This is a very general topic. However, you can find out issues in your local environment to make some sense of what this article has to offer. First, meddling an election is not a morally good thing to do. To affect people’s perception with a covert agenda is not difficult in this modern age. Today, I can watch the news from all around the globe on my phone. That is a big privilege, and also a curse, as now I have a lot to choose. When I got a lot to choose from, and I am aware of it, I would still choose a little of them as per my taste. My ‘taste’ is technically my bias. Your bias would be different from my bias and this is what one can use to subvert someone. Such a fundamental change of perspectives can do a lot of damage when misused.
Why is it more pronounced than ever?
Now is the time when people do not have to walk outside their homes to buy anything. Everything you need to survive, you can access from your phone. This is a great time to live. You even get to date with people in real life, after you have first met them online. People learn online, people shop online, and people get their news online. You have been now isolated from the world by the technology, as you have the choice and power and privilege to reach a lot of people from your room than you would reach personally. You are also equally vulnerable now with misinformation and bad influences if you fell into the rabbit-hole of propaganda and misinformation.
Messing up a country’s Government
If you are to mess up a country’s government digitally, you would not be able to do it without technical help from really smart people around the globe. Take Russians and Americans. Both of the countries have very smart people and can produce excellent cyber-attacks and media-hypes to transform your perception of the world. Whereas China has its own domain fully controlled, China has its country under control. Chinese people QQ while Americans Facebook, and Russians VK, maybe facebook too, apart from India ( being the most populous country and doesn’t have a single massive social networking platform ).
Social networking platforms are where you find people, be it in the form of general networking platforms like Facebook, or professional platforms like Linkedin, or video sharing platforms like Youtube or speaking-concise platforms like Twitter. There are new platforms like Telegram, Reddit etc where you see a lot of people interacting with each other.
These social networking platforms have now become a way to spread information. An eye-catching post can go viral within some hours worldwide and create unprecedented damage or can save someone’s life too. It all depends on the information one is passing through these platforms.
How are governments hacked?
At the time of elections, you get to hear a lot of ‘revelations’, technically called ‘intel reports’ that are timed so well that it actually destroys the career of the candidate. This intel might prove to be true or false, however, propagandists design their plot so well that it would stay alive for its design period.
Let’s imagine a fictitious political candidate who once dated a lot of women in his life. So, anything related to this candidate, including his emails, conversations, photos or videos could be subject to propagandist attacks to use them against the candidate in all ways it can be. This is just a simple example without pointing to anyone really but you get the point. As a specific example, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3KFRbdPQPf0, this is a famous one.
How do we help governments?
I support the existence of strong governance in a region or a country, but this is not the government you and I know of. We have a long way to reach a well-functioning governance model that serves the best of people’s interest rather than a handful.
As in individual, how do you cut through the noise and make up your mind so that you have the right tools to shape your own perception? Come and take a ride.
Check this article by David Siegel on Medium, inreality.show
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