Monday, June 12, 2017

Leaky, Leaky

A GOP donor who once had ties to IBM is the man behind the millions of Twitter bots President Trump counts on as followers who could be employed to target voters with misleading or fake news on social media.

In order for it to work, the scheme relies on the quiet guidance of Robert Mercer, a reclusive Republican mega-donor and staunch Trump supporter, sources told the Daily News.


Mercer, who helped get Breitbart News off the ground years ago with millions of dollars in donations, also invested at least $5 million in a firm called Cambridge Analytica, a small tech operation “that mines online data to reach and influence potential voters” and “uses secret psychological methods to pinpoint which messages are the most persuasive to individual online viewers,” The New Yorker magazine reported earlier this year.


Trump, meanwhile, has accrued among his 30 million Twitter followers — 15 million of which are actually bots that experts have told the Daily News could be “weaponized” to spread fake and misleading news stories that favor the White House or distract from the scandals it now faces.


“Fooling humans into doing things in the electronic realm turned out to be really easy,” said Simon Crosby, the chief technology officer at a firm called Bromium, pointing to well-documented campaigns that are thought to have influenced the 2016 presidential race and the Brexit referendum in the United Kingdom.

“But with a few extra steps that seem available in the right circles, it could get even easier,” he added.


[The] technology is even built to understand a user’s personality, tone and emotion and interact naturally with people.

  New York Daily News
...but hey, do what you will anyway.

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