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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.
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.