This is the second piece in a series on Deep State weaponization of social networks against the American people…
We recently wrote about General Stanley McChrystal (USA, Ret) and his use of Defense Advanced Research Project Agency (DARPA) social media influence technology developed for the U.S. military, in combination with the radical DefeatDisinfo.org group, to influence the 2020 president campaign and marginalize Trump supporters on social networks.
Below is information on the actual DARPA technology itself.
From the creator of the DARPA Social Media in Strategic Communications (SMISC) program in an article from 2011:
The general goal of the Social Media in Strategic Communication (SMISC) program is to develop a new science of social networks built on an emerging technology base. In particular, SMISC will develop automated and semi‐automated operator support tools and techniques for the systematic and methodical use of social media at data scale and in a timely fashion to accomplish four specific program goals:
1. Detect, classify, measure and track the (a) formation, development and spread of ideas and concepts (memes), and (b) purposeful or deceptive messaging and misinformation.
2. Recognize persuasion campaign structures and influence operations across social media sites and communities.
3. Identify participants and intent, and measure effects of persuasion campaigns.
4. Counter messaging of detected adversary influence operations.
It seems some people were not so enthralled with Waltzman’s research at the time and said so publicly.
We all certainly hope that our government listens and responds to legitimate criticism. It may be telling, though, to read through what some think the US government should be able to do within social networks. I had occasion to review a Broad Agency Announcement (sort of a pre-RFP) from DARPA (the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) entitled Social Media in Strategic Communication (SMISC), wrote Dave Higgins in Social Media Today in 2011. Higgins is an expert consultant in Knowledge Management issues, Strategic Technology Planning and Social Media.
In other words, DARPA wants the US government to have the ability to monitor social networks to detect “threats,” then identify individuals connected to the “threats,” and to inject “counter messaging” into social networks to disrupt “threats.” Now ostensibly this capability is supposed to be used to provide sort of an early warning radar to detect “events of strategic as well as tactical importance to our Armed Forces.” And, since the US Armed Forces are not supposed to be operating within the borders of the United States, this capability is presumably intended to monitor and defuse threats on foreign soil.
I think, though, that this would be a very difficult genie to put back into the bottle if it were ever unleashed. To begin with, social networks aren’t greatly confined by geographic borders. It’s a slippery slope from detecting and deflecting threats on foreign soil, to detecting threats originating on foreign soil to assets in the US, to detecting threats within the US to assets within the US. Furthermore, what constitutes a “threat?” Certainly acts of violence constitute a threat, but what about threats of a more political nature; demands threatening protests and unrest if something isn’t done to change “business as usual?”
Is this a capability that we want our government to have? And if so, how do we “ring fence” that capability so that it isn’t used domestically to stifle unwanted political opposition?
Sound like something you’ve experienced on Twitter or Facebook?