The Rime Of The Ancient Mariner

A new working paper from the Computational Propaganda Research Project at the University of Oxford finds that “cyber troops” are a pervasive and global phenomenon. Cyber troops are defined as “government, military or political party teams committed to manipulating public opinion over social media.”

The working paper reports on cyber troop organizations across the 28 countries for which evidence of their activity exists, compiling an inventory according to the kinds of messages, valences, and communication strategies used. It finds that many different countries employ significant numbers of people and resources to manage and manipulate public opinion online, sometimes targeting domestic audiences and sometimes targeting foreign publics.

Valence is a term that is used to define the attractiveness (goodness) or averseness (badness) of a message, event or thing. Some teams use pro‐government, positive, or nationalistic language when engaging with the public online. Other teams will harass, troll, or threaten users who express dissenting positions.

The report also states possibility that the 2019 elections in India could witness an intense activity of “cyber troops”

A few lines from the poem “ The Rime of the Ancient Mariner by Samuel Taylor Coleridge :

Day after day, day after day,

We stuck, nor breath nor motion;

As idle as a painted ship

Upon a painted ocean.

Water, water, every where,

And all the boards did shrink;

Water, water, every where,

Nor any drop to drink.

The very deep did rot: O Christ!

That ever this should be!

Yea, slimy things did crawl with legs

Upon the slimy sea.

Soon we could be surrounded by a sea of information , but trusting that ? That’s another issue?

#AncientMariner #MansiKapoor

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