Vietnam’s battalions of ‘cyber-armies’ silencing online dissent from r/TechNewsToday
Vietnam‘s cyber-army, also known as Force 47, was deployed to counter the content on social media platforms deemed critical of the way the authorities handled the situation.
Vietnam’s Force 47 is run by the Ministry of Public Security (MPS) to hack anti-government websites and spread pro-government messages online, and is believed to be at least 10,000-strong.
Digital rights campaigners accuse Vietnam of attempting to replicate China’s “Great Firewall” by regulating and censoring the internet with the cybersecurity law.
Neither Google, which owns YouTube, nor Facebook has complied with the legislation, which requires the American tech giants to open local data storage facilities inside Vietnam by January 1.
Vietnam has a population of 96 million. With more than 60 million Facebook users, it is the platform’s one of the fastest-growing markets.
PISA scores were recently released, and results of the international test revealed that only 14 percent of U.S. students were able to reliably distinguish between fact and opinion.
according to Pew Research Center, 68 percent of American adults get their news from social media—platforms where opinion is often presented as fact. While Facebook and other social media outlets have pledged to tackle fake news, the results are lackluster.
Even on seemingly-serious websites, credibility is not a given. When I was in middle and high school, we were taught that we could trust .org websites. Now, with the practice of astroturfing, responsible consumers of information must dig deeper and go further to verify the legitimacy of information. https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/astroturfing
Experiences like these, where students are challenged to consider the validity of information and sort what’s real from what’s fake, would better prepare them not only to be savvier consumers of news, but also to someday digest contradictory information to make complicated decisions about their own health care, finances or civic engagement.
freely available resources to help educators teach how to vet information and think critically about real-world topics.
more fake news in this IMS blog
Some news organisations, including the BBC, New York Times and Buzzfeed have made their own “deepfake” videos, ostensibly to spread awareness about the techniques. Those videos, while of varying quality, have all contained clear statements that they are fake.
more on deep fake in this IMS blog
Facebook’s new ban targets videos that are manipulated to make it appear someone said words they didn’t actually say.
more on deep fake in this IMS blog
more on facebook in this IMS blog
Narcissism and the Idolization of Technology
Marshall McLuhan , Understanding Media,
Brave New World, Aldous Huxley
one of the greatest future threats to liberal democracy was society being caught unprepared by an advancing technology that changes social conditions, so that people find themselves “in a situation which they didn’t foresee and doing all sorts of things they didn’t want to do.”
while the user of media is distracted by its content, he is more susceptible to the actual agent of its influence— the medium itself. Hence, McLuhan’s most famous aphorism, “The medium is the message.”
Viewing social media through this lens, it seems obvious that it is not the content, or what is said on these very popular platforms where the true power to influence lies, rather it is in the medium itself.