Jensen Pate posted an update 10 months ago
Since 2015 US election and 2016 Brexit referendum upsets, foreign influence on democratic elections has turned into a hot topic. On John Oliver’s Last Week Tonight, a segment explained the simplicity of tampering with voting machines which inspired me to write down this informative article. Before I get into how simple and inexpensive it really is to propagate disinformation on the net, I’d like provide some background on why and how more nations will be entering the digital warfare space in the coming years.
Foundations of Geopolitics, a book drafted with the International Department with the Russian Secretary of state for Defence in 1997, led the way like a philosophical instructions manual for dismantling and dethroning enemies and super-powers alike, using the ultimate objective of “Finlandization” its Europe. As outlined by Wikipedia’s summary around the strategy:
“Military operations play relatively little role. The textbook advocates a complicated program of subversion, destabilization, and disinformation spearheaded through the Russia special services.”
Throughout the 2015 US election sufficient reason for a meagre monthly budget of only $1.25M (estimated $15M per year), Russia’s Internet Research Agency was able to provide the US election towards the Republican Party. In terms of return-on-investment (ROI), Russia spends $36M per Mi-35 helicopter. It is no wonder then, that as Russia gains more territory and influence, its actual military spending is decreasing.
Military power is clearly an extremely costly ongoing expense where destabilization is fairly cheap and plentiful. But how exactly is done?
Tactic 1: Discover the Fractures Then Divide & Conquer
With all the demonstration of the usa, this fracturing tactic was exquisitely executed by fuelling instability and actively supporting all dissident groups simultaneously to inflame tensions and divide communities. Enemies of the USA are already fanning the flames of white nationalism, gun rights groups, stoking anti-immigration sentiment as well as the vilification of refugees and Muslims are already most visible. Yet this only scratches the surface.
But more subtle and vicious domestic attacks will be in support of fringe and also other right-wing religious groups attacking women’s reproductive rights, gay marriage equality, homelessness and mental health.
We are seeing generational divisiveness growing between Middle-agers and Millennials. There exists a growing demonization of environmental stewardship (see baseless attacks and other trolling of Greta Thunberg) and attacks on democratically-held values in general.
Long-term, inter-generational damage from your exploitation of such existing divides is viewed inside the gutting of the US education system, diminishing use of healthcare for all, ballooning deficits that future generations is going to be saddled down by are just some of the long-term consequences being gone through this surprisingly inexpensive destabilization warfare technique.
What were once cracks in an overarching national unity are getting to be red line fractures in a artificially created, cold civil war. Most are now asking that which was implemented to exploit these existing social divides?
Tactic 2: Leverage the digital age intersection between behavioural economics, social media marketing loopholes and the relative simplicity of google search exploitation
As being a digital strategist an internet-based marketer We have observed that lots of the tactics accessible to civilians were modified to be weaponized against competing nations. Boosting social media reach on divisive posts and influencers gave fringe groups the wrong sense which they held popular yet controversial views.
Social media has a lot of loopholes i often share to my internet marketer followings to allow them to get more bang for buck with clients. It’s donrrrt forget to remember social media marketing platforms’ #1 goal is always to help keep you for the platform providing possible to allow them to make ad revenue. Money by demonstrating content they think help keep yourself a little bit longer. They all are literally designed at some level to be addictive to us.
I discuss within my marketing content the different exploitation opportunties that trick these social platforms into thinking your site content is viral by fooling the algorithm they depend on to distribute to users.
As an example, with less than $100 I can buy 10,000 twitter followers, automatically getting 1,000 retweets and favourites on 10 posts. For $100 of paid ads on twitter, you barely get any results. That’s because Twitter under-reports bot activity in order to convince its shareholders that website engagement is increasing. It’s not simply Twitter – Facebook, Instagram, Youtube (Google), Snapchat as well as Linkedin all have exactly the same fundamental vulnerability. It is now a breeze to provide false social proof to just about anything.
Humans are hardwired with cognitive biases which can be easily and often exploited by social media marketing platforms and search engines to create us feel that situations are more (or less) popular than they really are. Increasingly we are getting stuck in your own social echo chambers and believe most people see things just like us.
There were legitimate grievances around the US economy like job losses from globalization and artificial intelligence leading to increased economic inequality. But People in america were manipulated and sentiment hijacked by populist narratives to become the victim with the government, elites, experts, Democrats, Mexicans, Muslims, and foreign allies.
Tactic 3: Erode Trust & Global Alliances
What’s worse, not simply was desire to achieved to destabilize the usa by facilitating the turning of the nation on itself, but also have its internal damage bleed Anti-Americanism into US-global relations. The surprise betrayal of the American-Kurd alliance may have lasting consequences on American credibility, leaving American soldiers and civilians more susceptible than ever.
France, the foremost and the oldest international ally of the us, is questioning simply how much it might count on the united states after the abrupt pulling of US forces from Northern Syria without consultations from NATO partners. As stated by the BBC,
“Russia, which sees Nato as being a threat to the security, welcomes france president’s comments as “truthful words.””
It’s challenging to say just when this second Cold War started, only one thing is certain: we’re woefully happy to defend ourselves from disinformation and possess learned to stop difficult political conversations.
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