We can’t ignore this.
They wanted to make fascists
Don’t be surprised if evidence eventually comes out that some of the biggest fake accounts emerged around Syria, shaping “anti-imperialist” and fash messages.
Do we really think the US government and its shadowy network of intelligence contractors aren’t doing it too?
In docs from the HBGary and Stratfor leaks, these networks of fake accounts are referred to as “persona management.”
They were used against Anonymous & Occupy.
First, optimism. The sheer variety of actors using these techniques mean they can’t always be successful.
And the nature of influencing is…fuzzy.
Your spin attempt may evolve in unexpected directions.
Everyone is reacting to everyone else.
No one is in control.
Not Putin. Not the US. Nobody.
We once dreamed, some of us, that the Internet was a public square where the world’s people could congregate and conspire beyond the reach of our governments.
We thought we could meet new people, different from us, and forge new bonds of solidarity.
Social media has sorted us into echo chambers and tribes.
This means we only see what our tribe sees.
And it means anyone with a map of the whole territory can manipulate the tribes.
A free and pluralistic Internet, an international and multicultural Internet with many intermingling worlds living in peace, is possible.
At least, in principle it is.
In practice, the dream is dying. Maybe dead.