US Military-Socal Media Experts-Who Knew?
The latest social media propaganda techniques might just be being harvesting by the military as they collectively analyize social media propaganda campaigns and attempt to initiate others. You learned about bandwagon, testimonial, transfer and name-calling propaganda techniques in college, but this is taking to the next level. DARPA is the US Department of Defense’s military research department and it has decided to spend about 19 million to research social media and twitter users habits. Declaring that part of its mission is to prevent strategic surprise, the program in question is known as Social Media in Strategic Communication (SMISC). DARPA wants the US Military to play the social media propaganda game itself by disseminating it’s own disinformation and misinformation.
“Wired” Weights In With A Great Piece
On Thursday, Defense Department extreme technology arm Darpa unveiled its Social Media in Strategic Communication (SMISC) program. It’s an attempt to get better at both detecting and conducting propaganda campaigns on social media. SMISC has two goals. First, the program needs to help the military better understand what’s going on in social media in real time — particularly in areas where troops are deployed. Second, Darpa wants SMISC to help the military play the social media propaganda game itself.
This is more than just checking the trending topics on Twitter. The Defense Department wants to deeply grok social media dynamics. So SMISC algorithms will be aimed at discovering and tracking the “formation, development and spread of ideas and concepts (memes)” on social media, according to Darpa’s announcement.
Not all memes, of course. Darpa’s not looking to track the latest twists on foul bachelor frog or see if the Taliban is making propaganda versions of courage wolf. Instead, it wants to see what ideas are bubbling up in among social media users in a particular area — say, where American troops are deployed.
More specifically, SMISC needs to be able to seek out “persuasion campaign structures and influence operations” developing across the social sphere. SMISC is supposed to quickly flag rumors and emerging themes on social media, figure out who’s behind it and what. Moreover, Darpa wants SMISC to be able to actually figure out whether this is a random product of the hivemind or a propaganda operation by an adversary nation or group.
Learn more about the particulars of their research endeavors at http://nakedsecurity.sophos.com/
Propaganda techniques exposed. Learn a little more about the details of software used to analyze twitter patterns in this youtube video
If you are the propagandist…finding “propaganda” from the other side is as easy as identifying the ideas and concepts you would like to monitor, restrict or discredit and then simply taking action to do that.
For the truth seeker, propaganda is much harder to detect especially when neither side is actually trying to win influence honestly and with integrity. Seek for Truth!