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Sock Puppets to Fight Jihad

Collide-a-ScapeBy Keith KloorMarch 17, 2011 7:23 PM


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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.

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