Social Media Targeted by Pentagon for “Strategic Communication”

Old-Thinker News | July 17, 2011

By Daniel Taylor

Related: Pentagon perception manager knows how to manipulate search engine ...

Earlier this week Old-Thinker News reported on statements made by Pentagon contractor and “perception manager” John Rendon regarding the manipulation of internet content algorithms with the intent to “shape belief sets.” In further revelations, the Pentagon has unveiled on Thursday a project developed by DARPA that will utilize social media as an information warfare tool.

As Wired Magazine reports, “The Pentagon is looking to build a tool to sniff out social media propaganda campaigns and spit some counter-spin right back at it.” The report issued by DARPA titled “Social Media in Strategic Communication (SMISC)”is available online here.

Among other things, the project will“Detect, classify, measure and track the (a) formation, development and spread of ideas and concepts (memes), and (b) purposeful or deceptive messaging and misinformation.” In response, the Pentagon will engage in “Counter messaging of detected adversary influence operations.”

What will the Pentagon consider “…deceptive messaging and misinformation”?

The military-industrial-complex can initiate any meme of its liking. The Arab Spring revolution that began in Egypt was largely supported by social media and Twitter. Iran is currently being targeted by an “internet in a suitcase” campaign launched by the United States in an attempt to spark revolution.

In his newly released book The Filter Bubble: What the internet is hiding from you, Eli Pariser of Moveon.org interviews Pentagon contractor John Rendon, where he candidly spoke of perception management in the digital world. Specifically, Rendon hints that he knows how to game the system of search engine algorithms – the system by which pages are ranked and internet searches are displayed – and in turn shift the mindset of the masses.

The Pentagon, which developed the internet to begin with, is engaging in full scale memetic enginnering in the digital world. The Department of Defense’sSentient World Simulation (SWS) has undoubtedly been integrated with the social media networks. The SWS is a model of the real world translated to a virtual model that can be used to test propaganda and its anticipated effect on a target populace in real time.

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