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US military botches online fight against Islamic State

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posted on Jan, 31 2017 @ 09:35 AM
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US military botches online fight against Islamic State

On any given day at MacDill Air Force Base, web crawlers scour social media for potential recruits to the Islamic State group. Then, in a high-stakes operation to counter the extremists' propaganda, language specialists employ fictitious identities and try to sway the targets from joining IS ranks.

At least that's how the multimillion-dollar initiative is being sold to the Defense Department.

A critical national security program known as "WebOps" is part of a vast psychological operation that the Pentagon says is effectively countering an enemy that has used the internet as a devastating tool of propaganda. But an Associated Press investigation found the management behind WebOps is so beset with incompetence, cronyism and flawed data that multiple people with direct knowledge of the program say it's having little impact.

Several current and former WebOps employees cited multiple examples of civilian Arabic specialists who have little experience in counter-propaganda, cannot speak Arabic fluently and have so little understanding of Islam they are no match for the Islamic State online recruiters.

...

Four current or former workers told the AP that they had personally witnessed WebOps data being manipulated to create the appearance of success and that they had discussed the problem with many other employees who had seen the same.

...

...launched under the Obama Administration...

...The boss told her that the scoring reports should show progress, but not too much, so that the metrics would still indicate a dangerous level of militancy online to justify continued funding for WebOps, she said.

...

Employees and managers routinely inflate counts of interactions with potential terrorist recruits, known as "engagements," according to multiple workers. Engagements are delivered in tweets or comments posted on social media to lists of people and can also be automated. That automation is at times used to inflate the actual number of engagements, said two former workers, including the one who talked about colleagues faking their language abilities.

Much more....



That Obama guy sure was on top of things.


It's a lengthy article, but well worth the read.

They even had the Daily Caller fooled: Meet The Elite Cyber Units Fighting The Propaganda War Against ISIS

Doesn't sound so 'elite' now does it?



edit on 31-1-2017 by loam because: (no reason given)




posted on Jan, 31 2017 @ 09:44 AM
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a reply to: loam

In other words, this "WebOps" operation was like bringing a toothpick to a gunfight. Incompetence at its best..
They probably even inadvertently created a bunch more ISIS supporters. Way to go...



posted on Jan, 31 2017 @ 09:46 AM
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a reply to: FamCore

Actually, a toothpick would have been more effective than what appears to have happened here.



posted on Jan, 31 2017 @ 09:56 AM
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a reply to: loam

The US government shows no mercy to any one or any site which is suspected of infringing on copyrighted or trademarked material.

There is no due process. Youre guilty until proven more guilty.

Yet we are powerless to stop "ISUS" and other "terrorist" networks from using social media...

Wonder when Americans and the rest of the world will stop falling for this nonsense.




posted on Jan, 31 2017 @ 10:10 AM
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Not only botched, but an exercise, and waste of tax payer money.

Its next to impossible to dissuade anyone from believing what they want to on the Internets.

6 years on ATS people.

You know it, and I know it.



posted on Jan, 31 2017 @ 10:16 AM
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a reply to: loam

It kind of resembles most operations the US runs . war on terror=more terror war on drugs=more drugs war on poverty=more poverty keep that though going and on the surface this actually may be a secret covert operation hidden behind a legitimate seemingly but incompetent one . That may be the bigger story because to claim that the people being used cant speak the language is just too stupid to believe .



posted on Jan, 31 2017 @ 10:34 AM
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originally posted by: gladtobehere
a reply to: loam

The US government shows no mercy to any one or any site which is suspected of infringing on copyrighted or trademarked material.

There is no due process. Youre guilty until proven more guilty.

Yet we are powerless to stop "ISUS" and other "terrorist" networks from using social media...

Wonder when Americans and the rest of the world will stop falling for this nonsense.





Yup the USA will move heaven and earth across the globe to step on copy right infringement....but pedo and terrorist sites they cant crack down on?



posted on Jan, 31 2017 @ 02:49 PM
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Fox covering this now.

Really outrageous when you dig into this one.




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