Furor Erupts Over Facebook's Experiment on Users

Discussion in 'News / Current Events' started by poncho, Jul 1, 2014.

  1. poncho

    poncho
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    A social-network furor has erupted over news that Facebook Inc. in 2012, conducted a massive psychological experiment on nearly 700,000 unwitting users.

    To determine whether it could alter the emotional state of its users and prompt them to post either more positive or negative content, the site's data scientists enabled an algorithm, for one week, to automatically omit content that contained words associated with either positive or negative emotions from the central news feeds of 689,003 users.

    http://online.wsj.com/articles/furor-erupts-over-facebook-experiment-on-users-1404085840

    Facebook’s controversial “emotional study”, which subjected over half a million unwitting users of the social network to a psychological conditioning experiment, has direct ties to research funded by the Department of Defense concerning the likelihood of civil unrest.

    The Facebook scandal hit the headlines this week, as it was revealed that the company participated with a federally funded UCSF study into how emotions can be swayed on social media by controlling the content of personal feeds and deciding whether to show negative or positive material.

    While that fact in itself is disturbing, it seems that the rabbit hole goes even deeper.

    Bloggers and online sleuths have since highlighted that the research appears to be at least in part connected to a Pentagon-led project called the Minerva Initiative.

    Researcher and London Guardian writer Nafeez Ahmed has noted that the project provides “funding to universities to model the dynamics, risks and tipping points for large-scale civil unrest across the world.”

    In other words, the DoD wants to master how to predict, prevent, manipulate, control, and even instigate mass civil unrest. It wishes to do this by developing “operational tools” related to “social, cultural, behavioral, and political forces.”

    http://www.infowars.com/facebook-emotional-experiment-linked-to-pentagon-research-on-civil-unrest/

    Pentagon Seeks to Manipulate Social Media for Propaganda Purposes

    Posted on July 20, 2011 by WashingtonsBlog

    Wired reported on Friday:

    The Pentagon is looking to build a tool to sniff out social media propaganda campaigns and spit some counter-spin right back at it.

    On Thursday, Defense Department extreme technology arm Darpa unveiled its Social Media in Strategic Communication (SMISC) program. It’s an attempt to get better at both detecting and conducting propaganda campaigns on social media. SMISC has two goals. First, the program needs to help the military better understand what’s going on in social media in real time — particularly in areas where troops are deployed. Second, Darpa wants SMISC to help the military play the social media propaganda game itself.

    http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2011/07/pentagon-seeks-to-manipulate-social-media-for-propaganda-purposes.html
     
    #1 poncho, Jul 1, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 1, 2014
  2. poncho

    poncho
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    Nick Fielding and Ian Cobain

    The Guardian, Thursday 17 March 2011 09.19 EDT

    The US military is developing software that will let it secretly manipulate social media sites by using fake online personas to influence internet conversations and spread pro-American propaganda.

    A Californian corporation has been awarded a contract with United States Central Command (Centcom), which oversees US armed operations in the Middle East and Central Asia, to develop what is described as an "online persona management service" that will allow one US serviceman or woman to control up to 10 separate identities based all over the world.

    The project has been likened by web experts to China's attempts to control and restrict free speech on the internet. Critics are likely to complain that it will allow the US military to create a false consensus in online conversations, crowd out unwelcome opinions and smother commentaries or reports that do not correspond with its own objectives.

    The discovery that the US military is developing false online personalities – known to users of social media as "sock puppets" – could also encourage other governments, private companies and non-government organisations to do the same.

    http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2011/mar/17/us-spy-operation-social-networks

    Posted by JOHN STAUBER on April 22, 2008

    David Barstow of the New York Times has written the first installment in what is already a stunning exposé of the Bush Administration's most powerful propaganda weapon used to sell and manage the war on Iraq: the embedding of military propagandists directly into the TV networks as on-air commentators. We and others have long criticized the widespread TV network practice of hiring former military officials to serve as analysts, but even in our most cynical moments we did not anticipate how bad it was. Barstow has painstakingly documented how these analysts, most of them military industry consultants and lobbyists, were directly chosen, managed, coordinated and given their talking points by the Pentagon's ministers of propaganda.

    Thanks to the two-year investigation by the New York Times, we today know that Victoria Clarke, then the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs, launched the Pentagon military analyst program in early 2002. These supposedly independent military analysts were in fact a coordinated team of pro-war propagandists, personally recruited by Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, and acting under Clarke's tutelage and development.

    http://www.prwatch.org/news/2008/04/7241/embedding-military-propagandists-news-media


    Are those really your thoughts in your head?
     
    #2 poncho, Jul 1, 2014
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