-11 06:18 AM
Response to Original message
4. Oh, dear. They are really not good at that.
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jmowreader Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-09-11 06:18 AM
Response to Original message
5. If I was in charge of this project I wouldn't have developed software for it
It would have been cheaper, and just as effective, to hire freepers. They'll do it for nothing, so if you were to hire a bunch of freepers, give them...oh, I dunno, a couple hundred bucks a month plus paid internet...and run 'em in shifts, they'd do the same thing this software would, only more efficiently--machines can't compensate for changes in the direction of threads like the freepers we keep getting around here can.
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yurbud Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-09-11 12:45 PM
Response to Original message
6. thank god we have none of that here...
:sarcasm:
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SidDithers Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-09-11 12:52 PM
Response to Original message
7. Good thing there's none of that here....
and all that attacking from the left is genuine. :rofl:

Sid
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