Krypt3ia

(Greek: κρυπτεία / krupteía, from κρυπτός / kruptós, “hidden, secret things”)

Defeating Disinformation

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This tweet came up in my feed this morning and it got me thinking. There has been a lot of talk about how disrupting or denying the sources of disinformation could put a stop to it altogether. I for one have not been a proponent of strictly technical solutions to this because they never will work fully and while you can play whack a mole with fake news or disinfo operations, it will always propagate with those who have the cognitive bias and dissonance. What I mean by that is that the mind virus that is fake news or disinformation is just that, those who are disposed to it will propagate it if not create it out of whole cloth for their own reasons be they financial, cultural, or psychological.

While it has been shown that if you give those predisposed to these narratives, the truth once or twice they do not come to the conclusion that they are in fact falsehoods. In fact, the studies thus far have shown that you must repeatedly bombard those individuals with the truth (truth bombs heh) until they actually accept the truth. So, unless you can force these individuals to accept “truth” via other channels than the disinformation feeds, you will have little luck in stopping the disinformation from doing it’s harm and being magnified by those predisposed to their belief in them.

So, what I am saying here is that once again, the technology will not be able to stop the false narratives. The technologies today short of a truly Turing compliant AI that is plugged into the internet as a whole, will not be stopping the disinformation never mind those campaigns of falsehoods by the likes of an Alex Jones because they will be passing them in email, news sites, comments in sites, texts, tweets, over the phone, over the air, …everywhere possible. The reliance or thought of reliance on technologies alone to save us from all this kind of warfare is patently naive. The psychology of why disinformation works and how these things propagate WITH the technology is where we need to focus. More so we need to focus on the psychological aspects in relation to how we might leverage technologies to get the truth into the right minds with repeated viewings is key. Alas though, I fear that this is not what many in the technology space are considering and are relying on algorithms instead of focusing on the animal behind the keyboard. Until we do this I am afraid we are quite doomed to failure.

I also began to parse this tweet out a bit as well on the hacking versus the disinformation campaign. It is quite clear that the hacking and the dumps of information were at some level laced with disinformation but not as a whole was the hack a part of the disinformation campaigns by the GRU. While “not getting hacked” is a good start, the real problems came from other sources and in fact when I looked at the DC leaks stuff and the claims I did come up with some gold that the data did not come from the Clinton Foundation, but instead was DCCC and DNC only to the contrary of what Guccifer 2.0 wanted people to believe.

So yeah, the information being hacked surely added to the mix of disinformation out there but it was not a main contributor to it. Overall, the problems of disinformation rely much more on the psychology of the tribes at play now and the cognitive issues we have within them than the hacking ever did. It turned out at least in the Clinton campaign there was no real “there” there to latch on and make her look even worse with an expose of wrongdoings. The most we got was that they were treating Bernie poorly but really, that was it.

Where were the Benghazi revelations?

Where where the revelations that she and others were running a pedophile ring out of a pizza parlor in DC?

Where was the absolute proof that Clinton had ordered the murders of a number of US citizens and in fact was funneling monies around to places like Panama?

Oh yeah, there were none and this is the reason why the others out there including the GRU and the SVR were creating those narratives on Twitter, Reddit, and elsewhere for those predisposed to those mental virus were living and ready to echo the message to others. When the day comes that we see a dump of information that has been tampered with well enough to detect forensically, then we can parse that out a bit and prove out that a hacked dbase was the cause of disinformation like some of the DC leaks stuff tried to be. Other than that, the two roads do not meet in my book.

The technology is the amplifier but the humans behind the keyboard are the real engines here.

K.

Written by Krypt3ia

2018/07/16 at 16:58

Posted in .gov, .mil, 2016, 2018

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