Computational politics are the analytical tools used to profile at the individual level. It is asymmetrical warfare. ‘They’ have a machine gun and ‘you’ have nothing, not even the awareness of all the battles you lose.
Broke: Survey questions, supplemented by a layer of “latent data” that gave correlational guidance at the group level but not precise individual targeting
Woke: User generated, persistent data collection. The always-on trail of harvestable imprints
Twitter is one supply line of the attack
Twitter narrowly defines ‘you’ and ‘your’ attributes including sexual orientation, ethnicity, religious and political views, intelligence, happiness, use of addictive substances, parental separation, age, and gender. These are the deepest parts of a person’s identity
As the fragmenting of groups is now unrecoverable, elections will be fought more aggressively at the margins of extreme polarization and low turnout.
The Twitter environment is the operational capacity of a campaign
The quantity and quality of persistent surveillance extracted from online conversations, likes, retweets, comments, your language, sentiment, empathy all correlated, political engagement, employment, home address, cell phone records, search history, purchases, financial interaction and all those people on your periphery, has resulted in an exponential increase in the amount and type of data available to large organizations that can afford the access
Campaign sciences have aborted the philosophy of the ‘rational human’ and adopted a ‘realistic model’ of human behavior allows for enhanced, network–based social engineering
Twitter enables real time, quickly iterated messaging and methods
Data, tools and techniques that comprise these methods require access to proprietary, expensive data
Twitter has a significant role in information sharing among politicians, journalists and citizens
Twitter can make it easier or harder for political campaigns to acquire user information, or may decide to package and sell data to campaigns in ways that differentially empower the campaigns
Twitter could decide to use its own store of big data to model voters and to target voters of a candidate favorable to the economic interests of Twitter itself
There is a campaign underway to demobilize, ridicule and marginalize the anti-war left. It cloaks itself in the popular causes of #resistance hashtags to allow it to operate unobstructed. It uses a large syndicate of ‘conservatives’, ‘liberals’, conveniently forgiven neocons who got us into wars on a lie, #AntiTrump, pundits, bots and astroturfing as an endless positive feedback loop.
The primary target of the Twitter attack is Bernie Sanders. I’m not commenting on his views, right or wrong, only that he has the ‘size’ of the left.
Let’s agree on these definitions:
Sockpuppet: False identities used to praise, support or defend a person or organization
Bot: Fake twitter identity. A program that autonomously tweets, retweets, likes, follows, unfollows
Spambot: Bots used by ‘click-farms’ in the service of advertisers to drive traffic to a website
Astroturfing: Masking the sponsors of a message or organization to make it appear grassroots
Botnets, bots and sockpuppet are force multipliers. They are used to:
Make a hashtag trend
Promote a story, have it detected by Google and promoted to the top of the results page for a query
Amplify messages, feign popular support, shape discussion and manipulate public debate
Jam the opposing campaigns twitter feed, bombard accounts in an attempt to get them suspended
There is no action on social media that does not have a target. Everything is a campaign.
Q: How do you measure the success of a campaign?A: By the amount of diffusion and iterations that people create from the kernels that are planted
First, let’s look at events offline and how it corresponds with online actions (none of this should infer that I’m a Republican apologist, a ‘conservative’, or anything ‘alt’. For full disclosure I am a big-time Democrat)
If the Democrats capture a majority in the House of Representatives in 2018 mid-term, candidates drawn from the military-intelligence apparatus will comprise as half of the new Democratic members of Congress.
The Intel and war industry apparatus has chosen the Democratic Party as their preferred political vehicle.
This is the account of Democratic fanfic publisher Shareblue
Shareblue is a David Brock created company. Brock is also founder of Media Matters, the attack dog of any reporters, news outlets, politicians, interests, whistleblowers or ideas perceived as threatening to the narrative as established by President Obama, Clinton and other Neocon Democrat interests.
David also knows the vast riches of fundraising for PACs
Brock created a PAC called Correct the Record. The American oligarchs love it
Within that organization he created another, online trolling for Hillary
This is the Twitter account of Sally Albright
Sally heads Druid City Media, a political and corporate communications firm. Sally is very anti Bernie Sanders, so is Druid
These are the ‘people’ who tweet the same text and links to Shareblue. It’s like they are joined at the hip.
All of those posts were made using an app that allows users to post the identical tweet on up to 150 separate accounts with a single click. It’s called Buffer because it allows you to queue up posts to go out according to a programmable schedule to emulate human twitter users. All of the ‘people’ shown above tweeted the same thing but at different times using Buffer
Sally Albright is an inane tweeter
And, she has inane admirers
Who are her admirers? It’s all Sally, Sally, Sally!
This is an announcement. Twitter knows that Shareblue astroturfs. Reddit suspended them. Why won’t Twitter?
Will Twitter enforce their own rules? Or are they a participant in a campaign?
Twitter has evidence of Sally Albright’s gameswomanship. In March of 2017, Sally had issues with Buffer and she tweeted with their support team.
In the process of troubleshooting, she tweeted a screenshot of the Buffer browser extension. The screenshot clearly shows dozens of Twitter account avatars signed in to the service. Buffer allows for creating groups of different accounts in order to schedule tweets (or retweets) for different purposes or communities. At the time of the screenshot, Sally had 24 accounts in a group called “Weird Twitter”, 25 in “Hillary”, 6 in “Group 1”, and 14 in “Tier 2”.
Connection to Shareblue
In the above screenshot, avatars of three dozen accounts are clearly visible. Six of the avatars were easily recognizable and matched photos from accounts that commonly retweeted Sally. All of these accounts were tweeting links to Shareblue.com multiple times per day in late January, 2018.
The screenshot of account avatars, the Shareblue articles shared via Buffer, and the fact that the official @Shareblue account also uses Buffer, offer circumstantial evidence that Sally’s sockpuppet army is either working with or adjacent to Shareblue.
Sally Albright retweeted herself 30939 times from 63 unique sockpuppet accounts. In the first six weeks of 2018, she managed to retweet herself an average of 559 times per day.
Eric Boehlert was the most retweeted Shareblue employee, with 1883 retweets originating from 60 unique sockpuppet accounts
Eric Garner, was the second most retweeted account overall, with 2678 retweets originating from 59 unique sockpuppet accounts.
Here are the numbers on the top accounts retweeted using Buffer and sockpuppets linked to Shareblue. This is just from the past 6 weeks…
This is Jen Kirkman. She wants to sell her comedy albums. She also smears Bernie Sanders.
The accounts she references link to a variety of domains and post using IFTTT which indicates that they are spambots and farming pay-per-click revenue, they will link to anything that has a high click success rate. Jen made a lazy evidence-free conjecture to smear Senator Sanders and meld him with the Russian hack narrative
Who is amplifying Jen Kirkman’s bullshit smear? This guy…
John retweets Jen’s smear and then Shareblue sockpuppets go into overdrive
Same pattern. Retweet Jen Kirkman with a comment, then sockpuppets get turned on
Another Jen Kirkman fan. She retweets with a comment. Then the Shareblue sockpuppets amplify.
The wordcloud below shows the Shareblue 100 most frequently retweeted verified accounts. Font size of each screen name corresponds to the number of retweets received relative to other verified accounts.
Most commonly retweeted positive or negative words in tweets mentioning Bernie Sanders
Frequency of (re)tweets
99% of the posts made by the sockpuppet accounts were automated retweets using Buffer. From Jan 15, 2018 to February 15, 2018
Total number of retweets was 132773, for an average of 4200 per day
The number of retweets frequently reached over 6000 per day and went up to a maximum of just shy of 8000 retweets per day
This is all done in-house with a single person using software that costs about $200 per month
Twitter knows about every single action that occurs on its platform.
Q: Does the public have a right to know if a hostile government and/or its proxies and agents deploys bots, sockpuppets and astroturfs?
A: There has been ongoing government inquiries and hysteria
Q: Does the public have a right to know if our own government, and/or its proxies and agents, deploys bots, sockpuppets and astroturfs?
A: Twitter doesn’t think so