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Election Interference Evaluation

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Because the 2015 US election and 2016 Brexit referendum upsets, foreign influence on democratic elections has become a hot topic. On John Oliver’s Yesterday Tonight, a segment explained the simplicity tampering with voting machines which inspired me to write this informative article. Before I get into how simple and inexpensive it really is to propagate disinformation online, I’d like provide some background on why and exactly how more nations will probably be entering digital warfare space inside the long term.
Foundations of Geopolitics, a novel drafted from the International Department with the Russian Ministry of Defence back 1997, led the way as being a philosophical instructions manual for dismantling and dethroning enemies and super-powers alike, using the ultimate aim of “Finlandization” its Europe. According to Wikipedia’s summary about the strategy:
“Military operations play relatively little role. The textbook advocates a complicated program of subversion, destabilization, and disinformation spearheaded through the Russia special services.”
Throughout the 2015 US election and with a meagre monthly budget of just $1.25M (estimated $15M per year), Russia’s Internet Research Agency could provide the US election on the Republican Party. With regards to return-on-investment (ROI), Russia spends $36M per Mi-35 helicopter. It is no wonder then, that as Russia gains more territory and influence, its actual military expenses are decreasing.
Military power is clearly a really costly ongoing expense where destabilization is pretty cheap and plentiful. But exactly how is that this done?
Tactic 1: Obtain the Fractures Then Divide & Conquer
While using the instance of the united states, this fracturing tactic was exquisitely executed by fuelling instability and actively supporting all dissident groups simultaneously to inflame tensions and divide communities. Enemies of the USA happen to be fanning the flames of white nationalism, gun rights groups, stoking anti-immigration sentiment and also the vilification of refugees and Muslims happen to be most visible. Yet this only scratches the top.
But more subtle and vicious domestic attacks will be in support of fringe and other right-wing religious groups attacking women’s reproductive rights, gay marriage equality, homelessness and mental health.
There has been generational divisiveness growing between Middle-agers and Millennials. There's a growing demonization of environmental stewardship (see baseless attacks along with other trolling of Greta Thunberg) and attacks on democratically-held values generally speaking.
Long-term, inter-generational damage through the exploitation of the existing divides is seen within the gutting of the usa education system, diminishing access to healthcare for all those, ballooning deficits that generations to come will probably be saddled down by are just some of the long-term consequences to become felt by this surprisingly inexpensive destabilization warfare technique.
What were once cracks in an overarching national unity are becoming red line fractures in a artificially created, cold civil war. The majority are now asking the fact that was carried out to exploit these existing social divides?
Tactic 2: Leverage the digital age intersection between behavioural economics, social networking loopholes and also the relative simplicity of search engine exploitation



Like a digital strategist an internet-based marketer I have observed that many of the tactics available to civilians were modified to get weaponized against competing nations. Boosting social websites reach on divisive posts and influencers gave fringe groups an incorrect sense which they held popular yet controversial views.
Social networking provides extensive loopholes that we often share to my affiliate marketer followings for them to have more bang for buck with clients. It’s donrrrt forget to remember social media platforms’ #1 goal is to help you stay around the platform as long as possible to enable them to make ad revenue. Money by displaying content they believe could keep yourself just a little bit longer. All of them are literally designed at some level to be addictive to us.
I discuss in my marketing content the different exploitation opportunties that trick these social platforms into thinking your site content is viral by fooling the algorithm they depend on to distribute to users.
As an example, with under $100 I will buy 10,000 twitter followers, automatically getting 1,000 retweets and favourites on 10 posts. For $100 of paid ads on twitter, you barely get any results. That’s because Twitter under-reports bot activity to be able to convince its shareholders this website engagement is increasing. It’s not merely Twitter - Facebook, Instagram, Youtube (Google), Snapchat and also Linkedin have the ability to the identical fundamental vulnerability. It has become a breeze to give false social proof to almost anything.
Humans are hardwired with cognitive biases that are easily and often exploited by social media marketing platforms and appearance engines to generate us feel that things are more (or less) popular compared to what they really are. Increasingly we are most often getting stuck within our own social echo chambers and believe most of the people see things similar to us.
There was legitimate grievances round the US economy like job losses from globalization and artificial intelligence resulting in increased economic inequality. But Us residents were manipulated and sentiment hijacked by populist narratives of being the victim of the government, elites, experts, Democrats, Mexicans, Muslims, and foreign allies.
Tactic 3: Erode Trust & Global Alliances
What’s worse, not simply was the goal achieved to destabilize the US by facilitating the turning of the nation on itself, but additionally have its internal damage bleed Anti-Americanism into US-global relations. The surprise betrayal from the American-Kurd alliance can have lasting consequences on American credibility, leaving American soldiers and civilians more prone than ever before.
France, the first and the oldest international ally of the United States, has become questioning how much it can count on the united states following your abrupt pulling people forces from Northern Syria without any consultations from NATO partners. As reported by the BBC,
“Russia, which sees Nato as being a threat for the security, welcomes france president’s comments as “truthful words.””
It’s hard to say when exactly this second Cold War started, only one thing is certain: we’re woefully happy to defend ourselves from disinformation and have been taught to prevent difficult political conversations.

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