That moron who spews garbage and doesn’t listen to reason may be a bot

Discussion in 'Technical' started by melbo, Jul 30, 2015.


  1. melbo

    melbo Hunter Gatherer Administrator Founding Member

    Rampant Disinformation

    Such manipulation includes flooding social media with comments supporting the government and large corporations, using armies of sock puppets, i.e. fake social media identities. See this, this, this, this andthis.

    In 2013, the American Congress repealed the formal ban against the deployment of propaganda against U.S. citizens living on American soil. So there’s even less to constrain propaganda than before.

    Information warfare for propaganda purposes also includes:

    • The Pentagon, Federal Reserve and other government entities using software to track discussion of political issues … to try to nip dissent in the bud before it goes viral
    Automated Propaganda
    Some of the propaganda is spread by software programs.

    We pointed out 6 years ago that people were writing scripts to censor hard-hitting information from social media.

    One of America’s top cyber-propagandists – former high-level military information officer Joel Harding – wrote in December:

    I was in a discussion today about information being used in social media as a possible weapon. The people I was talking with have a tool which scrapes social media sites, gauges their sentiment and gives the user the opportunity to automatically generate a persuasive response. Their tool is called a “Social Networking Influence Engine”.

    ***

    The implications seem to be profound for the information environment.

    ***

    The people who own this tool are in the civilian world and don’t even remotely touch the defense sector, so getting approval from the US Department of State might not even occur to them.

    How Can This Be Real?
    Gizmodo reported in 2010:

    Software developer Nigel Leck got tired rehashing the same 140-character arguments against climate change deniers, so he programmed a bot that does the work for him. With citations!

    Leck’s bot, @AI_AGW, doesn’t just respond to arguments directed at Leck himself, it goes out and picks fights. Every five minutes it trawls Twitter for terms and phrases that commonly crop up in Tweets that refute human-caused climate change. It then searches its database of hundreds to find a counter-argument best suited for that tweet—usually a quick statement and a link to a scientific source.

    As can be the case with these sorts of things, many of the deniers don’t know they’ve been targeted by a robot and engage AI_AGW in debate. The bot will continue to fire back canned responses that best fit the interlocutor’s line of debate—Leck says this goes on for days, in some cases—and the bot’s been outfitted with a number of responses on the topic of religion, where the arguments unsurprisingly often end up.

    Technology has come a long way in the past 5 years. So if a lone programmer could do this 5 years ago, imagine what he could do now.

    And the big players have a lot more resources at their disposal than a lone climate activist/software developer does. For example, a government expert told the Washington Post that the government “quite literally can watch your ideas form as you type” (and see this). So if the lone programmer is doing it, it’s not unreasonable to assume that the big boys are widely doing it.

    How Does It Work?
    How does this work?

    We have no inside knowledge, but we can imagine some possibilities:

    • Any article that includes the words “Russia” or “Ukraine” automatically triggers comments accusing Russia of seeking to form a new empire, Putin of being the new Hitler, and the Russians invading and being responsible for all of the violence Ukraine
    • Any article including the words “NSA”, “spying” or “mass surveillance” automatically triggers comments saying that the government is just trying keep us safe, and anyone who questions their actions is a tinfoil hat wearing conspiracy theorist who lives in his mom’s basement
    • Any article mentioning the phrases”Federal Reserve” or “quantitative easing” automatically launches comments saying that the Fed is doing the best it can under difficult circumstances, and that the economy would be much worse without QE
    So that moron who keeps spewing garbage – and doesn’t seem like he’s even listening to your responses – may actually be a bot.

    How Effective Are Automated Comments?
    Unfortunately, this is more effective than you might assume …

    Specifically, scientists have shown that name-calling and swearing breaks down people’s ability to think rationally … and intentionally sowing discord and posting junk comments to push down insightful comments are common propaganda techniques.

    Indeed, an automated program need not even be that sophisticated … it can copy a couple of words from the main post or a comment, and then spew back one or more radioactive labels such as “terrorist”, “commie”, “Russia-lover”, “wimp”, “fascist”, “loser”, “traitor”, “conspiratard”, etc.

    Given that Harding and his compadres consider anyone who questions any U.S. policies as an enemy of the state – as does the Obama administration (and see this) – many honest, patriotic writers and commenters may be targeted for automated propaganda comments.

    That Moron Who Spews Garbage and Doesn't Listen to Reason May Be a Bot Washington's Blog
     
    Yard Dart, Dont, pearlselby and 2 others like this.
  2. NotSoSneaky

    NotSoSneaky former supporter

    Sooner or later there is gonna be gunfire.[OO]

    I ain't plannin' on startin' anything but just saying...[seeno][hearno][sayno]
     
    Yard Dart, Georgia_Boy and oldawg like this.
  3. Ganado

    Ganado Monkey+++

    We are being set up for civil unrest/dictator bummer hilbeast and/or world war. It is how they will 'fix' the economy and impose more laws. Just my opinion
     
  4. tacmotusn

    tacmotusn Mosquito Sailor

    All the more reason to stick to my guns. State my position, and the whole world may kiss my fat bass. Why argue when you are pretty damn sure of your position.
     
    Ganado and pearlselby like this.
  5. tacmotusn

    tacmotusn Mosquito Sailor

    On the first part you are probably quite right. As to Obozo the king of the dumb masses, and Hiltabeast, there is no way they will ever fix the economy. It can't be done the way they are going at it. As to them imposing more laws, it is what they do when they are not lying to us.
     
    Mountainman, Ganado and pearlselby like this.
  6. chelloveck

    chelloveck Diabolus Causidicus

    "OMG my cover has been blown", says chellobot! :eek:
     
    kellory, Dont, oldawg and 4 others like this.
  7. pearlselby

    pearlselby Monkey++

    Absolutely, Ganado!!!
     
    Ganado likes this.
  8. VHestin

    VHestin Farm Chick

    I kind of gave up getting involved with 'discussions' on Facebook. It's just a waste of my time/energy and draws you into a state of negativity. I basically will just say what I have to say, and not bother reading any of the Facebookian replies.
     
  9. Dont

    Dont Just another old gray Jarhead Monkey Site Supporter

    I rarely visit facebook any more. Seems that if someone has their feelers hurt and complain, that which has offended them is pulled. Makes me wonder what terrible thing was posted.. Was it something that was pro firearms, white, millitary.. Or could it have been something that rang of truth?

    By the way, I am not a Bot.. They probably spell bettter..;)
     
  10. HK_User

    HK_User A Productive Monkey is a Happy Monkey Site Supporter

    No facebook for me, never have never will.
     
    kellory likes this.
  11. kellory

    kellory An unemployed Jester, is nobody's fool. Banned

    Well....I think it was either Visu or Cato claimed I was a word processor program....does that qualify?:rolleyes:
     
    Ganado likes this.
  12. Brokor

    Brokor Live Free or Cry Moderator Site Supporter+++ Founding Member

    If we think about how pervasive this really is, it spells out a very clear message which entails disrupting normal channels of online communication and essentially shuts down public discourse. There's a war coming, and I think before it hits the crescendo, all internet activity will be inundated with propaganda and automated subterfuge to the point where government policing can take place without a backlash. This is assuming the majority of internet isn't subjected to the rule of law and accountability --something the major social media sites are already espousing.

    I think these social media websites are primarily geared toward mobile phone users, who comprise the bulk of the user base. Most people don't even use computers anymore, and very few I know locally can even use one. It's all about being tied in to the grid, and as long as this smart phone trend continues, we will see a decline in actual computing and a lessened support for freedom on the internet. The mobile phone browsing public only frequent a handful of websites every day, and the majority of their time is centered around social media. It makes sense for .Gov, through private enterprise, to control these channels of information.
     
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