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  • Jensen Frye posted an update 2 weeks, 3 days ago

    Considering that the 2015 US election and 2016 Brexit referendum upsets, foreign relation to democratic elections has turned into a hot topic. On John Oliver’s The other day Tonight, a segment explained the tranquility of tampering with voting machines which inspired me to create this short article. Before I recieve into how easy and inexpensive it’s to propagate disinformation on the internet, I’d like provide some background on why and how more nations will be entering a digital warfare space in the future years.

    Foundations of Geopolitics, the sunday paper drafted through the International Department with the Russian Ministry of Defence in 1997, paved the way as being a philosophical instructions manual for dismantling and dethroning enemies and super-powers alike, with all the ultimate purpose of “Finlandization” like Europe. Based on Wikipedia’s summary about the strategy:

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

    Throughout the 2015 US election along with a meagre monthly budget of only $1.25M (estimated $15M a year), Russia’s Investigation Agency was able to provide the US election to the Republican Party. Regarding return-on-investment (ROI), Russia spends $36M per Mi-35 helicopter. It is no surprise then, that as Russia gains more territory and influence, its actual military expenses are decreasing.

    Military power is clearly an extremely costly ongoing expense where destabilization is relatively cheap and plentiful. But exactly how is done?

    Tactic 1: Obtain the Fractures Then Divide & Conquer

    While using illustration 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 happen to be fanning the flames of white nationalism, gun rights groups, stoking anti-immigration sentiment and the vilification of refugees and Muslims have been most visible. Yet this only scratches the surface.

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

    There has been generational divisiveness growing between Forty somethings and beyond and Millennials. There is 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 in the exploitation of such existing divides is observed within the gutting of the US education system, diminishing usage of healthcare for all, ballooning deficits that future generations is going to 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 a overarching national unity have become red line fractures within an artificially created, cold civil war. Most are now asking that which was done to exploit these existing social divides?

    Tactic 2: Leverage digital age intersection between behavioural economics, social websites loopholes along with the relative easy google search exploitation

    As a digital strategist and internet-based marketer We have observed that lots of the tactics available to civilians were modified to get weaponized against competing nations. Boosting social media reach on divisive posts and influencers gave fringe groups an incorrect sense which they held popular yet controversial views.

    Social networking provides extensive loopholes i often share to my affiliate marketer followings so they can get more bang because of their buck with clients. It’s remember this social networking platforms’ #1 goal is always to help keep you about the platform provided that possible for them to make ad revenue. Money by demonstrating content they are will keep yourself on a bit longer. All of them are literally designed at some level to be addictive to all of us.

    I discuss in 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 upon 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 as a way to convince its shareholders that site engagement is growing. It’s not only Twitter – Facebook, Instagram, Youtube (Google), Snapchat and even Linkedin have the ability to exactly the same fundamental vulnerability. It is super easy to give false social proof to almost anything.

    Humans are hardwired with cognitive biases that are easily and frequently exploited by social networking platforms and search engines to create us think that everything is more (or less) popular in comparison with truly are. Increasingly we appear to be getting stuck inside our own social echo chambers and believe most people see things the same as us.

    There was legitimate grievances around the US economy like job losses from globalization and artificial intelligence causing increased economic inequality. But People in the usa were manipulated and sentiment hijacked by populist narratives of being the victim in the government, elites, experts, Democrats, Mexicans, Muslims, and foreign allies.

    Tactic 3: Erode Trust & Global Alliances

    What’s worse, not merely was the aim achieved to destabilize the usa by facilitating the turning of the nation on itself, but additionally have its internal damage bleed Anti-Americanism into US-global relations. The surprise betrayal in the American-Kurd alliance will have lasting consequences on American credibility, leaving American soldiers and civilians more vulnerable than ever.

    France, the first and the oldest international ally of the usa, is now questioning how much it might depend upon america following the abrupt pulling folks forces from Northern Syria without consultations from NATO partners. As stated by the BBC,

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

    It’s tough to say just when this second Cold War started, but one thing is certain: we’re woefully prepared to defend ourselves from disinformation and have learned to prevent difficult political conversations.

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