The Red Scare

Recently there was a series of articles published in the Washington Post and New York Times about the Internet Research Agency or IRA.

Both articles covered a recent congressional reports from Oxford’s Computational Propaganda Project.  These guys are doing great work and it’s worth spending some time at their site. The reports mentioned in these articles can be found here and here.

As you can tell from previous posts, I have a special place in my heart for influence operations, and these two reports were fascinating to me.

Most noticeably was the fact I’ve seen several of the memes and products  the report mentioned  Some of them were shared by family and friends, who would have never done so if they new the actual origin.

This use of the “algorithm” against the American population is not necessarily  a new phenomenon. It’s just a  faster, and arguably more effective tool than radio or television. Actually as I type this I realize that it’s not just the use of social media that has poured gasoline on the issue, but the combined arms effect of using all media.

The film series below is an opinion piece published by the NYT. Also the two cats behind the film did an AMA that’s pretty interesting.

So real talk, it’s not easy to sift out the fake news from real stuff. But like a smooth operator once said,” Don’t take my word for it”

Othala

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