Sunday, December 16, 2018

New report for Senate obtained by Washington Post make social media companies look like easy marks for organized enemy propaganda

Craig Timberg and Tony Room have a detailed Washington Post article Sunday about a report for the Senate intelligence committee on Russian manipulation of American political views with social media disinformation on many platforms, starting around 2014 (about the time ISIS caught public attention).

The campaigns consistently targeted various identarian groups. At the same time, more individualistic users were unaware that some of their more distant friends and followers were easily influenced by people posing as Americans with more extreme views.

Occasionally they created fake accounts impersonating real American users, but were often caught quickly.

A few would try to manipulate users into illegal activity, like assisting people to come into the country illegally.  Sometimes they would friend less impressionable users and try to see if they could swindle them, and then often give up and disappear.

Many tried to appeal to emotion.
It is shocking how the large social media platforms became a “computational tool” for authoritarians.
The Post maintains they were very determined to get Donald Trump elected.

Update: Dec. 18

The company that provided the report seems to be New Knowledge. If you "like" a message from a bot, you'll see more of it.  From the CNN deport it's pretty obvious that the presentation from the bots is very biased and extreme.  Another report comes from the Computational Propaganda Project at Oxford University. 

But there is also some evidence that Russians trolled more intellectual speakers and concluded that they didn't "care" about people whom elites considered as anti-intellectual and impressionable, and would not pay attention to what was happening.  They exploited "cultural Marxism" techniques from the past.  They are exploiting the idea that many "elites" feel "air-gap" protection from paying much attention to the feelings of those "beneath them" and having much to do with them. It's the "basket of deplorables" issue. 

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