Jensen Frye posted an update 2 years, 7 months ago
Since 2015 US election and 2016 Brexit referendum upsets, foreign affect on democratic elections has developed into a hot topic. On John Oliver’s A week ago Tonight, a segment explained the simplicity tampering with voting machines which inspired me to create this informative article. Before I recieve into how simple and easy , inexpensive it is to propagate disinformation online, I’d like provide some background on why and exactly how more nations is going to be entering digital warfare space from the long term.
Foundations of Geopolitics, a magazine drafted from the International Department from the Russian Secretary of state for Defence back in 1997, paved the way being a philosophical instructions manual for dismantling and dethroning enemies and super-powers alike, with all the ultimate aim of “Finlandization” for all of Europe. As outlined by Wikipedia’s summary on 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.”
Through the 2015 US election with a meagre monthly budget of just $1.25M (estimated $15M each year), Russia’s Investigation Agency might provide the US election towards the Republican Party. With regards to 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 expenses are decreasing.
Military power is clearly a very costly ongoing expense where destabilization is fairly cheap and plentiful. But how exactly is that this done?
Tactic 1: Obtain the Fractures Then Divide & Conquer
While using demonstration of the united states, 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 and also the vilification of refugees and Muslims happen to be most visible. Yet this only scratches the outer lining.
But more subtle and vicious domestic attacks come in support of fringe and other right-wing religious groups attacking women’s reproductive rights, gay marriage equality, homelessness and mental health.
There has been generational divisiveness growing between Middle-agers and Millennials. There’s a growing demonization of environmental stewardship (see baseless attacks and also other trolling of Greta Thunberg) and attacks on democratically-held values generally speaking.
Long-term, inter-generational damage through the exploitation of such existing divides is viewed from the gutting of the US education system, diminishing usage of healthcare for those, ballooning deficits that generations to come will be saddled down by are a few of the long-term consequences to get gone through by this surprisingly inexpensive destabilization warfare technique.
What were once cracks in the overarching national unity have grown to be red line fractures within an artificially created, cold civil war. Many are now asking the thing that was carried out to exploit these existing social divides?
Tactic 2: Leverage the digital age intersection between behavioural economics, social media marketing loopholes and also the relative easy search engine exploitation
Like a digital strategist and internet based marketer I’ve observed that lots of the tactics available to civilians were modified to become weaponized against competing nations. Boosting social networking reach on divisive posts and influencers gave fringe groups a false sense they held popular yet controversial views.
Social networking has several loopholes i often share to my internet marketer followings for them to get more bang because of their buck with clients. It’s donrrrt forget to remember social websites platforms’ #1 goal is to help you stay for the platform so long as possible to allow them to make ad revenue. This is done by displaying content they are will keep yourself a bit longer. They are all literally designed at some level to be addictive to all of us.
I discuss inside my marketing content the many exploitation opportunties that trick these social platforms into thinking your posts is viral by fooling the algorithm they depend on to distribute to users.
For example, with under $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 have any results. That’s because Twitter under-reports bot activity to be able to convince its shareholders this web page engagement is increasing. It’s not only Twitter – Facebook, Instagram, Youtube (Google), Snapchat and also Linkedin all have precisely the same fundamental vulnerability. It is super easy to give false social proof to almost anything.
Humans are hardwired with cognitive biases which can be easily and often exploited by social media platforms and search engines to produce us believe that things are more (or fewer) popular than they really are. Increasingly we appear to be getting stuck in our own social echo chambers and believe most people see things exactly like us.
There were legitimate grievances throughout the US economy like job losses from globalization and artificial intelligence producing increased economic inequality. But US citizens were manipulated and sentiment hijacked by populist narratives of being the victim from the government, elites, experts, Democrats, Mexicans, Muslims, and foreign allies.
Tactic 3: Erode Trust & Global Alliances
What’s worse, not simply was the aim achieved to destabilize the united states by facilitating the turning of an nation on itself, and also have its internal damage bleed Anti-Americanism into US-global relations. The surprise betrayal of the American-Kurd alliance will have lasting consequences on American credibility, leaving American soldiers and civilians weaker than ever before.
France, the the oldest international ally of the usa, is now questioning just how much it may depend upon america after the abrupt pulling of US forces from Northern Syria without any consultations from NATO partners. As stated by the BBC,
“Russia, which sees Nato as being a threat towards the security, welcomes in france they president’s comments as “truthful words.””
It’s hard to say just when this second Cold War started, just one thing is certain: we’re woefully willing to defend ourselves from disinformation and have learned to avoid difficult political conversations.
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