Kermit is a sock puppet?!

BCM 206

kermit is a sock puppet memes

I know, your whole life has been a lie. Kermit is not a hand-rod puppet but in fact…. A mere sock puppet.

gasps brave

In this weeks lecture on the topic of ‘Dark Fibre; hackers, botnets and cyberwar’  Ted introduced the concept of ‘sock puppets’.

Sock puppets are fictitious online personas which are heavily created to look like real people. They use a variety of techniques such as hashtags, automated posts, location settings to achieve the illusion that they’re a real person. Their goal, is to enter conversations and sway public discourse in order to manipulate opinions to suit their agenda.

Sock puppets haven been known to be used for cyberwarfare. For example, sock puppets have been used by governments to search the internet for news that makes them look bad, then to join the conversation disguised “as a regular citizen” in an attempt to manipulate the public opinion to change.

What are your thoughts on sock puppets? Does it make your second guess anyone that you have met on the internet before? Tell me your thoughts in the comments below!evil soooocks

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2 thoughts on “Kermit is a sock puppet?!

  1. Hey Emma,

    First of all, I refuse to accept the fact that Kermit is a sock puppet, he is and always will be a hand rod puppet to me haha.

    But on a more serious note, as you said, sockpuppets use “techniques such as hashtags, automated posts, location settings to achieve the illusion that they’re a real person.” You covered what sockpuppets are, but my only advice is to mention how potentially dangerous they are aswell!

    Being able to create the appearance that hundreds of thousands of people agree on a certain issue to change public opinion on debated subjects is immensely dangerous as it means a minority of people can manipulate the online public sphere how they want.

    I read this article about the US military using sock puppets on social media you may find interesting to read.

    https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2011/mar/17/us-spy-operation-social-networks

    Like

  2. I’ve always been aware of deceptive accounts online, but it’s crazy just how serious it can be and how unnoticed it can go.

    Its hard to believe how many socks puppets we have probably all encountered, but just never payed attention to due to the use of a variety of techniques to appear as a real person.

    As much as it can be dangerous and manipulative, it truly is a clever way to spread information/misinformation. I wonder if sock puppets have ever been used for the greater good? Something similar to Hacktivism maybe.

    The internet is a much darker place than originally anticipated, that’s for sure.

    https://www.newscientist.com/article/2127107-sock-puppet-accounts-unmasked-by-the-way-they-write-and-post/ I found this article which discusses individuals trying to hone in on sock puppets, and disclose ways to identify them.

    Like

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