Louise Lief

Disinformation with a Silicon Valley ethos

Columbia Journalism Review

18/01/2017

Christie Chisholm

Set aside for a moment concerns that the Russians are undermining our democracy, and let’s pause to admire their handiwork. Seen through a Silicon Valley optic, they are remarkable media innovators.

They’ve disrupted the tech sector so thoroughly that even Facebook and Google are scrambling. You can picture the approving nods they would get in West Coast boardrooms as they describe their return on investment, new market opportunities, and plans for global expansion.

Their accomplishments are impressive. They created new forms of expression, and tapped into audiences others overlooked. Perhaps the culture of the hackers they’ve bribed or coerced into working for them is rubbing off. Early on, the Russians understood that the information flows and consumption patterns of social media networks have a profound impact on human behavior and the formulation of judgments and beliefs, and began investigating how this might work for them.

Read more at Columbia Journalism Review.

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