FAKE NEWS: How the Weaponization of Social Media Has You Conned

By
Services for Real Estate Pros with IDTheftSecurity.com Inc

This post takes a hard and honest look at whats happening right now. You either “get it” or you are a victim of whats going on. Victims who read this will trash it and deny the reality of what they read. Denial is warm and comfortable. The truth is cold and can hurt. And nobody likes to admit they are wrong, ever. So I expect plenty of haters.

“People are much like cattle or sheep; they just want to be led.”

The author of that controversial and maybe offensive quote is the author of this article. Maybe YOU aren’t like cattle or sheep, but most are. The problem with this sentiment is that some cowpokes and herders may use evil methods to lead their herd for their personal gain. In the digital age, this is done most effectively via disinformation weaponized with social media.

Here’s How It’s Done:

Cambridge Analytica, on behalf of its clients, scientifically weaponized social media using disinformation to win elections. It was first tested in third world countries and then with Brexit and most recently to win the United States presidential election. Here’s a breakdown of what is believed to be the basis of how it used social influence to change hearts and minds.

Company leaders understood that the weaponization of social media is “the act of manipulating facts by spreading disinformation for propaganda”. This act is accomplished by;

  • a coordinated effort using viral memes,
  • emotionally charged videos,
  • and clickbait headlines.

Confidence Trick

Fundamentally, disinformation is a confidence trick or scam. The motivation of a conman is to influence their mark enough to gain the confidence of the victim. The conman wants to be trusted. Once the conman has the trust of their target, it’s like taking candy from a baby.

Divide and Conquer via Disinformation

The desired outcome of disinformation by its author is to divide and conquer or rule the persons who are manipulated by it. The Oxford definition of “divide and conquer” is the policy of “maintaining control over one’s subordinates or subjects by encouraging dissent between them”. In other words, from the perspective and motivation of the conman, “don’t trust them, trust me.”

I REPEAT:

The desired outcome of disinformation by its author is to divide and conquer or rule the persons who are manipulated by it. The Oxford definition of “divide and conquer” is the policy of “maintaining control over one’s subordinates or subjects by encouraging dissent between them”. In other words, from the perspective and motivation of the conman, “don’t trust them, trust me.”

Can you see exactly how Divide and Conquer and don’t trust them, trust me is being played out every single day in our current political climate with the impeachment hearings? The administrations own cabinet, the people and professionals hired to do the job they are doing, are being deposed and are publicly confirming what was said in the call. The administration is saying don’t trust them, trust me. Thats pure Disinformation.

Disinformation i.e. Dezinformatsiya

Disinformation, fundamentally, is lying. Disinformation used to be spread by the spoken word only. But with the invention of the printed word and the press, disinformation was spread using pamphlets, leaflets, books, magazines, political cartoons, and in planted clandestine newspaper articles. Agents of influence, political spies, and journalists can all be used to spread disinformation. Digitally, social media spreads disinformation like the proverbial wildfire.

The birth of the word “disinformation” comes from the Russian word (dez-inform-ahhT-see-ahh) dezinformatsiya. Joseph Stalin coined the term in 1923 derived from the title of the KGB black propaganda “special disinformation office” department. Disinformation was formally defined in the Great Soviet Encyclopedia in 1952 as “false information with the intention to deceive public opinion”.

Disinformation is meant to instill fear and confuse its intended target by blurring the lines between fact and fiction. Disinformation’s primary purpose is to spread conspiracy theories that isolate readers and viewers from alternative viewpoints to create a cloud of confusion and paranoia.

Disinformation in Mainstream Media

Can you see where in our culture, right now, which leg or legs of our media might isolate readers and viewers from alternative viewpoints to create a cloud of confusion and paranoia? If you can’t, then you are a victim of Disinformation. You are being led. You are sheep.

When you see disinformation, which is born a lie that you believe to be the truth, and you agree with it and then support it by liking it and sharing it, you are then a victim of it and a perpetrator of the confidence crime that the disinformation is.

The 5 P’s of Persuasion

Heres how minds are manipulated;

Persuasion

When you are of a particular belief…or persuasion…it means that you have already made up your mind. An example of this is of the Republican persuasion or the Democratic persuasion. Another definition of persuasion is the act of influencing another person to change their mind or to do something they might not do without your influence.

Psychographics

This is the study of people based on their aspirations, attitudes, and other criteria. It is especially the case in market research. The study of psychographics is a methodology that is used to describe a person based on their psychological attributes. The method has been applied to studying values, attitudes, personality, opinions, lifestyles, and interests.

Psychological Operations (PSYOPS)

Psychological operations, or PSYOPS, are used to convey certain pieces of indicators and information to an audience to influence their motives, objective reasoning, and emotions. It can ultimately affect the behavior of organizations, governments, individuals, and groups.

Psychological Warfare

The act of psychological warfare is the planned use of threats, propaganda, or other non-combat techniques during the danger of war or even during a war. It can also apply to any time of political unrest to demoralize, intimidate, or influence the behavior or thinking of the enemy.

Propaganda

Propaganda is defined as information that has no objectivity and is used to influence a specific audience or to further an agenda. This is often done by presenting selective facts to encourage a particular perception or synthesis, or by using loaded language to create an emotional instead of a rational response to the given information.

Propaganda Comes in Many Flavors.

White propaganda is information that is purposefully put out by a known transparent source and credited by its origin. The information intends to express a valid option of its author. An example would be a political ad put out by the “Jane Smith” political campaign designed to discredit her opponent and at the conclusion the video stating “Brought to you by the campaign to elect Jane Smith.”

Grey Propaganda is when the source of information is not expressed nor credited, and the identity of the source is concealed. The information shown does not have to be inaccurate as it could be true or false. An example might be a local small business putting out an ad about a competitor revealing the competitor uses inferior materials. This information may be correct, but the author, to avoid backlash, doesn’t want to admit they placed the ad.

Black propaganda is false information that is designed to look like it was created by those it is intended to discredit. For example, a meme or video that might appear to come from the Black Lives Matter network that may express images or video sanctioning black people attacking white people. Obviously, it is not in the best interests of a movement designed to accelerate civil rights to put out media of this kind. But if it says in the video “Brought to you by Black Lives Matter” and its spread via social media, it will inevitably spread disinformation to discredit the group.

Are You Sheep?

The questions then are; Are you aware of what is disinformation? Or are you sheep? Don’t shoot the messenger please. I’m only trying to shine a light on the fraud that you might be a victim of.

ROBERT SICILIANO CSP, is a #1 Best Selling Amazon author, CEO of CreditParent.com, the architect of the CSI Protection certification; a Cyber Social and Identity Protection security awareness training program.

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Rainmaker
2,410,495
Charles Stallions
Charles Stallions Real Estate Services - Pensacola, FL
800-309-3414 - Pensacola, Pace or Gulf Breeze, Fl.

You Think! I knew a stock broker that got rich by buying a list of 10,000 people that were into stocks. He would send half a recommendation on a stock to buy and then send the other half a sell order and kept playing the numbers of being right to people 50% of the time and everyone on the list thought him to be a genius and he took it all the way to the bank. 

Nov 13, 2019 07:01 AM #1
Rainer
480,249
Rose Mary Justice
Synergy Realty Pros - Dandridge, TN
Synergy Realty Pros

You have explained exactly what is going on in our world today.  Fortunately fair minded people can see what is happening and get the facts before any important decision has to be made.

People are so easily influenced and the media knows how to manipulate the air. We all have a brain, are we going to let the media lead us into a new way of thinking?   Lead or be Led.

Nov 13, 2019 07:07 AM #2
Ambassador
839,672
Mimi Foster
Falcon Property Solutions - Colorado Springs, CO
Voted Colorado Springs Best Realtor

What an amazing compilation of information. This is exactly what's going on, and social media is like an accelerant to this wild fire. Thanks for the time and effort to put this into words.

Nov 13, 2019 02:47 PM #3
Ambassador
927,991
Lynn B. Friedman
Atlanta Homes ODAT Realty Call/Text 404-939-2727 Buckhead - Midtown - Westside -- and more ... - Atlanta, GA
Concierge Service for Our Atlanta Sellers & Buyers

Robert Siciliano 

Always learn a lot on your posts - I like this one:
Disinformation, fundamentally, is lying.
Big word but still the same definition.
All the best - Lynn

Nov 13, 2019 07:32 PM #4
Rainer
484,489
Kimo Jarrett
WikiWiki Realty - Huntington Beach, CA
Pro Lifestyle Solutions

Depends on your definition of disinformation, doesn't it? Google defines it as false information which is intended to mislead, especially propaganda issued by a government organization to a rival power or media.  

Where misinformation refers to inaccuracies that stem from error, disinformation is deliberate falsehood promulgated by design.

Most Americans are misinformed, many are uninformed and very few are informed, yet many informed Americans abandon the facts and let their emotions justify their behavior to reject the facts and thus promote disinformation to the uninformed population that leads to more misinformed Americans.

It's my opinion that most uniformed Americans lack the education to comprehend the facts or seek the facts of any subject or issue. The solution is to dramatically change our educational system, so, our future generations will be informed enough to discern fact from fiction. Provocative post. 

Nov 13, 2019 11:29 PM #5
Rainmaker
879,645
Robert Siciliano
IDTheftSecurity.com Inc - Boston, MA
Realty Security and Identity Theft Expert Speaker

Thank you everyone for your intelligent contributions here. Feel free to share. 

 

Robert

Nov 14, 2019 07:53 AM #6
Rainmaker
539,708
Mary Hutchison, SRES, ABR
Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate-Kansas City Homes - Kansas City, MO
Experienced Agent in Kansas City Metro area

I agree with you. I first heard of Cambridge Analytica in reference to Brexit.  It is scary and this problem will only get worse. thanks for taking the time to post so many details.

Nov 14, 2019 12:56 PM #7
Rainmaker
2,074,365
Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP
DFW FINE PROPERTIES - Fort Worth, TX
Selling Homes Changing Lives

Robert,

Thank you for this information which is so current and newsworthy. I hope it gets FEATURED on ActiveRain!

Members who I think would agree are: Anna Banana Kruchten CRB, GRI, WLSLiz and Bill SpearMichael Jacobs , Jeff Dowler, CRS just to name a few...

Nov 14, 2019 09:59 PM #8
Rainmaker
397,446
Marney Kirk
Cummings & Co. Realtors - Towson, MD
Towson, Maryland Real Estate

Robert, this is a great post with so many details. I read an article that talked about how our brains are more willing to believe false details if they up our deeply held beliefs. Then we start to believe disinformation as fact - even if proven untrue. It was a frightening read!

Nov 15, 2019 11:46 AM #11
Ambassador
2,914,368
Anna Banana Kruchten CRB, CRS
Phoenix Property Shoppe - Phoenix, AZ
602-380-4886

Robert this is a post to be read by many and at the very least - considered. But as you say in todays world some people get stuck in the made up world and they are convinced they're victims. Honestly I havent heard so many thinking of themselves as victims. It's gone nuts.

 

And I thought this was really intersting history lesson .....

The birth of the word “disinformation” comes from the Russian word (dez-inform-ahhT-see-ahh) dezinformatsiya. Joseph Stalin coined the term in 1923 derived from the title of the KGB black propaganda “special disinformation office” department. Disinformation was formally defined in the Great Soviet Encyclopedia in 1952 as “false information with the intention to deceive public opinion”.

Disinformation is meant to instill fear and confuse its intended target by blurring the lines between fact and fiction. Disinformation’s primary purpose is to spread conspiracy theories that isolate readers and viewers from alternative viewpoints to create a cloud of confusion and paranoia.

Nov 15, 2019 01:39 PM #12
Rainmaker
3,055,182
Scott Godzyk
Godzyk Real Estate Services - Manchester, NH
One of the Manchester NH's area Leading Agents

The manstream media who screamed tolerance and acceptance is the least tolerant and most corrupt. There are many who blindly beleive what they see because if it is on tv, it must be true? Social Media has allowed the poster to be anonymous, so they think. 

Nov 15, 2019 05:27 PM #13
Rainmaker
643,413
Carla Freund
Keller Williams Preferred Realty - Raleigh, NC
Carolina Life RealEstate & Relocation 919-602-8489

Unfortunately, this kind of behavior will lead to us not trusting anyone.

Nov 16, 2019 05:47 AM #18
Rainmaker
2,487,037
Richie Alan Naggar
people first...then business Ran Right Realty - Riverside, CA
agent & author

We all have the ability to observe & receive & then act. Where we fail is we doubt the input/feedback which then makes us susceptible to other sources. 

Nov 16, 2019 06:24 AM #19
Rainmaker
1,095,563
Margaret Goss
Baird & Warner Real Estate - Winnetka, IL
Chicago's North Shore & Winnetka Real Estate

I clearly see what's happening on television and social media! Or do I . . .?

Nov 16, 2019 04:04 PM #20
Rainmaker
741,100
Andrea Bedard
Thompson Company, REALTORS® - Silver Spring, MD
M.A.; REALTOR® Silver Spring, MD and beyond

Thank you Robert for this well written post! I just shared with my children, at the Sunday breakfast table because there's never a better time to encourage them to question, to seek, to think independently, and to not be a sheep when all are well rested and are enjoying delicious food. 

P.S. I grew up behind the iron curtain.

Nov 17, 2019 07:48 AM #21
Rainmaker
1,516,120
Georgie Hunter R(S) 58089
Hawai'i Life Real Estate Brokers - Haiku, HI
Maui Real Estate sales and lifestyle info

It's getting harder and harder to know what sources to trust.  The technology is getting so sophisticated that even pictures and videos can't be trusted.

Nov 17, 2019 12:13 PM #22
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