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program being developed by the Pentagon would design software to create “sock puppets” on social media outlets

From the article I link to below: "In December, the Pentagon used software to monitor the Twitter debate over Bradley Manning’s pre-trial hearing; another program being developed by the Pentagon would design software to create “sock puppets” on social media outlets; and, last year, General William Caldwell, deployed an information operations team under his command that had been trained in psychological operations to influence visiting American politicians to Kabul.
A U.S. Army whistleblower, Lieutenant Col. Daniel Davis, noted recently in his scathing 84-page unclassified report on Afghanistan that there remains a strong desire within the defense establishment “to enable Public Affairs officers to influence American public opinion when they deem it necessary to "protect a key friendly center of gravity, to wit US national will," he wrote, quoting a well-regarded general."


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Anon - To Be Or Not To Be

Maybe a good question is "Why would software like this work as a weapon for manipulating people?".

The answer is: us & the inflated value of anonymity. We give a weapon like this power. This is how I see it:

- our software is incompetent or just doesn't care about this problem (more members = more page loads = higher advertising profits)

- many of our people don't understand what is being collected, why it's being collected or how to use technology to deal with it

- IMHO, irrational fear inflates the value of anonymity. (a la alex jones)

- anonymity is a freedom that is abused much more often then it's used for good

Imagine a community where an emphasis on open membership is valued and rewarded. The freedom to remain anonymous is 100% available but rules and penalties for abuse are harsh. This sock-puppet tool would be useless because trust would be the norm. People would actually know each other. Whether they agree or disagree would not matter because at least we know that core members of the community are real. And if you want to be a core member, well you need to back your activity up with your identity and expect consequences for your actions.

The outside shape might be a "Pentagon",

but what is inside it is represented by a "Pentagram".

already happening