Unusual Source, Useful Information

October 8, 2019

I want to give a thumbs up to Cool Smart Phone and its write up “Lies Everywhere. The Truth Is Dead.” The article does a very good job of explaining the basic mechanism for planting misinformation in online channels. Plus the article contains a number of examples.

DarkCyber noted this statement in the write up:

So as a test, I replied to every single one of these replies. I even replied to the original tweet itself, stating that the official advice was indeed to do just this. I thought I’d get some sort of response from the several dozen tweets but no, not one. Not one reply, no one angry response. No blocks. Then, if you look into a lot of these accounts, it’s apparent they’re bots. However, to the casual Twitter, they just see a tweet has 1.4 thousand “Likes”, nearly a thousand retweets and lots of people agreeing with the core message. The bots start things off – next it’s time for the media to chip in. Who knows, the media themselves may have even “planted” some of these stories on social media – just to have a juicy news item to cover.

The one issue I had with the write up was its defeatist approach; specifically:

We’re all being lied to. Social engineering is rife and none of us have the time or the inclination to check and investigate whether that short video on Facebook is real or if the tweet we read this morning is untrue. Like our “sheep” instincts at airports, we just go where we’re told and believe what we’re shown.

DarkCyber’s perception is that increasingly restrictive laws, demands for encryption backdoors, and tighter Internet controls are a response and a potential solution. Note that the fix may be brutal. When societal and personal constraints are removed in our digital era. the governments have limited tools to get civilized behavior back on track. The good old days are going to be imposed via a version of Chinafication.

That shift is underway in many countries, and it will become more visible and forceful. Will news cease being fake? Probably not.

Stephen E Arnold, October 8, 2019


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