February 18, 2011: Corruption and viral marketing has provided the Chinese government with a powerful tool for controlling public opinion. It all began when Chinese companies realized that they could hurt competitors by planting damaging rumors on the Internet. This, even in China, is illegal. But the corruption in China being what it is, there was little risk of getting the police to hunt down and punish the perpetrators. This was partly because the marketing firms, hired by companies to burnish their image, or defame competitors, was careful to have other small outfits get on the Internet to actually do the work, and be careful to not be traceable.
Chinese Internet users know this sort of thing goes on, and have adjusted their use of Internet communications accordingly. It’s become more important to actually know many of the people you communicate with on the Internet. In response, the marketing companies have adapted. The opinion manipulation is now more subtle, and it has become a form of advertising. But for the government, it's a another tool to keep an increasingly irate population under control.
And now... this:
The US government is offering private intelligence companies contracts to create software to manage "fake people" on social media sites and create the illusion of consensus on controversial issues.
The contract calls for the development of "Persona Management Software" which would help the user create and manage a variety of distinct fake profiles online.
Do I even need to comment on this?
Meanwhile the White House is trying other Orwellian tactics.
Well, it's not like they've got more important things happening in the world.
And I'll end with something actually funny.
“Listen, Abraham Lincoln helped to build the interstate… intercontinental railroad in the middle of the Civil War”.
Oh wait... no, the President thinking Abraham Lincoln helped build an intercontinental railroad is just... sad (is 10 seconds of wiki research too much for these clowns? or how about knowing what intercontinental means)
Remember, these folks think they can run your life better than you. And they'll use your money to try to convince you it.