Twitter as a Vector for Disinformation


Twitter is a social network that represents a powerful information channel with the potential to be a useful vector for disinformation. This paper examines the structure of the Twitter social network and how this structure has facilitated the passing of disinformation both accidental and deliberate. Examples of the use of Twitter as an information channel are examined from recent events. The possible effects of Twitter disinformation on the information sphere are explored as well as the defensive responses users are developing to protect against tainted information.

Virtual Non-State Actors as Clausewitzian Centers of Gravity: An Examination for Sensemaking, Elaboration and Discussion


Against traditional interpretations of Clausewitzian centers of gravity, we examine the characteristics and behaviors of Non-State Actors (NSAs) operating in virtual space. Possessing disparate aims; ‘virtual NSAs’ (VNSAs) increasingly affect the geopolitical battle-space from diplomacy to kinetic warfare. This paper examines the ways in which VNSAs create spheres of influence, manipulate publics, and form a hardened constraints-set for strategic and operational planning. What are some functional categories that may be applied to the creation of taxonomy when examining VNSAs? This paper examines the qualities of VNSAs themselves so that Center of Gravity (COG) analysis, when relevant, is accurately applied.

Twitter Deception and Influence: Issues of Identity, Slacktivism, and Puppetry


There is a lack of clarity within the social media domain about the number of discrete participants. Influence and measurement within new media is skewed towards the biggest numbers, resulting in fake tweets, sock puppets, and a range of force multipliers such as botnets, application programming interfaces (APIs), and cyborgs. Social media metrics are sufficiently manipulated away from authentic discrete usage so that the trustworthiness of identity, narrative, and authority are constantly uncertain. Elections, social causes, political agendas and new modes of online governance can now be influenced by a range of virtual entities that can cajole and redirect opinions without affirming identity or allegiance. Using the 2013 Australian Federal Election as a case study, this study demonstrates the need to increase legitimacy and validity in micro-blogging forms of new media and the need for multi-factor authentication.

Birds of a Feather Deceive Together: The Chicanery of Multiplied Metadata


New Media conventions have fluttered along unforeseen flight paths. By combining sock-puppetry with the grouping power of metadata it is possible to demonstrate widespread influence through Twitter dispersion. In one nest there is a growing use of sock-puppetry accentuated by the exploitation of a social media that does not attempt to verify proof of identity. Created identities in their thousands can flock towards, and in support of, a single identity. They do so alongside legitimate accounts but in concert remain imperceptible within an overall group. In another nest there is the practise of homophily, captured through metadata, and used to imply connectivity and alliance by means of inference through the informational transfer of ideas through social media. 

Journal of Information Warfare

The definitive publication for the best and latest research and analysis on information warfare, information operations, and cyber crime. Available in traditional hard copy or online.














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The definitive publication for the best and latest research and analysis on information warfare, information operations, and cyber crime. Available in traditional hard copy or online.


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