Because the 2015 US election and 2016 Brexit referendum upsets, foreign affect on democratic elections has become a hot topic. On John Oliver’s A week ago Tonight, a segment explained the ease of tampering with voting machines which inspired me to write down this short article. Before I get into how basic and inexpensive it is to propagate disinformation on the net, I’d like provide some background on why and the way more nations will probably be entering digital warfare space from the future.
Foundations of Geopolitics, a novel drafted through the International Department of the Russian Secretary of state for Defence last 1997, led the way being a philosophical instructions manual for dismantling and dethroning enemies and super-powers alike, together with the ultimate aim of “Finlandization” it really is Europe. According to Wikipedia’s summary about the strategy:
“Military operations play relatively little role. The textbook advocates a sophisticated program of subversion, destabilization, and disinformation spearheaded by the Russia special services.”
In the 2015 US election along with a meagre monthly budget of just $1.25M (estimated $15M annually), Russia’s Internet Research Agency surely could provide the US election to the Republican Party. When it comes to return-on-investment (ROI), Russia spends $36M per Mi-35 helicopter. It’s no surprise then, that as Russia gains more territory and influence, its actual military expenses are decreasing.
Military power is clearly an extremely costly ongoing expense where destabilization is relatively cheap and plentiful. But exactly how is done?
Tactic 1: Choose the Fractures Then Divide & Conquer
While using example of america, this fracturing tactic was exquisitely executed by fuelling instability and actively supporting all dissident groups simultaneously to inflame tensions and divide communities. Enemies of america have been fanning the flames of white nationalism, gun rights groups, stoking anti-immigration sentiment as well as the vilification of refugees and Muslims happen to be most visible. Yet this only scratches the surface.
But more subtle and vicious domestic attacks have been around in support of fringe along with other right-wing religious groups attacking women’s reproductive rights, gay marriage equality, homelessness and mental health.
There has been generational divisiveness growing between Middle-agers and Millennials. There exists a growing demonization of environmental stewardship (see baseless attacks along with other trolling of Greta Thunberg) and attacks on democratically-held values normally.
Long-term, inter-generational damage through the exploitation of these existing divides is viewed from the gutting of america education system, diminishing use of healthcare for all, ballooning deficits that future generations will be saddled down by are just some of the long-term consequences to be gone through this surprisingly inexpensive destabilization warfare technique.
What were once cracks in an overarching national unity are becoming red line fractures in an artificially created, cold civil war. The majority are now asking what was completed to exploit these existing social divides?
Tactic 2: Leverage the digital age intersection between behavioural economics, social media loopholes along with the relative simplicity of search engine exploitation
As a digital strategist and online marketer I have observed that many of the tactics open to civilians were modified to become weaponized against competing nations. Boosting social websites reach on divisive posts and influencers gave fringe groups the wrong sense which they held popular yet controversial views.
Social media marketing provides extensive loopholes i often share to my affiliate marketer followings to enable them to read more bang for his or her buck with clients. It’s remember this social media platforms’ #1 goal would be to help you stay for the platform provided that possible to enable them to make ad revenue. They do this by showing you content believe that can keep yourself a small bit longer. All are literally designed at some level to become addictive to us.
I discuss during my marketing content various exploitation opportunties that trick these social platforms into thinking your content is viral by fooling the algorithm they depend on to distribute to users.
By way of example, with under $100 I can buy 10,000 twitter followers, automatically getting 1,000 retweets and favourites on 10 posts. For $100 of paid ads on twitter, you barely have any results. That’s because Twitter under-reports bot activity as a way to convince its shareholders that site engagement is increasing. It’s not just Twitter – Facebook, Instagram, Youtube (Google), Snapchat and in many cases Linkedin have the ability to the same fundamental vulnerability. It may be very easy to give false social proof to almost anything.
Humans are hardwired with cognitive biases which might be easily and regularly exploited by social networking platforms and search engines to create us believe things are more (or less) popular compared to what they really are. Increasingly we are most often getting stuck within our own social echo chambers and believe many people see things exactly like us.
There were legitimate grievances throughout the US economy like job losses from globalization and artificial intelligence leading to increased economic inequality. But People in america were manipulated and sentiment hijacked by populist narratives to become the victim of the government, elites, experts, Democrats, Mexicans, Muslims, and foreign allies.
Tactic 3: Erode Trust & Global Alliances
What’s worse, not just was the thing achieved to destabilize the US by facilitating the turning of an nation on itself, and also have its internal damage bleed Anti-Americanism into US-global relations. The surprise betrayal in the American-Kurd alliance could have lasting consequences on American credibility, leaving American soldiers and civilians more prone than previously.
France, creation the oldest international ally of america, is now questioning just how much it can depend upon the usa as soon as the abrupt pulling folks forces from Northern Syria without consultations from NATO partners. As reported by the BBC,
“Russia, which sees Nato like a threat to the security, welcomes french president’s comments as “truthful words.””
It’s challenging to say just when this second Cold War started, one thing is certain: we’re woefully happy to defend ourselves from disinformation and still have learned to stop difficult political conversations.
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