Twitter Bot Armies Target Thai Politics | New Eastern Outlook

Twitter Bot Armies Target Thai Politics | New Eastern Outlook

18-07-18 06:21:00,

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It appears that the Western-backed opposition in Thailand is attempting to create the illusion of popular support online after failing repeatedly to create it in the streets of Bangkok, the nation’s capital.

Hundreds of suspicious accounts either clearly bots and sockpuppet accounts, or exhibiting suspicious behavior have begun promoting pro-opposition propaganda in unison after nearly a year of apolitical but equally similar activity.

The campaign resembles the manifestation of US government programs admittedly aimed at manipulating public perception through the use of false social media accounts which were revealed as early as 2011.

The US Has Sought to Manipulate Social Media for Years  

Attempting to control what is and isn’t popular is the desire of all involved in the field of marketing and politics. The ability to amplify the perceived popularity of a political idea or party to tap into the bandwagon effect is a temptation most involved in politics are not ethical enough to avoid.

During World War II, British operatives regularly manipulate US public opinion polls to reverse steadfast anti-war sentiment.

Today, the US has admittedly taken this process to social media where it uses – among many other techniques – software solutions like automated bots and multiple sockpuppet accounts used by single users to spread pro-American propaganda.

This was revealed as early as March 2011 by the Guardian in an article titled, “Revealed: US spy operation that manipulates social media,” which admitted:

The US military is developing software that will let it secretly manipulate social media sites by using fake online personas to influence internet conversations and spread pro-American propaganda.

The article would continue by describing contracts already awarded to companies to procure this technology – and by describing the capabilities of such technology:

The Centcom contract stipulates that each fake online persona must have a convincing background, history and supporting details, and that up to 50 US-based controllers should be able to operate false identities from their workstations “without fear of being discovered by sophisticated adversaries”.

The article also admits:

Once developed, the software could allow US service personnel, working around the clock in one location,

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Shadow Armies: The Unseen, But Real US War in Africa

Shadow Armies: The Unseen, But Real US War in Africa

11-01-18 09:41:00,

There is a real – but largely concealed – war which is taking place throughout the African continent. It involves the United States, an invigorated Russia and a rising China. The outcome of the war is likely to define the future of the continent and its global outlook.

It is easy to pin the blame on US President Donald Trump, his erratic agenda and impulsive statements. But the truth is, the current US military expansion in Africa is just another step in the wrong direction. It is part of a strategy that had been implemented a decade ago, during the administration of President George W. Bush, and actively pursued by President Barack Obama.

In 2007, under the pretext of the ‘war on terror’, the US consolidated its various military operations in Africa to establish the United States Africa Command (AFRICOM). With a starting budget of half a billion dollars, AFRICOM was supposedly launched to engage with African countries in terms of diplomacy and aid. But, over the course of the last 10 years, AFRICOM has been transformed into a central command for military incursions and interventions.

However, that violent role has rapidly worsened during the first year of Trump’s term in office. Indeed, there is a hidden US war in Africa, and it is fought in the name of ‘counter-terrorism’.

According to a VICE News special investigation, US troops are now conducting 3,500 exercises and military engagements throughout Africa per year, an average of 10 per day. US mainstream media rarely discusses this ongoing war, thus giving the military ample space to destabilize any of the continent’s 54 countries as it pleases.

“Today’s figure of 3,500 marks an astounding 1,900 percent increase since the command was activated less than a decade ago, and suggests a major expansion of US military activities on the African continent,” VICE reported.

Following the death of four US Special Forces soldiers in Niger on October 4, US Secretary of Defense, James Mattis, made an ominous declaration to a Senate committee: these numbers are likely to increase as the US is expanding its military activities in Africa.

Mattis, like other defense officials in the previous two administrations, justifies the US military transgressions as part of ongoing ‘counter-terrorism’ efforts.

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