Sunday, February 20, 2011

Creating An On-Line Army of Automated Sock Puppets

One of the most brilliantly evil schemes I have ever read about. The roots are in this patent:


A system to apply persona styles to written communications. The system includes a communication analyzer and a modification engine coupled to the communication analyzer. The communication analyzer identifies an element of original content of a written communication and determines that the element of the original content of the written communication is incompatible with a selected persona style. The selected persona style defines a communication style. The modification engine modifies the original content of the written communication to replace the element of the original content with a substitute element that is compatible with the selected persona style.

And you wind up with this: 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.

...and even better, this:

To build this capability we will create a set of personas on twitter,‭ ‬blogs,‭ ‬forums,‭ ‬buzz,‭ ‬and myspace under created names that fit the profile‭ (‬satellitejockey,‭ ‬hack3rman,‭ ‬etc‭)‬.‭ ‬These accounts are maintained and updated automatically through RSS feeds,‭ ‬retweets,‭ ‬and linking together social media commenting between platforms.‭ ‬With a pool of these accounts to choose from,‭ ‬once you have a real name persona you create a Facebook and LinkedIn account using the given name,‭ ‬lock those accounts down and link these accounts to a selected‭ ‬#‭ ‬of previously created social media accounts,‭ ‬automatically pre-aging the real accounts.

...and here's the topper:

Using the assigned social media accounts we can automate the posting of content that is relevant to the persona. In this case there are specific social media strategy website RSS feeds we can subscribe to and then repost content on twitter with the appropriate hashtags. In fact using hashtags and gaming some location based check-in services we can make it appear as if a persona was actually at a conference and introduce himself/herself to key individuals as part of the exercise, as one example. There are a variety of social media tricks we can use to add a level of realness to all fictitious personas

And I am reminded of back in the day ('07, maybe) when to push their POVs, Conservatives relied on the faith of bloggers like ole Flanders, who would both fast and pray so as to better Freep those abortion polls. In today's brave new world Flanders role would be automated, and his place taken by software bots roaming cyberspace like a gang of trolls.

And, assuming that the software required for all of this became cheap enough, we could each create our own on-line army, that would act on behalf of our self-defined on-line interests--for example, initiate legal action--when we slept or even, God forbid, after we were dead.

PS The bit about "pre-aging" accounts sounds esp. interesting. Does this mean that if you have an account created last year, you can hook up (somehow) new accounts to this and they will be automatically back-dated to the date of the original?

1 comment:

Dr.Dawg said...

I suspect they've been beta-testing at my place. :)