Monday, February 23, 2015

#54 / Sock Puppets

There was a big controversy when published a full-page ad in The New York Times on September 10, 2007. The ad (quickly removed from the MoveOn website) accused General David H. Petraeus of "cooking the books for the White House." The ad also labeled the General as "General Betray Us."

Click the link to read a recent article in The Guardian about "an effort by the US military to develop software that will let it secretly manipulate social media sites by using fake online personas to influence internet conversations and spread pro-American propaganda." 

General Petraeus is quoted as supporting the effort:

In evidence to the US Senate's armed services committee last year, General David Petraeus, then commander of Centcom, described the operation as an effort to "counter extremist ideology and propaganda and to ensure that credible voices in the region are heard." He said the US military's objective was to be "first with the truth."

Fake online personages are often called "sock puppets." Using "sock puppets" to impart the "truth" is truly a novel concept - or is that what Sesame Street does?

In this case, it's costing the U.S. Taxpayers $2.76 million for the software contract to produce the puppetry.

Better check the list of your "Facebook Friends." 

Image Credit:

1 comment:

  1. In 2013, the Smith-Mundt Act was "reformed," such that the United States government now has free reign to propagandize the American public.

    Social media sites such as Facebook are the perfect places to distribute opinion manipulation in favor of the Pentagon and its client corporations. Social media receive very little critical review or monitoring.

    Let the Tweeting public beware.


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