Enlarge / Would you get your Internet from this van? (credit: Bobotech – Know Your Meme)
We’ve learned something from the investigation into whether Russia meddled in the US election that has nothing to do with politics. Humans are more vulnerable than ever to propaganda, and we have no clue what to do about it.
Social media as weapon
A new report in The Washington Post reveals that the Obama administration and intelligence community knew about Russian attempts to disrupt the 2016 election months in advance.

But they did virtually nothing, mostly because they didn’t anticipate attacks from weaponized memes and propaganda bots.
Former deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes told the Post that the members of the intelligence community focused on more traditional digital threats like network penetration.

They wanted to prevent e-mail leaks, and they also worried about Russian operatives messing with voting machines. “In many ways… we dealt with this as a cyberthreat and focused on protecting our infrastructure,” he said. “Meanwhile, the Russians were playing this much bigger game, which included elements like released hacked materials, political propaganda, and propagating fake news, which they’d pursued in other countries.”
Read 15 remaining paragraphs

Leave a Reply