Russia Learning How To Bypass FaceBook’s Disinformation Defenses
Denial and deception, and a sophisicated disinformation campaign are all elegant arts that have been long practiced by China and Russia, and it is no surprise that Moscow’s disinformation practictioners have evolved to overcome Facebook’s disinformation defenses. Lily Hay Newman wrote in the March 5, 2020 editon of WIRED.com, that as social media giants have stepped up their defenses against disinformation campaigns — especially with respect to Russia — Russia’s Internet Research Agency (IRA) has evolved to find ways around those same defenses. For Ms. Newman’s full article, I refer you to WIRED.com.
Ms. Newman details how Young Mie Kim, a researcher at the University of Wisconsin “analyzied posts on Facebook and Instagram from 32 accounts connected to Russia’s IRA” last summer. Based on her analysis, Facebook, in October of last year, took down the fake Russian and Iranian accounts. But, Ms. Kim’s analysis also demonstrated how the adversary/Russia, had upped its Internet/social media disinformation campaign, in order to further decieve Facebook and its readers.
“Despite the increased transparancy measures by top [social media] platforms, it looks like the Russians are taking advantage of [exploiting] loopholes, to try and circunvent the tech platform’s “defenses,” Kim told WIRED. “They’ve improved their mimicry behaviors, and because of their evoving tactics, it is increasingly more difficult to detect [ferrett out] these foreign actors. So, I think we should be very wary of that.”
While Ms. Newman acknowledges that Facebook is detecting and shutting down the vast majority of these fake and devious accounts, inevitably, there are those that go undetected. If we can successfully detect and delete the vast majority of these nefarious accounts, that may be adequate, or enough to undermine any targeted disinformation campaign. But, the adversary gets a vote. And what this also demonstrates is that while sophisticated algorithms, machine learning and artificial intelligence can do a lot to help us in this domain — it is the human mind, and a sick and twisted/devious individual/s, that will find a way around these methods. Well-placed, crafty/sophisticated, but bad information, can kill a program, make a missile misfire, or worse. The U.S. needs to step up its own denial and deception techniques and operations, in order to better understand and recognize when we are being deceived. After all, if you do not practice denial and deception, then you are more likely to be deceived. We should anticipate that Russia, China, etc. will continue to evolve, and improve their disinfornation campaigns, and take advantage of any weakness we have in this elegant/critical genre. RCP, fortunascorner.com