Revealed: US spy operation that manipulates social media

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Revealed: US spy operation that manipulates social media

That you can fight war on the internet is nothing new: the situation in Egypt und Tunesia shows how important the internet has become in that respect. That is something the US military would like to use as well. So they ordered a piece of software that enables them to manipulate opinion on social media sites. Please note: using this kind of technology (also known as sock puppets) against US civilians would be illegal.

Centcom spokesman Commander Bill Speaks said: “The technology supports classified blogging activities on foreign-language websites to enable Centcom to counter violent extremist and enemy propaganda outside the US.”

He said none of the interventions would be in English, as it would be unlawful to “address US audiences” with such technology, and any English-language use of social media by Centcom was always clearly attributed. The languages in which the interventions are conducted include Arabic, Farsi, Urdu and Pashto.

Once developed, the software could allow US service personnel, working around the clock in one location, to respond to emerging online conversations with any number of co-ordinated Facebook messages, blogposts, tweets, retweets, chatroom posts and other interventions. Details of the contract suggest this location would be MacDill air force base near Tampa, Florida, home of US Special Operations Command.

Taken from: the guardian.

More info:
Sockpuppet (wikipedia)

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