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  • Bonde Stroud posted an update 6 months, 1 week ago

    Since 2015 US election and 2016 Brexit referendum upsets, foreign affect on democratic elections has become a hot topic. On John Oliver’s The other day Tonight, a segment explained the simplicity tampering with voting machines which inspired me to write this informative article. Before I get into how simple and inexpensive it can be to propagate disinformation on the web, I’d like provide some background on why and the way more nations will probably be entering the digital warfare space inside the future years.

    Foundations of Geopolitics, a novel drafted from the International Department from the Russian Secretary of state for Defence back in 1997, led the way like a philosophical instructions manual for dismantling and dethroning enemies and super-powers alike, with all the ultimate goal of “Finlandization” like Europe. Based on Wikipedia’s summary for the strategy:

    “Military operations play relatively little role. The textbook advocates a sophisticated program of subversion, destabilization, and disinformation spearheaded from the Russia special services.”

    Throughout the 2015 US election sufficient reason for a meagre monthly budget of only $1.25M (estimated $15M each year), Russia’s Research Agency was able to provide the US election towards the Republican Party. When it comes to return-on-investment (ROI), Russia spends $36M per Mi-35 helicopter. It’s no surprise 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 pretty cheap and plentiful. But exactly how are these claims done?

    Tactic 1: Get the Fractures Then Divide & Conquer

    With all the illustration of the US, 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 happen to be fanning the flames of white nationalism, gun rights groups, stoking anti-immigration sentiment as well as the vilification of refugees and Muslims happen to be most visible. Yet this only scratches the counter.

    But more subtle and vicious domestic attacks have been in support of fringe and other right-wing religious groups attacking women’s reproductive rights, gay marriage equality, homelessness and mental health.

    We are seeing generational divisiveness growing between Baby Boomers and Millennials. There is a growing demonization of environmental stewardship (see baseless attacks and also other trolling of Greta Thunberg) and attacks on democratically-held values generally.

    Long-term, inter-generational damage from your exploitation of those existing divides sometimes appears within the gutting of the usa education system, diminishing usage of healthcare for all those, ballooning deficits that future generations will be saddled down by some of the long-term consequences to get felt by this surprisingly inexpensive destabilization warfare technique.

    What were once cracks in the overarching national unity are becoming red line fractures in the artificially created, cold civil war. Lots of people are now asking what was completed to exploit these existing social divides?

    Tactic 2: Leverage the digital age intersection between behavioural economics, social media loopholes as well as the relative ease of internet search engine exploitation

    Being a digital strategist an internet-based marketer I have observed that many of the tactics open to civilians were modified to be weaponized against competing nations. Boosting social media marketing reach on divisive posts and influencers gave fringe groups a false sense which they held popular yet controversial views.

    Social media has many loopholes that i often share to my internet marketer followings for them to get more bang for their buck with clients. It’s remember this social websites platforms’ #1 goal would be to help you stay on the platform providing possible for them to make ad revenue. This is done by revealing content they believe could keep your self on a bit longer. All of them are literally designed at some level being addictive to us.

    I discuss inside my marketing content the many exploitation opportunties that trick these social platforms into thinking your content is viral by fooling the algorithm they rely on to distribute to users.

    For instance, with lower 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 so that you can convince its shareholders that site engagement is growing. It’s not simply Twitter – Facebook, Instagram, Youtube (Google), Snapchat and in many cases Linkedin all have precisely the same fundamental vulnerability. It is super easy to provide false social proof to just about anything.

    Humans are hardwired with cognitive biases that are easily and frequently exploited by social networking platforms and check engines to create us think that the situation is more (or less) popular in comparison with really are. Increasingly we are getting stuck in your own social echo chambers and believe many people see things similar to us.

    There have been legitimate grievances across the US economy like job losses from globalization and artificial intelligence resulting in increased economic inequality. But People in the usa were manipulated and sentiment hijacked by populist narratives to become the victim in the government, elites, experts, Democrats, Mexicans, Muslims, and foreign allies.

    Tactic 3: Erode Trust & Global Alliances

    What’s worse, not simply was the goal achieved to destabilize america by facilitating the turning of an nation on itself, but also have its internal damage bleed Anti-Americanism into US-global relations. The surprise betrayal with the American-Kurd alliance can have lasting consequences on American credibility, leaving American soldiers and civilians weaker than ever.

    France, the foremost and the oldest international ally of the us, has become questioning simply how much it could depend on the usa as soon as the abrupt pulling people forces from Northern Syria without the consultations from NATO partners. As stated by the BBC,

    “Russia, which sees Nato being a threat to its security, welcomes france president’s comments as “truthful words.””

    It’s challenging to say when exactly this second Cold War started, but one thing is for sure: we’re woefully willing to defend ourselves from disinformation and possess learned to stop difficult political conversations.

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