(Guardian) US spy operation that manipulates social media

The US military is developing software that will let it secretly manipulate social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter 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….

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, --Social Networking, America/U.S.A., Blogging & the Internet, Defense, National Security, Military, Foreign Relations, Science & Technology

10 comments on “(Guardian) US spy operation that manipulates social media

  1. Billy says:

    So, if this is true, why are we letting the world know it?

  2. Caedmon says:

    Billy at 1: Because we (purportedly) live in a free and open society. I for one would have it no other way.

  3. Billy says:

    Well, Caedmon, that’s wonderful. There is definitely a place in the world for idealism. But when you see the rest of the world taking advantage of that freedom and openness to bring you down, it doesn’t make much sense to have covert operations to protect that same freedom and openness, and then tell the world about your covert operations. I suspect in your heart of hearts you really don’t mind when the CIA has a covert operation to protect us somewhere in the world, but you probably become very critical of the CIA, when the facts of that covert operation are revealed by some member of Congress, who leaks confidential information from the executive session of the Foreign Relations Committee meeting.

  4. Branford says:

    There is a vast difference between creating fake personas “to influence internet conversations and spread pro-American propaganda” and “China’s attempts to control and restrict free speech on the internet.” And anyone who doesn’t know the difference has no business speaking on the topic.

  5. BlueOntario says:

    It’s obviously not like what China is doing, but since bashing America is again in vogue, obviously it is just_like_that.

  6. wportbello says:

    The mainstream media and Hollywood are full of sock puppets. They just happen to represent the other side. Who knew?

  7. Connecticutian says:

    Shocking. Next thing you know, governments will employ propaganda and disinformation via newspapers, TV, radio and leaflet as well. Might even learn that spies have starting wearing disguises.

  8. Caedmon says:

    Billy at 3.
    The answer to your question more or less depends upon whether or not our spooks are firstly, in the long run, doing us good or ill. Then there is the question of whether our good somehow comports with the demands of the Gospel. I have at least that much idealism. How about you?

  9. dwstroudmd+ says:

    Gosh, Wally, this is like using optics for spy satellites or sumpin’. Or really, really fast calculators to do your homework instead of by hand.


  10. Cennydd13 says:

    This is news?