Tackling Information Operations, Propaganda and Dark Advertising: It’s not all Fake News

It's all fake news anyway! 

Fake news is in the news. It's been headline activity ever since Trump helped propagate it within his ongoing media ramblings. Used now by him and his entourage of bewildered future inmates, it has become a distraction technique during and after his presidential campaign. He has now successfully driven the narrative to be able to deflect anything that is said negatively about him, even by his beloved Fox News, as a five-year-old in a supermarket meltdown.  

Ask him about his taxes, and he deflects. Ask him how half of his campaign staff have now ended up in jail or anything else that does not put him in a good light and he will denounce it as fake news in a game of "I know you are but what am I?" 

In fact, ""fake news"" has now become a catchall statement for anyone who doesn't know what they are talking about or can't counterargue with points to use when they do not like something or when a news report does not support their particular standpoint. It's far easier to label something as false news than do the research and take a reasoned articulated approach with righteous and pompous indignation. To add to this dilemma is that there has been a noticeable and significant increase in false news sites and a need for fact-checking both news stories and politicians' statements.  

Unfortunately, we do not have a political standards agency as we do for advertising that can hold politicians accountable for the lies they tell. 

You could refer to this post as fake news if you don't like its content, and who knows it might even be.  

It's not just about fake news: Information Operations. 

The issue is that focusing on ""fake news"" alone distracts from the broader narratives propagated by Information Operations around the world. Yes, it is an issue, and it has been used by many "bad actors"" to make false claims, promote agendas and distract from the truth. Some of these by "rogue states" or as acts of cyber warfare, but only going after and chasing "fake news" misses out the tackling of content, narratives and whilst not necessarily fake promote disruptive agendas.  

Content does not necessarily have to be fake to be used by Information Operations. Often it can be opinion pieces or advertising that doesn't make any statements that could be labelled as true or false but could be of one political bias or a propagandist nature.  

It can also be in the form of curating legitimate content from trusted sources to promote a specific narrative. The new Demos report "Warring Songs: Information Operations in the Digital Age" goes into detail about the definition of Information Operations and some of the tactics they use. It looks at how we might tackle these techniques and tactics but first suggests we need to push past the narrative of only focusing on fake news. We will be expanding on this report later, but it is certainly worth a read. 

Dark Advertising  

Together with fake news and information operations, we would do well to consider dark advertising. Not only from these ""bad actors"" and Strategic Information Operations but also media, big business, academia and politics.  

Dark Advertising, as it sounds, is the areas of digital, or direct, advertising that is incredibly manipulative by its nature. It is usually targeted at the vulnerable and more impoverished population.  

In her book Weapons of Math Destruction, Cathy O'Neill'Neill describes dark advertising as "ads that pinpoint people in great need and sell them false or overpriced promises. They find inequality and feast on it."" She goes on to state ""Anywhere you see a great need and ignorance you'll likely to see predatory ads."" O'Neill is here talking primarily about academic advertising by both for-profit and not-for-profit colleges that encourage vulnerable people to sign up to massive student loans under the guise of ''picking themselves up out of their current socio-economic situation by gaining a degree etc.''  

What's wrong with that you may ask? Well, it's's the targeting of people who are ''isolated'', ''stuck'', ''of low self-esteem'', ''pregnant ladies'', ''mothers on welfare'' people in ''low-income jobs'', ''recently experienced a death'', ''have been physically or mentally abused'' the list goes on. 

Let me just reiterate here, what she is describing is a so-called ''Academic Institution'' targeting people, vulnerable people, when they are at their most vulnerable because they know they are more likely to make emotionally based decisions. 

If this is what the education industry is doing, we can only imagine the length that Information Operations, politics and big business are going to, we only have to look at Cambridge Analytica for some insight to this.  

What about legislation? 

If we think our governments are going to step in and put down legislation that protects the average voter and consumer, to protect the vulnerable, just consider the fact that the previously mention Demos report states that of the 39 Information Operations they analysed 34 were aligned with a government of which 24 focused on internal audiences, that is audiences within their own country.  

We have to question that when governments, like the UK, have plans to address ""online harms"" what they define as ""harm"" and the impacts this has on freedoms of expression and free speech. We have to question do they purely focus on the online bully, fake news, fraud, terrorism and so on or do they also tackle Information Operations and dark advertising, do they include themselves, their behavioural insights team and their political campaigns within these plans.  

 

If fake news has done anything positive it has at least but people's minds to question some of what they read and hear. Moving people on from here to critical thinking and analysis is surely the next, very challenging, step.  

 

---------------

 

168148.gif

Why not join SleeplessDystopian.com today and become part of the conversation that challenges digital ecosystems, and the messages that are propagated through them.

If you like what we are doing here you can share this and other content on social media, the buttons are at the top of the page or you can donate/support via subscription.

Our aim is to provide free and easy access digital, direct and data-driven marketing insights, behavioural and social insights from industry to those looking to make a positive change in the world. Whether it be charities or not for profits, activists or social enterprises our aim is to help you to learn to tools, techniques, technologies and insights that will give you maximum impact. 

 

If you like what we are doing here there are currently three ways to help us. 

  1. You can support us through the, Support Us tab above, 
  2. If you cannot financially support us you can always share our content on social media  

 

 

Image for this article source

 Pexels.com

CC0 License

✓ Free for personal and commercial use

✓ No attribution required

 

 

 

 

written by The Mentalist Poet

If you like what we are doing here there are currently a few ways to help us. 

  1. Join the network. It is completely free and we would love to read and hear your opinions. 
  2. You can support us through the, Support Us tab above, click here
  3. If you are in business, in the UK and looking for finance then try the option below. If you like what the Business Lending Exchange has to offer when they call you back and you sign up with them, we get a commission, it’s that simple. 
  4. If you cannot financially support us you can always share our content on social media  
  5. Click on one of the adverts or link on our site, we are affiliates and earn commission from the links you click and buy from. 

If you are looking for asset re-finance, business or personal loans or subprime finance and you like what we are doing on this site, you can also help support us by using the below money engine from the Business Lending Exchange. 

 

 

 

Please support our work
The Mentalist Poet published an article
Introduction
For as long as I can remember I have been obsessed with communication. It is probably why I got into sales and marketing. I have been obsessed with not only how we communicate and what it tells us about our thinking, behaviour and…
Saturday
The Mentalist Poet published an article
So, what is really going on right now? What is the truth? Whilst BoJo and his team of co-conspirators look to dismantle the NHS and crash it during a plague. As he and his cronies have said “let the bodies pile high” and then gaslight us with…
Jul 17
The Mentalist Poet updated their profile
Jun 21
The Mentalist Poet posted a video
TAKE ACTION here: https://action.openrightsgroup.org/st... UK privacy rights are getting trampled in the Government’s rush to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). Much like trade deals with Japan…
Jun 21
The Mentalist Poet published an article
This is a repost of an article written by me in 2016/17 from a site I have now closed down. 
The last three major elections/votes in the US and UK have been filled with shock. First came Brexit, then came Trump and now we have a hung parliament in…
Jun 6
The Mentalist Poet published an article
We keep stepping forward, each breath through time,
Each step moving closer to death and rebirth,
In a continual continuum of space,
Stepping in beat,
Moving forward,
Falling off one’s own feet,
Tumbling from this event, that thing and when,
Not…
Jun 3
The Mentalist Poet posted a video
Dominic Cummings Select Committee Body Language: is Dominic Cummings lying? Is Dominic cummings telling the truth about Boris Johnson and Carrie Symonds, and Matt Hancock? Four of the world's top body language and behavior experts weigh in.…
Jun 2
The Mentalist Poet posted a video
On this GDPR Day, we’ve joined forces with partners across Europe to stop illegal online ad systems from violating our privacy rights. Watch the video now & use our tool to tell your MEPs to #StopStalkerAds 👉 https://www.stopstalkerads.org
May 28
The Mentalist Poet posted a video
In his talk, Simon Lancaster will take you on a journey into the surreal, raising profound questions about the power of language and the language of power. Forget fake news and alternative facts, the biggest lie we are told every day is that there…
May 3
The Mentalist Poet posted a video
Fantastic conversation from two heavyweights of their respective fields, Behavioural Economics and History regarding the Global Trends in technology and economic structures that are Shaping Humankind's future. 
Daniel Kahneman and Yuval Noah Harari…
Apr 15
The Mentalist Poet updated their profile
Jan 26
The Mentalist Poet published an article
We live in a fractured world. I don’t think that is a surprise to anyone or a controversial statement. We have some hope with the changes in leadership in the US but even with a new leader over there the country is fractured, torn down the middle by…
Jan 23
The Mentalist Poet updated their profile
Jan 14
Editorial Team published an article
A personal finance budget is more than simply a family budget. A finance budget includes more sophisticated financial options such as stocks, bonds, and other investments. Simple personal budgets can be done with a spreadsheet. You can even do it on…
Jan 10
Editorial Team posted a blog post
The 2020 election was marked by severe political divisions, a public health crisis, unease about the voting process, concerns about…


Some interesting data here; whilst most Americans surveyed seem to believe they had enough information to make a…
Dec 14, 2020
Editorial Team posted a blog post
Court blocks baseless effort by Republicans to undo Joe Biden’s victory in four states





https://www.facebook.com/103626624451616/posts/231087871705490/
Dec 12, 2020
More…