A Disinformation Nightmare

If you follow the news for last 2 years or so then you probably have an opinion on the reports of the massive disinformation campaign waged during the 2016 election.

If not then where the Hell have you been?

That said here is a brief history of the situation in 2016……

We’ve seen many types of efforts to abuse Google’s services over the years. And, like other internet platforms, we have found some evidence of efforts to misuse our platforms during the 2016 U.S. election by actors linked to the Internet Research Agency in Russia. 

Preventing the misuse of our platforms is something that we take very seriously; it’s a major focus for our teams. We’re committed to finding a way to stop this type of abuse, and to working closely with governments, law enforcement, other companies, and leading NGOs to promote electoral integrity and user security, and combat misinformation. 

We have been conducting a thorough investigation related to the U.S. election across our products drawing on the work of our information security team, research into misinformation campaigns from our teams, and leads provided by other companies. Today, we are sharing results from that investigation. While we have found only limited activity on our services, we will continue to work to prevent all of it, because there is no amount of interference that is acceptable.

https://www.blog.google/outreach-initiatives/public-policy/security-and-disinformation-us-2016-election/

Well the prediction is that the 2020 election could be even worse for disinformation…..an attempt to obfuscate the issues and the candidates…..

As the field of Democratic presidential hopefuls slowly takes shape, so do the contours of a massive social media disinformation campaign that appears designed to torpedo individual candidacies, confuse voters, and create a general sense of chaos and mistrust within the party. A Politico investigation found that Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, and Beto O’Rourke appear to be the “main targets,” but that no prominent candidate is exempt. In other words: If you thought the fake news sites and Russian Twitter bots of 2016 were harmful to The Discourse, it looks as if 2020 is going to be a lot worse.

The tools of the trade—eminently-shareable memes, scandalous-sounding questions, and incendiary hashtags—are standard-issue gross Internet fodder. One post, says Politico, pushed a “false narrative…alleging that a blackface doll appeared on a kitchen cabinet in the background of the senator’s New Year’s Eve Instagram livestream”; another “widely seen tweet employed racist and sexist stereotypes in an attempt to sensationalize Harris’ relationship with former San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown.” The perceived distinctions between “centrist” candidates (you know who) and “progressive” ones (again, you know who) is also a popular pressure point. Many of the accounts in question were the same ones which, in the weeks before the 2018 midterm elections, tirelessly proclaimed that invading immigrant caravans would soon overrun the country if Americans didn’t vote as many Republicans as humanly possible into elected office.

https://www.gq.com/story/2020-disinformation-presidential-race

This will make access to true issues a bit difficult but will the voter try to cut through the crap to get to the heart of the candidate?

As the pool of candidates vying for the 2020 Democratic nomination for president continues to grow, so does a “sustained and ongoing” push to spread lies about them on social media—with one key aim being to sow division among progressive voters—according to an alarming Politico report published Wednesday.

Citing analyses by and conversations with data scientists and digital campaign strategists, the outlet reported:

Researchers and others interviewed for this story say they cannot conclusively point to the actors behind the coordinated activity. It’s unclear if they are rogue hackers, political activists or, as some contend, foreign state actors such as Russia, since it bears the hallmarks of past foreign attacks. One of the objectives of the activity, they say, is to divide the left by making the Dem primaries look as chaotic as possible.

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2019/02/20/operation-divide-left-analysis-shows-2020-online-disinformation-campaign-already

Will the voter have access to “real” information?

My guess is NO!

They will have to hunt for the truth….are they up to such a task?

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