On December 17, 2010 a Tunisian vegetable seller set himself on fire in a crowded marketplace to protest the lack of employment opportunities in his country. Less than a year later three North African governments had been overthrown and the Middle East was set ablaze in a string of revolts.
The media dubbed this phenomenon as the Arab Spring. Often times, it was mentioned in breathless diatribes with the words Twitter and Facebook. Internet-based social media was described as an unstoppable tool for freedom, democracy, and human rights organizing.
But, as Pavlov once demonstrated in his laboratory, living creatures can be stimulated by mechanical means to produce predictable responses. Ring a dinner bell and a dog will salivate. Send a Facebook or Twitter message telling people that their comrades are being massacred, and they will likely take it to the streets.
[...] “Blank picture form Libyan TV augurs moment of change.” The Guardian 22 Aug. 2011. Online. Accessed 11 Dec. 2011. http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2011/aug/22/blank-pictures-libya-state-tv Human Rights Watch. “Libya-Revenge Attacks.” Online video clip. YouTube. Posted 27 Oct. 2011. Viewed 10 Dec. 2011. http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=SglSmWXtLX4 Internet World Statistics-Africa http://www.internetworldstats.com/africa.html Iqbal, Martin. “The National Front for the Salvation of Libya and its faux- revolutionary poster child.” 09 Aug. 2011. The Empire Strikes Black. Web. http://empirestrikesblack.com/2011/08/libya-the-cia-mossad-nfsl-and-its- faux-revolutionary-poster-child/ Jarvis, Jeff. “Revealed: US Spy operation that manipulates social media.” The Guardian. [...]
[...] and Europe, to overthrow his government. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) also announced a new program known as “Social Media in Strategic Communication (SMISC)”. The goal of the program is “to build a tool to sniff out social media propaganda campaigns and spit some counter-spin right back at it” (Rawnsley 2011). DARPA's project proposal calls for Internet users to help with “counter-messaging” where American troops are deployed or could potentially be deployed. Who are the “rebels” and their social media friends? [...]
[...] “Canadian planes join propaganda war in Libya.” Prince George Citizen. 30 July 2011. Online. Accessed 07 Dec.2011. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/africaandindianocean/libya/8407047 /Libyan-rebel-commander-admits-his-fighters-have-al-Qaeda-links.html Cartalucci, Tony. “New Libyan PM is Big Oil Goon.” Land Destroyer Report. 01 Nov. 2011. Online. Accessed 05 Dec. 2011. http://landdestroyer.blogspot.com/2011/11/new-libyan-pm-big-oil-goon.html CGSC Student Blog. “John Rendon, CEO The Rendon Group, speaks to ILE class 11-02.” 21 Sept. 2011. Online. Accessed 27 Nov. 2011. http://usacacblogs.army.mil/cgscstudentblog/2011/09/152/ Chandan, Sukant. “Al-Jazeera: An island of pro-empire intrigue.” Monthly Review. 26 Mar. 2011. Accessed 26 Nov. 2011. [...]
[...] While it cannot be categorically stated that CNN's coverage is the work of a military Psyop, the network has a history of ties to psychological warfare. In 2000 several news articles revealed that personnel from a U.S. Army Psychological Operations Unit were embedded in CNN's Atlanta headquarters. When confronted with this evidence, Major Thomas Collins of the US Army Information Service confirmed the story, saying “Psy-ops personnel, soldiers and officers, have been working in CNN's headquarters in Atlanta through our program, ‘Training with Industry'. [...]
[...] “Who are Libya's Sub-Saharan Africans?” The Christian Science Monitor. 7 Mar. 2011. Accessed 15 Nov. 2011. Online. http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Africa/Africa-Monitor/2011/0307/Who-are- Libya-s-sub-Saharan-Africans USAID Summer Seminar Series. “Muslim World Outreach and Engaging Muslim Civil Society.” 2004. Web. http://www.usaid.gov/policy/cdie/8-31.pdf Vandrewalle, Dirk. A History of Modern Libya. Cambridge:Cambridge University Press, 2006. Zucchino, David. “The voice of Libya's rebellion is up and spinning.” Los Angeles Times. 07 Apr. 2011. Online. Accessed 27 Nov. 2011. http://articles.latimes.com/2011/apr/07/world/la-fg-libya-rebels-media- 20110408 Aidi, Hishaam. “Leveraging hip-hop in U.S. foreign policy.” Al-Jazeera. 7 Nov. 2011. Accessesed 25 Nov. 2011. [...]
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