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Exclusive: Military’s ‘persona’ software cost millions, used for ‘classified social media ac

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posted on Mar, 20 2011 @ 08:54 AM
Exclusive: Military’s ‘persona’ software cost millions, used for ‘classified social media activities’

One use that's confirmed, however, is the manipulation of social media through the use of fake online "personas" managed by the military. Raw Story recently reported that the US Air Force had solicited private sector vendors for something called "persona management software." Such a technology would allow single individuals to command virtual armies of fake, digital "people" across numerous social media portals.

These "personas" were to have detailed, fictionalized backgrounds, to make them believable to outside observers, and a sophisticated identity protection service was to back them up, preventing suspicious readers from uncovering the real person behind the account. They even worked out ways to game geolocating services, so these "personas" could be virtually inserted anywhere in the world, providing ostensibly live commentary on real events, even while the operator was not really present.

So, when you accuse someone here of being a government shill and wonder why people can be so heartless, maybe it’s because they aren’t really people on the other side of the computer screen. It could be one person running hundreds of different “posters”. Apparently, even with advanced methods of detecting where the “poster” really is in the world, you will never be sure again.

Why would they do this?

A fake virtual army of people could be used to help create the impression of consensus opinion in online comment threads, or manipulate social media to the point where valuable stories are suppressed.

Ultimately, this can have the effect of causing a net change to the public's opinions and understanding of key world events.

Remember the Iranian protests? What about Egypt? Will we ever be able to believe anything anymore??

posted on Mar, 20 2011 @ 09:03 AM
Interesting [they] should want to subvert public forums and shift public consensus by using this new software, it's also pretty insidious stuff and evidence to support governments couldn't care for genuine public opinion and are essentially only focused on pushing through [their] own agendas, regardless. I guess that's the truth of it – that democracy is a lie, but we knew that already, didn't we.

posted on Mar, 20 2011 @ 09:41 AM
reply to post by Iamonlyhuman

what about leonid elenin

posted on Mar, 20 2011 @ 09:46 AM
This is a weapon to be used against humanity and civilian populations, not an enemy state. I'm pretty sure we knew Israel was using some sort of program to promote pro-Israel propaganda on the internet called Megaph one, but this seems to have taken the 'human element' out and automated the entire process.

I can see it being effective against some people, but I can usually get a good feel for who is real and who is not when it comes to online personas - especially on services that allow picture uploads. In a world with 7 degrees of separation, it's going to be pretty hard to fake an army of Facebook users... we're not ALL that stupid.

posted on Mar, 20 2011 @ 12:21 PM
reply to post by againuntodust

Im finding it harder and harder to discern who is a persona or paid propagandist and who isnt. But there are still a few clues that I will never post openly, as I do not want the bots using that feedback to improve their technique.

All I can say is that there are a lot of new members (made within the last couple months) cheer leading the attack on Libya. We cant say they are or are not paid propagandists, but it does remind me of the influx of new very political members during political campaigns. Be aware, and think critically, and dont let a flood of voices opposing you shut you up.

Thats the whole point of sock puppet armies, they exist to make you feel outnumbered and stop fighting. Its an exploit of the human desire to be part of a group. Really, you are only fighting one or two people, but you FEEL like the world is against you and it makes you question yourself, and give up.

Dont do it. Even if you are the ONLY ONE in the thread holding the opinion you hold, be true to yourself and your beliefs. Dont let ghost armies back you down.

posted on Mar, 21 2011 @ 12:52 AM
More on,

US military creates fake online personas

The US military awarded a contract for software to create 500 fake personas on social networks in order to secretly influence online debate in its favour, it has been reported. By Christopher Williams, Technology Correspondent 4:54PM GMT 17 Mar 2011 The $2.76m contract was won by Ntrepid, a Californian firm, and called for an "online persona management service" that would enable 50 military spies to manage 10 fake identities each. The personas should be "replete with background , history, supporting details, and cyber presences that are technically, culturally and geographacilly consistent", a US Central Command (Centcom) tender document said. It added: "Individual applications will enable an operator to exercise a number of different online persons from the same workstation and without fear of being discovered by sophisticated adversaries. "Personas must be able to appear to originate in nearly any part of the world and can interact through conventional online services and social media platforms." The project would be based at MacDill Air Force base in Florida, The Guardian reported. The contract was first revealed by The Raw Story, a US news website.

Five hundred fake persons, 50 spies to manage 10 fake identities. Now isn't that just great arguing with make believe people, well maybe it's not that new really, we've probably been doing that on here already.
edit on 21-3-2011 by hawaii50th because: (no reason given)

posted on Mar, 21 2011 @ 01:52 AM
Considering the amount of information you can get from a persons profile providing you friend them, it's not surprising.

posted on Mar, 21 2011 @ 10:43 PM
I think it's safe to assume that these tactics are certainly being implemented here on ATS right now. Just my observations, but I'm almost positive I've picked out a couple so far. Routerboy(definitely) and ag893(good possibility). These are either professional trolls or the dumbest most ignorant people on the face of the earth, which I highly doubt.

posted on Oct, 10 2011 @ 02:44 PM
Bump. ...I definitely have my suspicions about certain posters here.


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