I learned only today that as many as a third of online reviews are fake. Some of you might say ‘no surprise’ and I guess it depends where these reviews are from but even taken that it is interesting though not surprising when I think about it.
I have personally seen (rival) companies who have bought ‘likes’ on facebook. Ditto with twitter followers and so on.
I have a friend who is on Amazon vine, gets expensive thing for free and writes (usually prositive) reviews. I know whenever I review an expensive branded electronic non-geek item I get down voted to oblivion since I’m a “cutting edge hard ass internet badass” according to my reviews. Because I think shelling out an extra £199 for another .1ghz in your cpu and an extra 2gB of ram on a laptop compared with another model is stupid, this is bad since the product (in a vacuum) is good. Apparently. #notbitteratnotbeingonamazonvine
And literally today I discovered that the US military is actively planning a mass social media propaganda campaign.
While one can guess that all governments and politicians use social media/the internet to spread their version of propaganda, this time they’re taking it a step further.
Where does this lead me – well essentialy mass public use of the internet is young. The 60 year old with life wisdom and experience is less than or equal to the 12 year old with the latest apps. Inbetween them are the ‘metasploiters’- politicians, professional journalists/bloggers/writers (because typist sounds dull and keyboard warrior is condescending)
Anyone with the will and means (ie getting paid to do it) can become an ‘influencer’ and manipulate our views. The internet is easy to manipulate. I recall a poll on abortion in Northern Ireland getting more votes for ‘yes’ than people who actually live in Northern Ireland.
The reason is that honesty is difficult, transparancy is difficult because when you say ‘56% of people support the rights of Dogs to eat cats’ which people, what did you ask them, how did you ask them? Our information is often in ‘headline form’. The headline ‘56% of Jews are exclusivly gay’ is misleading if those Jews were attending the annual Jewish LGBT conference. Sampling is an area of science that has to be carefully chosen and controlled, the same applies for the so called ‘social sciences’.
Magna est Veritas et Praevalet