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Thread: Big Data, Big Money, Big Right-Wing Propaganda Machine

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    Quote Originally Posted by kmoney View Post
    I'm not quite following how this brainwashing would occur. Let's say this Cambridge Analytica has a profile of me based on my Facebook behavior. Now what?

    then they brainwash you

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    Quote Originally Posted by ok doser View Post
    then they brainwash you
    Then, they hypnotize you and make you cluck like a Chicken.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Arthur Brain View Post
    Nah, you really shouldn't...

    (!)
    Oh, you've done it now... you've activated the bot.

    Tried and waited then got tired, that's about it

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    Quote Originally Posted by annabenedetti View Post
    Oh, you've done it now... you've activated the bot.
    Darn it, where's the remote?


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    Quote Originally Posted by Arthur Brain View Post
    Darn it, where's the remote?

    Here! Quick!


    Tried and waited then got tired, that's about it

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  10. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by annabenedetti View Post
    Now, theoretically, they know more about you than you know about you. That's certainly unsettling, don't you think?
    Sure. I'm on FB but I am not very active and part of it is because I don't want to help these people get data on me.

    But the brainwashing they're talking about is complex, there are a lot of layers to it - individual level, group level, and those groups overlap each other in multiples. It has to do with in-group, out-group, group-think - the way minds are influenced and changed at the individual level and at the mob-mentality, us-against-them bunker mentality that can occur at a much larger scale. Appeals to the base emotions of fear and national pride. This isn't new science, it's just new in its application and methodology, and in its global scope and immediacy.

    From the article: "Cambridge Analytica has the technological tools to effect behavioural and psychological change, she said, but its SCL that strategises it. It has specialised, at the highest level for Nato, the MoD, the US state department and others in changing the behaviour of large groups. It models mass populations and then it changes their beliefs."
    I was asking more about the practical aspect of it. What 'tools' do they have?

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    “unwavering commitment to neutralising leftwing bias in the news, media and popular culture”

    YAY!

    We don't tell our children fairy tales so that they will know that monsters exist.
    They already know monsters exist.
    We tell our children fairy tales so that they will know that monsters can be killed.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kmoney View Post

    I was asking more about the practical aspect of it. What 'tools' do they have?

    Actual analytics tools? The technical part of that is knowledge I don't have.

    But from a psychology standpoint, there are many ways people are self-persuaded or group-persuaded: one of them is that people have a natural aversion to ambiguity. They have a need for cognitive closure, which means they'll make a quick decision in their minds so as to end that ambiguity. Often these quick decisions are made from the gut, which means there's a strong emotional component at work. When they're exposed to multiple-sourced, repeated confirmations of a bias they already hold (fear of immigrants, anger at a perceived loss of national status, distrust of mainstream media), those confirmations give them the feeling that they're not alone, that many people agree with them (refer back to the bots in the article); it strengthens not only their bias but also their perception of in-group power.

    I'm not saying there aren't a lot of people out there who wouldn't have the same fear, anger, mistrust even without social media - not at all. That's human history. But the analytics they're talking about is tapping into what's there and using it. Who's behind it? What power does it give them? Can they, and have they, used it to shape a political narrative in ways that are, in large part, happening under the radar?

    Tried and waited then got tired, that's about it

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    Quote Originally Posted by annabenedetti View Post
    Actual analytics tools? The technical part of that is knowledge I don't have.
    No, I wasn't trying to get into the technical details. Simply what avenue at a higher level. For example, part of this was profiling people based on their Facebook behavior, so is the brainwashing achieved through modifying what they see on FB? Another thing that was mentioned was internet search results, but that isn't a personal thing. I'm picturing an individual brainwashing but is this supposed to be brainwashing at a higher level of society?

    But from a psychology standpoint, there are many ways people are self-persuaded or group-persuaded: one of them is that people have a natural aversion to ambiguity. They have a need for cognitive closure, which means they'll make a quick decision in their minds so as to end that ambiguity. Often these quick decisions are made from the gut, which means there's a strong emotional component at work. When they're exposed to multiple-sourced, repeated confirmations of a bias they already hold (fear of immigrants, anger at a perceived loss of national status, distrust of mainstream media), those confirmations give them the feeling that they're not alone, that many people agree with them (refer back to the bots in the article); it strengthens not only their bias but also their perception of in-group power.

    I'm not saying there aren't a lot of people out there who wouldn't have the same fear, anger, mistrust even without social media - not at all. That's human history. But the analytics they're talking about is tapping into what's there and using it. Who's behind it? What power does it give them? Can they, and have they, used it to shape a political narrative in ways that are, in large part, happening under the radar?

  15. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by kmoney View Post
    No, I wasn't trying to get into the technical details. Simply what avenue at a higher level. For example, part of this was profiling people based on their Facebook behavior, so is the brainwashing achieved through modifying what they see on FB? Another thing that was mentioned was internet search results, but that isn't a personal thing. I'm picturing an individual brainwashing but is this supposed to be brainwashing at a higher level of society?
    We already know that people see in their Facebook feed pretty much exactly what they want to see, because it's been uniquely customized to their likes, their clicks, and their conversations. Consider a bunch of interconnected Facebook pages as a school of fish - what's causing them all to turn in unison? What's the viral news of the day? How do particular words or ideas prime people to think or act based on their subconscious motivations, fears, and biases? How do you achieve on the internet the same effect as you would in a crowd of German citizens listening to one of Hitler's speeches? That's the aim.

    I pulled out that social psy text today and found the section I was thinking of and saw that I'd bracketed it a year and a half ago, because it had resonated with me then. Probably in relation to TOL.

    So here's the relevant passage:

    Belief Perseverance

    ... It is surprisingly difficult to demolish a falsehood, once the person conjures up a rationale for it . . . This phenomenon, called belief perseverance, shows that beliefs can grow their own legs and survive the discrediting of the evidence that inspired them.
    The text gives several examples of how research participants were given evidence to convince them of a certain belief, asked to form a theory to support that belief, and then given disconfirmation of the original evidence. And even with solid disconfirmation:

    When that information was discredited, the participants still held their self-generated explanations and continued to believe [their self-generated belief].

    [Research] suggests that the more we examine our theories and explain how they might be true, the more closed we become to information that challenges our beliefs. . . . . The evidence is compelling: Our beliefs and expectations powerfully affect how we mentally construct events.
    Hopefully that's enough to give you an idea of where I'm going. It's where the internet makes it more interesting too: When people commit themselves to a particular belief through verbal affirmation, they're much more likely to stick to that belief - so what do we do when we're online? We're constantly putting into words what we believe. The more we spell out what we believe, the harder it is to walk away from what we're invested in, from what we've given verbal affirmation.

    This is where fake news has great power. It's the "big lie" which is, at its most basic: make the lie big, make it simple, keep saying it, and people will come to believe it.

    Once someone's passed on a fake story, what are the chances they're going to say "oops," I sent you a fake story?"

    And in a related way, when people hold a stereotype of an out-group they've been vilifying for years, when they're met with something that doesn't match their mental perception of that stereotype, they'll find ways to explain how that could be without giving up any of their stereotypical beliefs. It's another way of reassuring themselves that they're right to think the way they do and feel the way they do.

    I see a lot of these things reflected in the extreme polarization we see today. Democrats are going to move farther to the left in response to the GOP moving farther to the right. I don't think there's any moderate out there to be found, but that's just a tangential thought that's not really relevant to the rest of this post.

    Tried and waited then got tired, that's about it

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    Well, your media are a bunch of slanderers who tell half-truths at best and aren't fair at all with anything that doesn't cater to their agenda.

    Also,
    your media has an agenda
    By definition, they ARE fake news. They are no longer a reliable source because they have HAVE ESTABLISHED that they will not be unbiased, it's as simple as that.

    They are all fraudulent and if you want to sit there and try to tell people, who see it with their own two eyes, your quackery then go right on ahead.

    The media is not the President- they are not the government- they were not elected to do the will of the country.

  18. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by annabenedetti View Post
    We already know that people see in their Facebook feed pretty much exactly what they want to see, because it's been uniquely customized to their likes, their clicks, and their conversations. Consider a bunch of interconnected Facebook pages as a school of fish - what's causing them all to turn in unison? What's the viral news of the day? How do particular words or ideas prime people to think or act based on their subconscious motivations, fears, and biases? How do you achieve on the internet the same effect as you would in a crowd of German citizens listening to one of Hitler's speeches? That's the aim.

    I pulled out that social psy text today and found the section I was thinking of and saw that I'd bracketed it a year and a half ago, because it had resonated with me then. Probably in relation to TOL.

    So here's the relevant passage:



    The text gives several examples of how research participants were given evidence to convince them of a certain belief, asked to form a theory to support that belief, and then given disconfirmation of the original evidence. And even with solid disconfirmation:



    Hopefully that's enough to give you an idea of where I'm going. It's where the internet makes it more interesting too: When people commit themselves to a particular belief through verbal affirmation, they're much more likely to stick to that belief - so what do we do when we're online? We're constantly putting into words what we believe. The more we spell out what we believe, the harder it is to walk away from what we're invested in, from what we've given verbal affirmation.

    This is where fake news has great power. It's the "big lie" which is, at its most basic: make the lie big, make it simple, keep saying it, and people will come to believe it.

    Once someone's passed on a fake story, what are the chances they're going to say "oops," I sent you a fake story?"

    And in a related way, when people hold a stereotype of an out-group they've been vilifying for years, when they're met with something that doesn't match their mental perception of that stereotype, they'll find ways to explain how that could be without giving up any of their stereotypical beliefs. It's another way of reassuring themselves that they're right to think the way they do and feel the way they do.

    I see a lot of these things reflected in the extreme polarization we see today. Democrats are going to move farther to the left in response to the GOP moving farther to the right. I don't think there's any moderate out there to be found, but that's just a tangential thought that's not really relevant to the rest of this post.
    Your last comment is a big concern to me and I wouldn't say that it's that tangential. When you combine Facebook feeding people what they want to see with the belief perseverance then it'll lead to people getting more and more entrenched in their beliefs. Moderation will go by the wayside.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kmoney View Post
    Your last comment is a big concern to me and I wouldn't say that it's that tangential. When you combine Facebook feeding people what they want to see with the belief perseverance then it'll lead to people getting more and more entrenched in their beliefs. Moderation will go by the wayside.
    One means of avoiding that kind of thing - that I observe very few practicing to their own further detriment - is the practice of ever being willing to concede where someone is right on some point or another; regardless of how much we might disagree with them on other issues.

    Very few appear that willingly objective.

    Even more so, when a part of one collective or another such end up being a part of.

    It is a very poor thing to have in common with anyone; let alone, to cheer one another in the practice of.

    Every form of eventually fully blown corruption and or of man's eventual inhumanity towards his fellow man that I have ever observed features this unwilling concession at some earlier point or another, on its way to said full blown breakdown of any hope for objectivity.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kmoney View Post
    Your last comment is a big concern to me and I wouldn't say that it's that tangential. When you combine Facebook feeding people what they want to see with the belief perseverance then it'll lead to people getting more and more entrenched in their beliefs. Moderation will go by the wayside.
    I wonder if someone calling themselves a moderate at this point in time can only be someone who's actively disengaged from politics. (Referring here to people who'd normally be engaged in the political process, not those who don't follow politics, don't vote, and/or don't care.) I was talking to someone yesterday who doesn't want to know anything that's going on, has made a point of avoiding the news entirely, and is basically hunkered down and waiting for it all to blow over and see what's left.

    I guess you could maintain a moderate position by doing that, and also if you didn't vote or voted third party, and could hold onto that as a sort of moderate standard. But it seems to me that most who voted for either Trump or Hillary aren't going to be caught dead moving closer to the middle. The Trump voters are waiting for his administration to "purge the leftists," and Democrat voters are pushing their legislators to fight the administration tooth and nail. Not much room for accommodation or compromise in there anywhere, and I'm still hearing about friendships and family relationships that have been tested as a result of who voted for whom. The Trump polarization effect is like one of those spinning rides at the fair that pins everyone at the edges by centrifugal force - and often sends someone staggering off to throw up in the bushes when they get off.

    Tried and waited then got tired, that's about it

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    Quote Originally Posted by annabenedetti View Post
    From the article: "Cambridge Analytica has the technological tools to effect behavioural and psychological change, she said, but it’s SCL that strategises it. It has specialised, at the highest level – for Nato, the MoD, the US state department and others – in changing the behaviour of large groups. It models mass populations and then it changes their beliefs."
    Facebook sent employees to Trump's campaign office to assist with online marketing

    Former Trump digital campaign official Theresa Wong gave BBC a very out and proud tour of the campaign's digital operations center, now empty.
    In the course of the interview, she bragged that officials from Facebook and Google were onsite working together with right-wing Robert Mercer operation Cambridge Analytica to target voters on social media and bombard them with anti-Clinton messages while luring them over to Trump.
    At one point, she admitted that she wrote Facebook posts for Trump, a task she greatly enjoyed because he was so "authentic."
    She also brags about how "Facebook won the election" for Trump. This should concern us all, particularly in light of the fact that we now have confirmation that Russian troll farms bought Facebook ads to test specific messages.[/TD]

    BBC video link

    "What were Facebook and Google and YouTube people actually doing here? Why were they here?"

    "They were helping us, you know. They were basically our hands-on partners as far as being able to utilize the platform as effectively as possible. When you’re pumping in millions and millions of dollars to these social platforms, you’re going to get white glove treatment. So they would send people, you know, representatives to the Project Alamo to ensure that all our needs were being met."

    "Without FaceBook, we wouldn't have won. I mean, Facebook really and truly put us over the edge. Facebook was the medium that proved most successful for this campaign."

    Tried and waited then got tired, that's about it

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