The Pentagon is using a moral panic over “fake news” to gain influence over the domestic news landscape
The USA Defense Department is launching a project to repel “large-scale, automated disinformation attacks.” One of the Pentagon’s most secretive agencies, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), is developing “custom software that can unearth fakes hidden among more than 500,000 stories, photos, video and audio clips.”
The most enormous issue posed by the modern media landscape is the industry’s incredible concentration, which allows a handful of private platforms – Facebook, Twitter, Google – to dominate media distribution.
This makes it possible to envisage direct levers of control over the public’s media habits that never existed back when people got much of their news from local paper chains with individual distribution networks. We’ve already seen scary examples of misidentified foreign subversion, from the Washington Post’s repeat editorials denouncing Bernie Sanders as a useful idiot for the Kremlin to the zapping of hundreds of domestic political sites as “coordinated inauthentic behavior.”
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