Government Social Media Bots Exposed
A lot of people look at the Internet as a way of breaking free from the main stream media propagandists who spew pro government disinformation all day long on cable news channels. There’s also a certain amount of “online activism” as people use mediums like social networking to extricate batteries from the Matrix. Since cancelling my cable television subscription nearly 5 years ago, social media has become my primary news source, and I’m far better informed than I was in the days when Fox News played in the background all day.
That said, pro freedom outlets still stand as tiny minorities on the Internet today. Take a look at the top 100 Facebook pages, it’s almost entirely distractions. Pop music, cartoons, and Coca Cola top the charts. Hell, even Barack Obama doesn’t make the top 50, coming in at the 63rd most popular Facebook page. Twitter is only slightly better, with some main stream media outlets and political figures mixed in with the pop stars. Of the most popular websites on the planet, the first news outlet I can recognize is the Huffington Post, a decidedly leftist publication ranking at #78 on Alexa.com, while the #1 libertarian website on Earth, according to TopLibertarian.com is Reason.com, with an Alexa ranking of 7,597.
Of course, that’s not good enough for the government. Even this tiny little bit of dissent, is a bit too much for the most powerful government in the history of mankind to tolerate. As far back as 2011, a story came out that the US Air Force was seeking an “Online Persona Management Service”. One capable of allowing a single user to simultaneously manage “a number of different online persons from the same workstation and without fear of being discovered by sophisticated adversaries” that are “replete with background, history, supporting details, and cyber presences that are technically, culturally and geographically consistent”. Even seeking to game geolocation systems and include “a user friendly application environment to maximize the user’s situational awareness by displaying real-time local information.”.
Today I stumbled upon a story on FreeBeacon.com, about the Department of Health & Human Services looking for a “Social Media Analysis” tool. Solicitation Number: 02182014 seeks an application or service with the following capabilities.
- Access to full Twitter firehose.
- Access to a minimum of 5 years of full Twitter historical data.
- Access to real-time social media posts.
- Ability to construct lengthy Boolean searches.
- Access to multiple account log-ins.
- Ability to build categorized search queries.
- Ability to edit or create new search criteria at will.
- Ability to save multiple searches.
- Ability to filter search results based on geographic location, at least to the state level.
- Ability to filter out or remove retweets from search return.
- Ability to custom set beginning and end of search time-frame.
- Easy visualization of data, including ability to display multiple searches in a single graph.
- Real-time alerting.
- Ability to conduct or train sentiment analysis.
Now, other than the fact that this will be taxpayer funded and used for evil, I don’t actually have a problem with most of these features. All of us can access the Twitter API for free, any of us could either use an existing search system or write our own for sentiment analysis, and many marketing firms already do this. The “firehose” mentioned is basically a paid version of the Twitter API that just guarantees access to 100% of the tweets involved. Any of us could store all of that data for 5 years, and run any search we like on it.
What bothers me about this story is the same as the 2011 story about the Air Force. “5. Access to multiple account log-ins.”
This isn’t about sentiment analysis. This is about sentiment creation. This is about having government agents managing multiple fake profiles to surreptitiously manufacture public opinion by trolling dissenting content, and there are indicators that this is already happening.
I discussed this at some length with Adam Kokesh on “Some Garbage Podcast” episode 4. Mention Adam in a positive light, and within moments, people you’ve never heard of before will descend upon your thread to call him a “Zionist Jew Shill!”. If you follow their profiles, most of these accounts are obviously fake. They will have fake or no profile photo, there will be little to no content, and in the case of YouTube profiles, you can see where they have commented on other videos, with nothing but a few pop culture references “I like this song” and the rest is all pro government comments.
For some examples, I went to the comments on one of my more popular videos, Cop Blocking a Checkpoint. My friend and I warned drivers of an upcoming checkpoint on the highway, and exposed the dangerous actions of police on that highway. I have received a lot of negative comments on that video, and almost all of them look like they came from fake, or at least questionable profiles.
Here’s one of the many negative comments on that video.
Then check out his YouTube channel, profile photo, no videos, no subscribers, just pro government comments on other videos.
Then there’s this guy
Again, check out his profile, no profile photo, no subscribers, no videos, a couple of pop culture references, and then, pro government commentary.
And this guy,
Again, look at his profile, no profile photo, no subscribers, and nothing but pro cop commentary.
There are over 1500 comments on that video, and the vast majority of negative comments will follow back to profiles like the ones above. As if these people just cheer on the State in their spare time, and do almost nothing else.
Consider the troll nightmare that came of Adam Kokesh’s “Open Carry March on Washington”. It’s difficult to go back to the beginning of the posts and comments because people were still commenting on that event page this month. A web browser becomes quite the memory hog when you try to scroll through 8+ months of troll fighting, but there were hundreds of fake profiles posting pro government, anti gun propaganda to that event. It got to the point that people were more focused on the army of trolls than on the event itself. Fake Facebook profiles are not unique to government, of course. Anybody can do that. So pointing out a handful of fake profiles probably isn’t even worth the time, because it was not the presence, but the massive volume of fake profiles spewing nothing but pro government propaganda that made the infestation suspicious.
Additionally, we know that the feds were paying close attention to that event, and that federal agents manufactured felony charges against Adam in Philadelphia, hoping to derail the event. When you go on Alex Jones and say “This is an armed revolt against the American government”, don’t be surprised when espionage assets are used against you.
If this is already happening on a small scale, enough to disrupt an event, or manipulate public opinion of a certain type of activism, then what happens when these RFP’s turn into full blown government programs with billions of dollars backing them? In this article we’ve linked to three different official requests from the Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Defense, and the Federal Reserve, for software that is already likely in use by intelligence agencies.
We know that Facebook will remove a page, or ban a user, just for getting too many reports, even if those reports are false. That means an army of government propagandabots can silence any Facebook user.
If the RFP’s are fulfilled, then the bots will become harder to spot.
Right now, these bots are fairly obvious when you find them. Whether or not they are government agents in every case might be questionable, but we can generally spot a fake profile pretty easily. These agencies are seeking software that will make more convincing profiles, complete with real time local information and geolocation spoofing, presumably because they know the existing ones are being spotted.
Take for example a company like Help Me Social, they will, for a small fee, post keyword based content to your social media profiles on a daily basis, through a completely automated system.
There is already software available to automatically add Facebook friends.
On Fiverr.com, you can already buy Facebook Likes, Twitter Followers, LinkedIn Connections, reddit upvotes, and all manner of web traffic and social networking activity for $5 a clip. What happens when government throws a few million at some of these people?
If you thought the main stream media was controlled, you just wait until billions of taxpayer dollars are thrown at manipulating public opinion through social media, and search engine optimization. People tend to go along with whatever they think is popular, which is why democracy, or the illusion thereof, is such an effective tool of oppression.
If you thought the Internet and social media where they keys to defeating this, then think again. Because they are just as easily manipulated as main steam media, if not more. Even if these companies weren’t already in bed with the government, which we know they are, these outlets could be manipulated by any outside force. When that outside force controls nearly every sector of the global economy, has secret courts, and massive teams of armed thugs to enforce its edicts, then let’s not be surprised if they are able to manipulate these outlets easier than your average social media or SEO guru.
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