From Russia with Like


They’re not Russian trolls, they’re Russian agents, posing as trolls. Don’t make any mistake, they are con artists. They are literate in the dark arts of social media, enabled by the unfettered dollar addiction of tech capitalists with characterless induced KPIs. Facebook, Google, YouTube, Instagram and all of the above supply accurate information about the readership of a story on a plate to advertisers. What’s that old adage – if you’re being offered a service for free, you’re the product, or words to that effect? Not you, individually, as you might think when you hear that, you the culture, in fact. 

Invasive species of data rat
Facebook is a contagion of an invasive species of data rats from a doomed pirate ship called SS Silicon Valley. Some of the hot takes talk about how it’s about engagement and therefore Instagram stole the show. The point about the Instagram audience is, it’s probably the lesser voting under 25s who see that mostly there and the onwards and upwards through middle age crews are on that Facebook curve, a social graph of fruitless dissatisfaction that slides down hill, covering more ground in the same amount of time as it accelerates downwards like gravity.

flatter-gets-you-goldThere’s a wealth of data to help you identify who you are speaking to to pull the con – sex, age, family, address, phone number, enough to hit them up every other day with a tailored message, it’s on a log file in the data centre. It’s in a table. It’s all from the same strategic source. Facebook make a lot of money when you lose your country. Do you see how that works? A report to the congress on election interference lays out the map in front of you.

You can split hairs about the benefits of each KPI. Twitter users are fewer but more engaged. Facebookers are family and loaded etc.  It’s all by design of the platform. 

The tech companies all knew what was happening they just needed somebody to ask them the right question in the right way and with a little cinch on the forearm they told us what they knew all along, which is to say, everything.

Targeted Facebook Ads 

Black people were targeted with voter suppression alerts. The white people were targeted with panic ads. Everywhere you look you receive messages telling you things and you must believe they come from somewhere because where else would they come from if they were not true? Nobody is spinning yarns here, this stuff happened. It’s real and if you don’t believe it you are blind to the strategy to make you disbelieve. The fakenews illusion is real. It cannot be happening if it’s not real and look, it’s happening every hour of the day whether you notice or not.

Before long you don’t even know which way is up. You’re looking at a site supposed to bust fake news and you wonder – is this a fake fakenews busting site? Doubt is recursive. You need to inject something to break the doubt. Some integer. What could it be.

Send in the Baltic nissen – elves out to expose the skulduggery of fake news that is having a toxic reign in their media. New York Times gives a good overview of the history of fake news, apparently we’re in this for the long haul. 

By the way, this Christmas you may be confronted with disinformation at the dinner table. Don’t take it personally: 

Foreign actors even seek to manipulate Google and YouTube search results to spread their content. The content then enters into public discussion and is circulated more widely through the information ecosystem.

Fake news ain’t gonna last in the face of my fake efforts to stop it so let’s go, Russia, lets’ do this, let’s active measures the shit out of this whole thing and see who has the weirdest imagination 😉 The first thing I would do is ban political ads during elections on social networks. Clear break from the past. Towards a more democratic framework. Stuff like that – change my mind.