U.S. Military To Create Fake Online Personas To Promote America
The first thought I had upon hearing this was, if America is so wonderful, why do you have to create phony personas to promote it. Can’t you find enough real people who actually love America?
The Guardian reports Thursday that “The US military is developing software that will let it secretly manipulate social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter by using fake online personas to influence internet conversations and spread pro-American propaganda.”
Raw Story first reported last month on a U.S. military contract awarded to a private vendor for the so-called “persona management” software. The Guardian identifies that vendor as “a California corporation” that will make it possible for “one US serviceman or woman to control up to 10 separate identities based all over the world” as long as each fake persona has “a convincing background, history and supporting details.”
The Guardian reports:
The project has been likened by web experts to China’s attempts to control and restrict free speech on the internet. Critics are likely to complain that it will allow the US military to create a false consensus in online conversations, crowd out unwelcome opinions and smother commentaries or reports that do not correspond with its own objectives.
A spokesman for the U.S. Central Command told them that the social media “interventions” would only be written in Arabic, Farsi, Urdu and Pashto, and he offered the following comment: “The technology supports classified blogging activities on foreign-language websites to enable Centcom to counter violent extremist and enemy propaganda outside the US.”
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