How Bots and Sock Puppets Manipulate What You See and Believe

#1
How Fake Accounts Constantly Manipulate What You See and Believe

{Social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram started out as a way to connect with friends, family and people of interest. But anyone on social media these days knows it’s increasingly a divisive landscape.

Undoubtedly you’ve heard reports that hackers and even foreign governments are using social media to manipulate and attack you. You may wonder how that is possible. As a professor of computer science who researches social media and security, I can explain – and offer some ideas for what you can do about it.

Bots and sock puppets

Social media platforms don’t simply feed you the posts from the accounts you follow. They use algorithms to curate what you see based in part on “likes” or “votes.” A post is shown to some users, and the more those people react – positively or negatively – the more it will be highlighted to others. Sadly, lies and extreme content often garner more reactions and so spread quickly and widely.

But who is doing this “voting”? Often it’s an army of accounts, called bots, that do not correspond to real people. In fact, they’re controlled by hackers, often on the other side of the world. For example, researchers have reported that more than half of the Twitter accounts discussing COVID-19 are bots.

Sowing chaos

Trolls often don’t care about the issues as much as they care about creating division and distrust. For example, researchers in 2018 concluded that some of the most influential accounts on both sides of divisive issues, like Black Lives Matter and Blue Lives Matter, were controlled by troll farms.
More than just fanning disagreement, trolls want to encourage a belief that truth no longer exists. Divide and conquer. Distrust anyone who might serve as a leader or trusted voice. Cut off the head. Demoralize. Confuse. Each of these is a devastating attack strategy.

Even as a social media researcher, I underestimate the degree to which my opinion is shaped by these attacks. I think I am smart enough to read what I want, discard the rest and step away unscathed. Still, when I see a post that has millions of likes, part of me thinks it must reflect public opinion. The social media feeds I see are affected by it and, what’s more, I am affected by the opinions of my real friends, who are also influenced.}

Speaking of which, here's a little tidbit from Sciforums...

Ten bucks says that monkey is Syne.  Big Grin

http://www.sciforums.com/threads/intelli...st-3640683
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#2
What's your big hard on for me? Even in completely unrelated posts, you periodically slip something in to show you've been thinking about me. Seriously, your hubby needs to know he ain't doing his job.
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#3
The media likes to say it's rogue elements like "Marxists hellbent on destroying democracy" or "hackers with an botnet army", but there is far more to it than that. The very nature of democracy is that once it gets too big it collapses under it's own weight. The power struggles that attempt to create dominant "super power countries" might of worked while people were sheepish to what elitists dictated but once people start wanting all their freedoms all the time, those systems are threatened.

That's why the true route of the botnets and fake news manipulation is actually really about keeping the elitists in control. After all if they poke or prod something in a given direction and the mass hysteria generates roaming mobs of people that aren't thinking clearing, it enables them to prove why their directorate/authoritarian system should be applied over any democracy since after all people can't behave without the rule of rod. In some respects it's a way to try and get you to think the same way as they do, so you offer less resistance to their demands or changes. In fact you'll probably herald them in as a great idea.

The only real option is to ignore everything and wash your hands of any politics, nationalism, country etc.
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#4
(Jun 27, 2020 08:21 PM)stryder Wrote: The very nature of democracy is that once it gets too big it collapses under it's own weight.  The power struggles that attempt to create dominant "super power countries" might of worked while people were sheepish to what elitists dictated but once people start wanting all their freedoms all the time, those systems are threatened. 
That's only true of democracies, not constitutional republics, which have safeguards against the tyranny of the majority. But then, that's why Democrats want the US to just be a democracy (like getting rid of the Electoral College). So they can have exert dominance over any minority.
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#5
(Jun 27, 2020 06:35 PM)Syne Wrote: What's your big hard on for me? Even in completely unrelated posts, you periodically slip something in to show you've been thinking about me. Seriously, your hubby needs to know he ain't doing his job.

Yeah, keep dreaming, my friend. I just thought that there’s no way that there could be two of you.

I like the avatar though. It suits you.

(Jun 27, 2020 08:21 PM)stryder Wrote: The only real option is to ignore everything and wash your hands of any politics, nationalism, country etc.

That would be nice if you could ignore it all but "it" won't ignore you.
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#6
(Jun 28, 2020 12:11 AM)Secular Sanity Wrote:
(Jun 27, 2020 06:35 PM)Syne Wrote: What's your big hard on for me? Even in completely unrelated posts, you periodically slip something in to show you've been thinking about me. Seriously, your hubby needs to know he ain't doing his job.

Yeah, keep dreaming, my friend. I just thought that there’s no way that there could be two of you.

I like the avatar though. It suits you.
LOL! More like a nightmare, deary. You're hubby probably has the right idea.
See, you even imagine me where I'm not. Jeez.
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#7
(Jun 27, 2020 06:35 PM)Syne Wrote: What's your big hard on for me? Even in completely unrelated posts, you periodically slip something in to show you've been thinking about me. Seriously, your hubby needs to know he ain't doing his job.

Brilliant. I can only think of one word.....underlying. Maybe.... subtlety disguised(2 words). Either way it’s pretty good. 

Thousands of teenagers and adults, dealing with the prying eyes of partners and parents, would pay for a cell phone app that could do this. 

May not want to know what image popped into my head after reading above quote. Left me wondering, are they one and the same person or are they having an affair, even if only one of them is imagining it? Maybe something more sinister...idk. 

’No way there could be two of you’..... pause for thought response.
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#8
(Jun 28, 2020 06:51 AM)Syne Wrote:
(Jun 28, 2020 12:11 AM)Secular Sanity Wrote:
(Jun 27, 2020 06:35 PM)Syne Wrote: What's your big hard on for me? Even in completely unrelated posts, you periodically slip something in to show you've been thinking about me. Seriously, your hubby needs to know he ain't doing his job.

Yeah, keep dreaming, my friend. I just thought that there’s no way that there could be two of you.

I like the avatar though. It suits you.
LOL! More like a nightmare, deary. You're hubby probably has the right idea.
See, you even imagine me where I'm not. Jeez.

Really? Damn! If that’s not you then you should go for broke.

https://www.wikihow.com/Start-a-Bromance
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#9
(Jun 27, 2020 04:37 PM)Secular Sanity Wrote: How Fake Accounts Constantly Manipulate What You See and Believe

[....] Undoubtedly you’ve heard reports that hackers and even foreign governments are using social media to manipulate and attack you. You may wonder how that is possible. As a professor of computer science who researches social media and security, I can explain – and offer some ideas for what you can do about it.

In the course of chastising authoritarian states for their human rights violations, it's ironic that the West's own hyper-receptivity and over-reaction to social justice issues within its own boundaries has become a manipulative tool for partially facilitating its gradual societal collapse. Especially when much of the posturing is simply a para-religious replacement for old-time, pretentious "holier-than-thou" status jockeying.

Which even business exploits (decades ago it alternatively coddled church values), and then in return is exploited by with respect to not wanting to be left behind by the latest (superficial) virture signaling trends: Starbucks is the latest big company to halt advertising on social media. The rival, angry & mocking responses to the high-profile preaching of politicians, ideologue experts & scientists, and social media crusaders is -- of course -- also essential to the combustible mix.

Quote:[...] Speaking of which, here's a little tidbit from Sciforums...
Ten bucks says that monkey is Syne.  Big Grin

http://www.sciforums.com/threads/intelli...st-3640683

I noticed that instance of psychological parallel evolution, too. He's been around for awhile, but like 85% of what goes on in there nowadays, I didn't encounter him enough for a template to fully register/crystalize concerning him till circa the last two months.
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