the impact of social media on democracy

Related Links for Presentation: Impact of Social Media on Democracy

These are links related to the presentation: The Impact of Social Media on Democracy

How To: Google Reverse Image Search – Doctored photos are a powerful disinformation tactic. A picture is worth a thousand words and when it triggers an anger response in an effort to spread false information it is even more powerful. Using Google reverse image search you can find original source photos of doctored photos and debunk fake photos.

Putin’s Propaganda Machine

What the Heck Is a Bot? – An introduction to social media bots including how they originated, what they look like behind the scenes, how to identify them and how they are now being used by Russia.

Putin’s Fake News Pinball: How to Launder Disinformation – An introduction on how Putin’s cyber minions game social media to give their disinformation stories the veneer of legitimacy.

Why Russian Trolls Are Not Trolls – An introduction to Russian social media trolls. Including video of an interview with Russian paid to pretend to be aunties from Nebraska explaining how and why they do it.

New York Times: The Agency – An introduction to the Internet Research Agency, (IRA) the office where Russian trolls clock in and sit in the cubicles working to meet their quotas.

Introduction to TEN_GOP Russian Troll Twitter Account – The Russian Twitter troll account that amassed over 100K followers and fooled reporters into quoting it in articles and American political leaders in to retweeting it

How A Russian Troll Fooled America  -The  story of how one Russian troll Twitter account influenced American voters and political leaders.

Politico: How Russia targets the U.S. Military – An important read for all US military personnel, both active and retired and their families. This article unmasks several websites created by Russian operatives to target US military.

McClatchy Report: Russian propaganda engaged U.S. vets, troops on Twitter and Facebook, study finds – How Russian operatives work to manipulate US military personnel and veterans via social media.

NBC News via AP: ‘ISIS hackers’ threats against U.S. military wives actually came from Russian trolls


 On the Technology of Artificial Intelligence and Fake Video

Buzzfeed: The Terrifying Future of Fake News – An introduction to the emerging use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) to hijack the our communication platforms though gaming algorithms, creation of fake content and blocking human engagement by jamming systems.

Atlantic Council: The MADCOM Future – An important read and a more in-depth study of the potential (and likely) impact of Artificial Intelligence on society.

Fake Video: The Latest Assault On Truth – Learn more about the technology available to create fake videos and the implications of this technology on our national security and democracy.

Building Your Digital Resilience

Defense One: How to Inoculate the Public Against Fake News

Game: Get Bad News – After reading the article above about how to inoculate against fake news play this game to try to accumulate the most online minions you can using nefarious tactics

The 10 Habits of Logical People  – Fake news and divisive memes are designed to trigger anger and fear. Studies show we lose several IQ points in those states. Train your mind to turn to logical thinking habits when reviewing online content

DFRLab: Defining and Defeating Fake News – Provides an excellent information of how fake news is bounced around the internet to give it a foothold. Provides clear explanations of the difference between disinformation, misinformation and fake news

Lawfare Blog: How to Read a News Story About an Investigation: Eight Tips on Who Is Saying What-“Sources say”, but what does that really mean? This article breaks down the code of how sources are referenced in news articles.

NPR: Learning To Spot Fake News – Start With a Gut Check– A great article on specific strategies to learn to spot fake news. With a little practice these techniques quickly become second nature. If you share one of these links to your Facebook page make it this one.

Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensics Lab  – The DFRLab tracks global disinformation campaigns, fake news stories, covert military developments, and subversive attempts against democracy while teaching the public skills to find and expose attempts to pollute the information space.

Stop Fake – This site focuses on disinformation targeted at Ukraine. One way to learn what is coming is to study what has happened and what is happening in Ukraine. It is Russia’s laboratory. Tactics that work there are implement in other countries

 Background On Cold War 2.0

Mueller’s February 16, 2018 Indictment of 13 Russians – Despite being a formal indictment this is very accessible reading for the legal layperson. The surprise to those of us that have tracked this activity was that the Russians were here in America for part of this operation. The activities outlined in this document are the ones Mueller was able to document enough to warrant an indictment and are by no means the full scope of the operations. They do illustrate the level of influence these operations had on American citizens.

Mueller’s July 13, 2018 Indictment of Russian operatives on the hacking of the DNC

DFRLab: Matching Mueller’s Indictment – Much of the information in Mueller’s indictment was already available through open source materials. In this piece DFRLab matches those materials with the related passages of the indictment.

The Atlantic: What Facebook Did to American Democracy  – This article is an excellent look at how Facebook evolved from being a site where people shared pictured of their pets and dinner to one of the, if  not the main information and news distribution mechanisms. This article includes many links for even more in-depth understanding of this phenomenon.

The Cipher Brief: Look to Cold War History to Confront Russian Meddling

Frontline’s Two Part Series: Putin’s Revenge Part 1 and Part 2 – The story of how Putin transitioned from KGB agent to president of Russia and came to see the United States as an enemy — and how U.S. intelligence came to believe he targeted the 2016 presidential election.

Putin’s Asymmetric Assault on Democracy in Russia and Europe: Implications for U.S. National Security  – Ben Cardin’s overview of Putin’s strategic assault on democracy is surprisingly readable for a Congressional report. It is a comprehensive, yet understandable overview of the situation.


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photo: flickr