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Majority Influence... is a form of social influence, whereby people adopt the behavior, attitudes and values of the majority members of a reference group.
The term conformity is often used to indicate an agreement to the majority position, brought about either by a desire to ‘fit in’ or be liked (normative) or because of a desire to be correct (informational), or simply to conform to a social role (identification).
This usually occurs when a person lacks knowledge and looks to the group for guidance.
Or when a person is in an ambiguous (i.e. unclear) situation and socially compares their behaviour with the group. E.g. Sherif Study.
This type of conformity usually involves internalisation – where a person accepts the views of the groups and adopts them as an individual.
American Forces Press Service
CENTCOM Team Engages 'Bloggers'
By Capt. Steve Alvarez, USA
American Forces Press Service
Blogs sometimes include information -- accurate and otherwise -- about the U.S. military's global war on terror. U.S. Central Command officials here took notice and created a team to engage these writers and their electronic information forums.
"Now (online readers) have the opportunity to read positive stories. At least the public can go there and see the whole story. The public wants to hear these good stories," he said, adding that the news stories the military generates are "very factual."
From his desk at CENTCOM headquarters here, Army Reserve Spc. Claude Flowers of the 304th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment from Kent, Wash., fights in the global war on terrorism daily in his own way. It is an effort, officials here said, that is making a big difference in the communications arena in the online world.
The team's motto is "Engage," and Flowers and others work with more than 250 bloggers to try to disseminate news about the good work being done by U.S. forces in the global war on terror. The effort, officials here said, has reached more than 17 million online readers.
"We were given the mission to do electronic media engagement," Flowers said. "The idea was put forth that so many people are getting their news from online sources that we would be remiss if we neglected that audience."
Revealed: US spy operation that manipulates social media
Military's 'sock puppet' software creates fake online identities to spread pro-American propaganda
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.
This is an excerpt from one of the Word Documents, which was sent as an attachment by Aaron Barr, CEO of HBGary's Federal subsidiary, to several of his colleagues to present to clients:
To build this capability we will create a set of personas on twitter, blogs, forums, buzz, and myspace under created names that fit the profile (satellitejockey, hack3rman, etc). These accounts are maintained and updated automatically through RSS feeds, retweets, and linking together social media commenting between platforms. With a pool of these accounts to choose from, once you have a real name persona you create a Facebook and LinkedIn account using the given name, lock those accounts down and link these accounts to a selected # of previously created social media accounts, automatically pre-aging the real accounts.
Twitterers paid to spread Israeli propaganda Internet warfare team unveiled
Written by Jonathan Cook
Monday, 03 August 2009 06:04
In an interview this month with the Calcalist, an Israeli business newspaper, Mr Shturman, the deputy director of the ministry’s hasbara department, admitted his team would be working undercover.
“Our people will not say: ‘Hello, I am from the hasbara department of the Israeli foreign ministry and I want to tell you the following.’ Nor will they necessarily identify themselves as Israelis,” he said. “They will speak as net-surfers and as citizens, and will write responses that will look personal but will be based on a prepared list of messages that the foreign ministry developed.”
Rona Kuperboim, a columnist for Ynet, Israel’s most popular news website, denounced the initiative, saying it indicated that Israel had become a “thought-police state”.
She added that “good PR cannot make the reality in the occupied territories prettier. Children are being killed, homes are being bombed, and families are starved.”
Her column was greeted by several talkbackers asking how they could apply for a job with the foreign ministry’s team.
The project is a formalisation of public relations practices the ministry developed specifically for Israel’s assault on Gaza in December and January.
“During Operation Cast Lead we appealed to Jewish communities abroad and with their help we recruited a few thousand volunteers, who were joined by Israeli volunteers,” Mr Shturman said.
“We gave them background material and hasbara material, and we sent them to represent the Israeli point of view on news websites and in polls on the internet.”
The Israeli army also had one of the most popular sites on the video-sharing site YouTube and regularly uploaded clips, although it was criticized by human rights groups for misleading viewers about what was shown in its footage.
Jonathan Cook is a writer and journalist based in Nazareth, Israel. His latest books are “Israel and the Clash of Civilisations: Iraq, Iran and the Plan to Remake the Middle East” (Pluto Press) and “Disappearing Palestine: Israel's Experiments in Human Despair” (Zed Books). His website is www.jkcook.net.
Proprietary Technologies—Customizable Solutions
Our proprietary technologies allow us to provide solutions that address the needs of home users, businesses, and other customers. In addition, our state-of-the-art solution sets can be uniquely adapted and customized to meet the needs of any client.
Abraxas acquired Anomymizer in May of 2008, naming Lance Cottrell, founder and CTO of Anonymizer, as Chief Scientist for the firm. The financial details of the acquisition were not disclosed. Allied Capital invested $52mil in Anonymizer shortly thereafter.
Opinions abound on Abraxas, who in recent centuries has been claimed to be both an Egyptian god and a demon. The Swiss Psychologist Carl Jung wrote a short Gnostic treatise in 1916 called The Seven Sermons to the Dead, which called Abraxas a God higher than the Christian God and Devil, that combines all opposites into one Being.
Abraxas has one focus - Risk Mitigation technology for the National Security community
Abraxas develops special technology and implements trusted unique technical solutions to address the global challenges faced by the national security community today and those that it will face in the future.
The firm was founded after 9/11 by longtime CIA operative Richard Helms.
In 2010, Abraxas was purchased by another intelligence contractor, Cubic Corporation for the tidy sum of $124 million in cash. Some of the top talent at Anonymizer, who later went to Abraxas, left the Cubic umbrella to start another intelligence firm. They are now listed as organizational leaders for Ntrepid, the ultimate winner of the $2.7 million dollar government contract.
Of particular note is Ntrepid's CTO/Chief Scientist Lance Cottrell, who is simultaneously CTO of Anonymiser and an adviser at Taia Global, Inc. (20.6.2011) He was previously CTO/Chief Scientist at Abraxas Corporation after founding the privacy firm Anonymizer, Inc. in 1995.
* Lie Big, Retract Quietly
...Once the lie is finally exposed, it is already too late, and a large portion of the population will not notice or care when the truth comes out.
*Unconfirmed Or Controlled Sources As Fact
Cable news venues often cite information from “unnamed” sources, government sources that have an obvious bias or agenda, or “expert” sources without providing an alternative “expert” view.
...When the fact is omitted, the lie can appear entirely rational. This tactic is also used extensively when disinformation agents and crooked journalists engage in open debate.
*Distraction, and the Manufacture of Relevance
...Ironically, the media can take an unimportant story, and by reporting on it ad nauseum, cause many Americans to assume that because the media won’t shut-up about it, it must be important!
*Dishonest Debate Tactics
TV pundits are often trained in what are commonly called “Alinsky Tactics.”
1) Power is not only what you have, but what the enemy thinks you have....
2) Never go outside the experience of your people, and whenever possible, go outside of the experience of the enemy...
3) Make the enemy live up to their own book of rules...
4) Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon...
5) A good tactic is one that your people enjoy...
6) A tactic that drags on too long becomes a drag...
7) Keep the pressure on with different tactics and actions, and utilize all events of the period for your purpose...
8) The threat is usually more terrifying than the thing itself...
9) The major premise for tactics is the development of operations that will maintain a constant pressure upon the opposition...
10) If you push a negative hard and deep enough, it will break through into its counterside...
11) The price of a successful attack is a constructive alternative...
12) Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it...
1) Make outrageous comments designed to distract or frustrate: An Alinsky tactic used to make people emotional, although less effective because of the impersonal nature of the web.
2) Pose as a supporter of the truth, then make comments that discredit the movement: We have seen this even on our own forums — trolls pose as supporters of the Liberty Movement, then post long, incoherent diatribes so as to appear either racist or insane. Here is a live example of this tactic in use on Yahoo! Answers.
The key to this tactic is to make references to common Liberty Movement arguments while at the same time babbling nonsense, so as to make those otherwise valid arguments seem ludicrous by association.
In extreme cases, these “Trojan Horse Trolls” have been known to make posts which incite violence — a technique obviously intended to solidify the false assertions of the notorious MIAC report and other ADL/SPLC publications which purport that constitutionalists should be feared as potential domestic terrorists.
3) Dominate Discussions: Trolls often interject themselves into productive web discussions in order to throw them off course and frustrate the people involved.
4) Prewritten Responses: Many trolls are supplied with a list or database with pre-planned talking points designed as generalized and deceptive responses to honest arguments. 9/11 “debunker” trolls are notorious for this.
5) False Association: This works hand in hand with item #2, by invoking the stereotypes established by the “Trojan Horse Troll.”
For example: calling those against the Federal Reserve “conspiracy theorists” or “lunatics”. Deliberately associating anti-globalist movements with big foot or alien enthusiasts, because of the inherent negative connotations. Using false associations to provoke biases and dissuade people from examining the evidence objectively.
6) False Moderation: Pretending to be the “voice of reason” in an argument with obvious and defined sides in an attempt to move people away from what is clearly true into a “grey area” where the truth becomes “relative.”
7) Straw Man Arguments: A very common technique. The troll will accuse his opposition of subscribing to a certain point of view, even if he does not, and then attacks that point of view. Or, the troll will put words in the mouth of his opposition, and then rebut those specific words. For example: “9/11 truthers say that no planes hit the WTC towers, and that it was all just computer animation. What are they, crazy?”
Sometimes, these strategies are used by average people with serious personality issues. However, if you see someone using these tactics often, or using many of them at the same time, you may be dealing with a paid internet troll.
Government Disinformation Methods
1) Control The Experts ...
2) Control The Data...
3) Skew The Statistics...
3) Guilt By False Association...
4) Manufacture Good News...
5) Controlled Opposition...
During the 1960’s and 70’s, the FBI began a secretive program called COINTELPRO.
6) False Paradigms...One merely needs to observe a heated debate between a Democrat and a Republican to see how deeply this belief has been ingrained on both sides, and how destructive it is to true intellectual discourse.
"stop calling everyone that disagree with you a disinformation agent"
1. Hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil. Regardless of what you know, don’t discuss it — especially if you are a public figure, news anchor, etc. If it’s not reported, it didn’t happen, and you never have to deal with the issues.
2. Become incredulous and indignant. Avoid discussing key issues and instead focus on side issues which can be used show the topic as being critical of some otherwise sacrosanct group or theme. This is also known as the “How dare you!” gambit.
3. Create rumor mongers. Avoid discussing issues by describing all charges, regardless of venue or evidence, as mere rumors and wild accusations. Other derogatory terms mutually exclusive of truth may work as well. This method works especially well with a silent press, because the only way the public can learn of the facts are through such “arguable rumors”. If you can associate the material with the Internet, use this fact to certify it a “wild rumor” which can have no basis in fact.
4. Use a straw man. Find or create a seeming element of your opponent’s argument which you can easily knock down to make yourself look good and the opponent to look bad. Either make up an issue you may safely imply exists based on your interpretation of the opponent/opponent arguments/situation, or select the weakest aspect of the weakest charges. Amplify their significance and destroy them in a way which appears to debunk all the charges, real and fabricated alike, while actually avoiding discussion of the real issues.
5. Sidetrack opponents with name calling and ridicule. This is also known as the primary attack the messenger ploy, though other methods qualify as variants of that approach. Associate opponents with unpopular titles such as “kooks”, “right-wing”, “liberal”, “left-wing”, “terrorists”, “conspiracy buffs”, “radicals”, “militia”, “racists”, “religious fanatics”, “sexual deviates”, and so forth. This makes others shrink from support out of fear of gaining the same label, and you avoid dealing with issues.
6. Hit and Run. In any public forum, make a brief attack of your opponent or the opponent position and then scamper off before an answer can be fielded, or simply ignore any answer. This works extremely well in Internet and letters-to-the-editor environments where a steady stream of new identities can be called upon without having to explain criticism reasoning — simply make an accusation or other attack, never discussing issues, and never answering any subsequent response, for that would dignify the opponent’s viewpoint.
7. Question motives. Twist or amplify any fact which could so taken to imply that the opponent operates out of a hidden personal agenda or other bias. This avoids discussing issues and forces the accuser on the defensive.
8. Invoke authority. Claim for yourself or associate yourself with authority and present your argument with enough “jargon” and “minutiae” to illustrate you are “one who knows”, and simply say it isn’t so without discussing issues or demonstrating concretely why or citing sources.
9. Play Dumb. No matter what evidence or logical argument is offered, avoid discussing issues with denial they have any credibility, make any sense, provide any proof, contain or make a point, have logic, or support a conclusion. Mix well for maximum effect.
10. Associate opponent charges with old news. A derivative of the straw man usually, in any large-scale matter of high visibility, someone will make charges early on which can be or were already easily dealt with. Where it can be foreseen, have your own side raise a straw man issue and have it dealt with early on as part of the initial contingency plans. Subsequent charges, regardless of validity or new ground uncovered, can usually them be associated with the original charge and dismissed as simply being a rehash without need to address current issues — so much the better where the opponent is or was involved with the original source.
11. Establish and rely upon fall-back positions. Using a minor matter or element of the facts, take the “high road” and “confess” with candor that some innocent mistake, in hindsight, was made — but that opponents have seized on the opportunity to blow it all out of proportion and imply greater criminalities which, “just isn’t so.” Others can reinforce this on your behalf, later. Done properly, this can garner sympathy and respect for “coming clean” and “owning up” to your mistakes without addressing more serious issues.
12. Enigmas have no solution. Drawing upon the overall umbrella of events surrounding the crime and the multitude of players and events, paint the entire affair as too complex to solve. This causes those otherwise following the matter to begin to loose interest more quickly without having to address the actual issues.
13. Alice in Wonderland Logic. Avoid discussion of the issues by reasoning backwards with an apparent deductive logic in a way that forbears any actual material fact.
14. Demand complete solutions. Avoid the issues by requiring opponents to solve the crime at hand completely, a ploy which works best for items qualifying for rule 10.
15. Fit the facts to alternate conclusions. This requires creative thinking unless the crime was planned with contingency conclusions in place.
16. Vanishing evidence and witnesses. If it does not exist, it is not fact, and you won’t have to address the issue.
17. Change the subject. Usually in connection with one of the other ploys listed here, find a way to side-track the discussion with abrasive or controversial comments in hopes of turning attention to a new, more manageable topic. This works especially well with companions who can “argue” with you over the new topic and polarize the discussion arena in order to avoid discussing more key issues.
18. Emotionalize, Antagonize, and Goad Opponents. If you can’t do anything else, chide and taunt your opponents and draw them into emotional responses which will tend to make them look foolish and overly motivated, and generally render their material somewhat less coherent. Not only will you avoid discussing the issues in the first instance, but even if their emotional response addresses the issue, you can further avoid the issues by then focusing on how “sensitive they are to criticism”.
19. Ignore proof presented, demand impossible proofs. This is perhaps a variant of the “play dumb” rule. Regardless of what material may be presented by an opponent in public forums, claim the material irrelevant and demand proof that is impossible for the opponent to come by (it may exist, but not be at his disposal, or it may be something which is known to be safely destroyed or withheld, such as a murder weapon). In order to completely avoid discussing issues may require you to categorically deny and be critical of media or books as valid sources, deny that witnesses are acceptable, or even deny that statements made by government or other authorities have any meaning or relevance.
20. False evidence. Whenever possible, introduce new facts or clues designed and manufactured to conflict with opponent presentations as useful tools to neutralize sensitive issues or impede resolution. This works best when the crime was designed with contingencies for the purpose, and the facts cannot be easily separated from the fabrications.
21. Call a Grand Jury, Special Prosecutor, or other empowered investigative body. Subvert the (process) to your benefit and effectively neutralize all sensitive issues without open discussion. Once convened, the evidence and testimony are required to be secret when properly handled. For instance, if you own the prosecuting attorney, it can insure a Grand Jury hears no useful evidence and that the evidence is sealed an unavailable to subsequent investigators. Once a favorable verdict (usually, this technique is applied to find the guilty innocent, but it can also be used to obtain charges when seeking to frame a victim) is achieved, the matter can be considered officially closed.
22. Manufacture a new truth. Create your own expert(s), group(s), author(s), leader(s) or influence existing ones willing to forge new ground via scientific, investigative, or social research or testimony which concludes favorably. In this way, if you must actually address issues, you can do so authoritatively.
23. Create bigger distractions. If the above does not seem to be working to distract from sensitive issues, or to prevent unwanted media coverage of unstoppable events such as trials, create bigger news stories (or treat them as such) to distract the multitudes.
24. Silence critics. If the above methods do not prevail, consider removing opponents from circulation by some definitive solution so that the need to address issues is removed entirely. This can be by their death, arrest and detention, blackmail or destruction of their character by release of blackmail information, or merely by proper intimidation with blackmail or other threats.
25. Vanish. If you are a key holder of secrets or otherwise overly illuminated and you think the heat is getting too hot, to avoid the issues, vacate the kitchen.
Originally posted by theHairInTheSoup
V. the response to give to the disinformative crowd by the truth seekers
I'm going to keep this part very short because I can see only one tactic :
"don't listen to what they say, just watch what they do".
If you have creative ideas, please share, they work together. So shall we.
A straw man is a component of an argument and is an informal fallacy based on misrepresentation of an opponent's position. To "attack a straw man" is to create the illusion of having refuted a proposition by replacing it with a superficially similar yet unequivalent proposition (the "straw man"), and refuting it, without ever having actually refuted the original position.
Originally posted by bonnieprince
Disinfo agents probably exist too, but too often I see everyone who believes anything different to the 'accepted' conspiracy point of view immediately labelled, as either a disinfo agent, a sheep, or a shill. Can you not see that this is the same as the government labelling people as crazy conspiracy theorists for believing other than the norm?
Very annoying because when you confront those deniers with hard proofs that there is indeed orchestrated governmental propaganda on www, they don't address it; they ignore & goes on forever with the emotional rhetoric.
Why is that ?