Detect, Analyze, Expose, Counter, and Contain
Where is your filter bubble? Understanding cognitive bias is crucial. Skilled in critical thinking a requirement.
Our first major project was the two-year impersonation of a Taliban spokesman. We found that ISAF was not countering the constant flow of Twitter social media content coming from Zabihullah Mujahid and Qari Yusef Ahmadi. Starting from scratch in 2009, we built a program around a duplicate series of personas. Time and patience proved the model. At the end of the two-year period, we had 1.5k more followers than our Taliban mirror and had been email interviewed by Al-Jazeera as the spokesman.
January 12, 2022
Social media and access to information is both an asset and a threat. Psychological operations help the perpetrator change minds, solidify existing beliefs, and divide groups causing chaos. Hate spreads quickly as tribal behaviors take hold with partisan viewpoints supported by false information. People respond with emotion driving their thoughts while critical thinking and analysis are thrown aside. At Treadstone 71, we understand the problem before us.
Our program covers a broad range of topics concerning the uses of media manipulation and online disinformation. First, we help clients assess the content:
The assessment may include operational activities driven by a government entity, state-funded propaganda, the use of proxy groups, if and how the content is weaponized, and what cyber tools enable the spread of the content. We also assess the scope of the campaign and the extent to which it is already embedded.
Our service is flexible and scalable. we drive the identification of operational content to define the narrative(s) while examining imagery and the feelings created by such. We also identify potential emotions, instincts, reflexes, and passions intended to exploit.
Assessing the narrative to determine the embedded content takes time and a trained eye. At Treadstone 71, our years of experience in performing these tasks removes the risk from your organization. Narrative manipulation may 'export 'confirmation bias on one hand while triggering cognitive dissonance on the other. We assess where the content invokes fear based on group dynamics and phobias, creating a plan to contain or remove activities when possible.
Influence operations and disinformation campaigns are significant challenges to all of us. Swift action is needed to tackle the effects of the campaigns. However, countering campaigns requires a sustained effort.