A US federal agency (The National Science Foundation) has been granted close to a million USD of taxpayers money to study “social pollution”.
Ajit Pai in the Washington Post…
The project is being developed by researchers at Indiana University, and its purported aim is to detect what they deem “social pollution” and to study what they call “social epidemics,” including how memes — ideas that spread throughout pop culture — propagate. What types of social pollution are they targeting? “Political smears,” so-called “astroturfing” and other forms of “misinformation.”
And it gets worse…
The Truthy team says this research could be used to “mitigate the diffusion of false and misleading ideas, detect hate speech and subversive propaganda, and assist in the preservation of open debate.”
So, the US Government is trying to get on top of what’s going on in social media, such as Twitter?
If you are to act on misinformation and propaganda–you first will have to decide what the truth is. And that’s not always all that obvious.
To do that you will have to side with one party in ongoing public debate. And in this case truth is to be defined by a government agency…
That’s scary. For real.
Ajit Pai in the Washington Post: The government wants to study ‘social pollution’ on Twitter »