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Tuesday, November 26, 2019

PREPARING FOR THE ESCALATING CYBER WAR PART 2: MEMES

SURPRISE, MOST MEMS AREN'T FOR INFORMATION! Some are clearly for pure and simple entertainment. For a large portion of the MEME traffic that makes its way to you, there is purpose in how it gets to you. When you get a propaganda meme either as a pop-up or in your feed, it is no accident. YOU ARE THE TARGET, and the MEME is a cyber weapon. There IS a hot war going on in cyberspace with attacks and counter attacks.

Don't be fooled, or lulled into a false sense of security because the battlefield in this war is in cyberspace. It spills out of the computer world and into the physical. Air travel can be delayed when vital information systems are attacked and systems shut down. The most troubling spillover of this cyberwar is you. As mentioned earlier YOU are a target, most specifically your feelings. Also worth mentioning for our American readers, The 2016 election interference attacks were launched BY RUSSIA. RUSSIA, Repeat RUSSIA AND V. PUTIN DID IT. This is worth mention here because of the propaganda campaign ongoing from THE GOP. Trump's "win" and his presidency are good examples of the effects of war in cyberspace extending to the physical world.

In a cyberwar, a meme can be a weapon. A weaponized meme is a propaganda poster or leaflet delivered directly to you and as mentioned it is targeted. A lot of content, on Facebook, in particular, is fed to you based on what are looking at so ads and promotions match your interests. It could be candy, movies, golf or even White Nationalism. So now the attackers know where to find you and how to feed propaganda directly to you and the algorithms know what presses your buttons, and its bombs away in the cyberwar.

Let's look at the parts of a propaganda meme, as I understand them.

It is extremely easy to spin a quick narrative. There are a lot of different production levels and techniques, the level of extremism is dependant on the audience targeted. These are quick to make and the target group is very much motivated to pass on and propagate the dissemination of the message. Designed by professionals, of which I am not, they are a key weapon in the cyberwar we must be ready for. A quick review of an earlier piece, "HAVE YOU BEEN INFORMED OR INFLAMED?" will give a little more insight into how you can be led down a path by the words an author uses to mould your feelings. That is after all what this is all about, inflaming your feelings, not informing you about the world.

DO YOU KNOW ANYONE ON FACEBOOK WHO NEEDS TO SEE THIS?


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