Here's a new wrinkle on the massive emotion-manipulation study that Facebook conducted in concert with researchers from Cornell and UCSF: one of its researchers is funded under a US Department of Defense program to study "emotional contagion" and civil unrest.
Cornell's Jeffrey T Hancock, one of the three scientists who conducted the experiment (which was likely illegal) does active work on the DoD's Minerva program, which studies the spread, manipulation, and evolution of online beliefs.
The US military and intelligence apparatus has a long history of attempting to manipulate public opinion -- from sneaking Russian editions of Dr Zhivago into the USSR to the covert creation of a "Cuban Twitter". It has also actively delved into directly manipulating online discourse, commissioning "persona management" software that would allow a single spy to run 20 simultaneous online identities for message-board debates and then refining the project with a $2.76M grant to Ntrepid, an LA startup formed to create this software.
It's not clear whether this specific experiment came under the umbrella of Hancock's DoD funding. But it's clearly thematically connected with the rest of the Minerva program, which also has some legitimate ends, such as identifying and countering other countries' sock-puppet programs.
Facebook's Psychological Experiments Connected to Department of Defense Research on Civil Unrest [SCG News]
(Image: Our hero, the sock puppet, Quinn Dombrowski, CC-BY-SA)
Wikileaks has published a leaked draft — dated Oct, 5, and thus possibly the final text — of the “Intellectual Property Chapter” of the Trans Pacific Partnership, and it’s grim reading.
Under the Stephen Harper government, $8M was given to the John McCain-chaired International Republican Institute, a non-governmental organization started by the US Republican party to advocate for right-wing policies abroad.
Remember Lynndie England, the 21-year-old low-ranking Army Specialist who, along with ten other low-ranking Army personnel, was determined to be responsible for years of systematic torture in Iraq’s notorious Abu Ghraib prison, thus letting the entire Army chain of command off the hook for any wrongdoing in one of the worst scandals of the unbelievably […]
You won’t need to think twice about going hands-free on the road with Exomount’s easy-to-use car mount. It mounts your smartphone so easily, you literally only need one hand to quickly secure your phone in the perfect position and get driving. Don’t risk a ticket, use the world’s best suction technology to effortlessly mount and […]
It’s time for a power upgrade — throw out that tired-out power strip and swap in this family-size USB charger, packed with 6 high-speed ports. With a built-in control chip, Kinkoo optimizes each port to ensure the fastest charging possible for all your devices. The Kinkoo is made from high-grade and durable materials so you […]
Watching Netflix, Hulu or other streaming services can unfortunately be difficult while traveling outside the US. Rather than bypass these restrictions with the help of a complex and slow VPN, choose a faster and simpler solution with Getflix. Instead of rerouting all your Internet traffic through a different server, this handy service only routes the […]