US military hijacks social media

CENTCOM on Facebook

The United States military is developing software that will let it secretly manipulate social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter by using fake online personas to influence Internet conversations and spread pro-American propaganda.

A Californian corporation has been awarded a contract with US Central Command (CENTCOM), which oversees US armed operations in the Middle East and Central Asia, to develop what is described as an "online persona management service" that will allow one US serviceman or woman to control up to 10 separate identities based all over the world.

The project has been likened by Web experts to China's attempts to control and restrict free speech on the Internet. Critics are likely to complain that it will allow the US military to create a false consensus in online conversations, crowd out unwelcome opinions and smother commentaries or reports that do not correspond with its own objectives. (Source)

Original picture courtesy Evan Vucci/AP


Heidi 26 March, 2011 01:46  

DOD wants to add you as friend. Accept?

To be honest, it did not come as a surprise to me for it was clear that intelligence agencies were sooner or later going to jump on the web 2.0 wagon as well.

I wonder how coincidental it is though that the EU justice commissioner recently announced its warning to Facebook to comply with European privacy standards for its EU users...

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