We have completed maintenance on DiscoverMagazine.com and action may be required on your account. Learn More

Sock Puppets to Fight Jihad

By Keith Kloor
Mar 17, 2011 7:23 PMNov 19, 2019 8:28 PM


Sign up for our email newsletter for the latest science news

Perhaps we should call this initiative by the U.S. military asymetric sockpuppet warfare? As reported by the Guardian, the new software being developed

could allow US service personnel, working around the clock in one location, to respond to emerging online conversations with a host of co-ordinated blogposts, tweets, retweets, chatroom posts and other interventions.

Now before any more is said (and in case you don't read the Guardian story), it should be stressed that this "multiple persona" program has an explicit counterterrorism purpose. The intent is to counter extremist Islamic ideology. That said, as the Guardian story notes:

The discovery that the US military is developing false online personalities "“ known to users of social media as "sock puppets" "“ could encourage other governments, private companies and non-government organisations to do the same.

To which anyone who has ever spent time chatting on blogs will respond: Duh. Indeed, as one commenter at the Guardian site says:

And of course it isn't just the US military , as anyone who's ever been on a Climate Change thread can verify.

1 free article left
Want More? Get unlimited access for as low as $1.99/month

Already a subscriber?

Register or Log In

1 free articleSubscribe
Discover Magazine Logo
Want more?

Keep reading for as low as $1.99!


Already a subscriber?

Register or Log In

More From Discover
Recommendations From Our Store
Shop Now
Stay Curious
Our List

Sign up for our weekly science updates.

To The Magazine

Save up to 40% off the cover price when you subscribe to Discover magazine.

Copyright © 2024 Kalmbach Media Co.