Sunday, February 20, 2011

Persona Management, Twitter-bombing, and the Weaponization of Social Media

You need to read This Daily Kos post and the one it links to. From the latter:
[Chamber of Commerce tools] HB Gary people are talking about creating "personas", what we would call sockpuppets. ... {But] a persona apparently goes far beyond creating a mere sockpuppet.

According to an embedded MS Word document found in one of the HB Gary emails, it involves creating an army of sockpuppets, with sophisticated "persona management" software that allows a small team of only a few people to appear to be many, while keeping the personas from accidentally cross-contaminating each other. Then, to top it off, the team can actually automate some functions so one persona can appear to be an entire Brooks Brothers riot online.

What's the solution? I don't know. But the workaround is, don't be swayed by anyone who's unwilling to meet in person - or anyone when, when you ask if he himself wrote the comments that've writing that has appeared under his name, pauses for a moment before saying Yes.

Also we'd do well to be suspicious of first-name-only comments, that you'd assume were from well-known local people.

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