The Twitter trenches

Time reveals more of the Pentagon’s social media warfare research:

The new Social Media in Strategic Communication (SMISC) program was submitted under the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), an arm of the Department of Defense. The goal is to “develop a new science of social networks built on an emerging technology base” to help the agency keep abreast with communication technologies, namely Twitter.

The program’s plan is fourfold:

1. Detect, classify, measure and track the (a) formation, development and spread of ideas and concepts (memes), and
(b) purposeful or deceptive messaging and misinformation.
2. Recognize persuasion campaign structures and influence operations across social mediasites and communities.
3. Identify participants and intent, and measure effects of persuasion campaigns.
4. Counter messaging of detected adversary influence operations.

It makes sense: Twitter’s gotten a lot of shine as a tool for mass mobilization, none more famous than during the Arab Spring. With over 200 million tweets being sent per day, Twitter has become an unprecedented medium for the mass transmission of information, and the Library of Congress is already archiving every tweet sent.

Sometimes, life just gets weirder than a Jerry Cornelius novel, you know?