New Events


no events posted in last week

User Preferences

  • Language - en | ga
  • text size >>
  • make this your indymedia front page make this your indymedia front page

Blog Feeds

The Saker
A bird's eye view of the vineyard

offsite link Russian MoD warn: US is preparing a chemical false flag attack in Syria to justify US attack Sat Mar 17, 2018 18:28 | The Saker
Today, Chief of the Main Operational Directorate of the Russian General Staff Colonel General Sergei Rudskoy and spokesman of the Russian Defence Ministry Major General Igor Konashenkov held briefing in

offsite link Russia?s Long Road Toward Resurgence (MUST WATCH documentary) Sat Mar 17, 2018 18:07 | The Saker
SouthFront produced another masterpiece: a documentary entitled “Russia?s Long Road Toward Resurgence“.  You can think of it as a “crash course in modern Russian history”.  I would have a few

offsite link Russia?s Reaction to the Insults of the West is Political Suicide Sat Mar 17, 2018 14:10 | The Saker
by Peter Koenig for the Saker blog The onslaught of western Russia bashing in the past days, since the alleged poison attack by a Soviet-era nerve agent, Novichok (the inventor

offsite link Being bullish about Arctic shipping ? the Northern Sea Route (NSR) Sat Mar 17, 2018 04:10 | The Saker
Being bullish about Arctic shipping – the Northern Sea Route (NSR) by Nat South for the Saker Blog Part 1 The Northern Sea Route, (????????? ???????? ????) handled a record

offsite link Official Russian reply to the British ?shut up and go away? Sat Mar 17, 2018 02:23 | The Saker
To follow up on the British suggestion to Russia ?to shut up and go away?: If the Russian Foreign Ministry reacted in its traditional polite fashion, the Ministry of

The Saker >>

Human Rights in Ireland

offsite link Repeal and Replace? Sat Jan 20, 2018 12:58 | Fiona de Londras

offsite link Shifting Sands Under the Abortion Debate Mon Jan 15, 2018 09:30 | GuestPost

offsite link Liberty, the ICCL, and other NGO groups? landmark challenge against the UK Government?s mass surveil... Tue Nov 07, 2017 11:56 | admin

offsite link What Ireland can gain from international guidance on Article 19 UNCRPD Mon Oct 23, 2017 12:53 | Eilionoir Flynn

offsite link Repeal or Replace? Tue Oct 03, 2017 06:31 | Fiona de Londras

Human Rights in Ireland >>

Cedar Lounge
For lefties too stubborn to quit

offsite link Sunday and the Week?s Media Stupid Statements? 02:22 Sun Mar 18, 2018 | WorldbyStorm

offsite link Irish citizens of Basque Origin?: The story of Ireland?s Basque refugees during the Spanish Civil Wa... 21:40 Sat Mar 17, 2018 | irishelectionliterature

offsite link New poll: FG down, SF up 21:33 Sat Mar 17, 2018 | WorldbyStorm

offsite link Stephen Hawking 14:20 Sat Mar 17, 2018 | WorldbyStorm

offsite link Again, not sure we do St. Patrick?s Day here? 12:18 Sat Mar 17, 2018 | WorldbyStorm

Cedar Lounge >>

Dublin Opinion
Life should be full of strangeness, like a rich painting

offsite link Some Thoughts on the Brexit Joint Report 11:50 Sat Dec 09, 2017


offsite link Notes for a Book on Money and the Irish State - The Marshall Aid Program 15:10 Sat Apr 02, 2016

offsite link The Financial Crisis:What Have We Learnt? 19:58 Sat Aug 29, 2015

offsite link Money in 35,000 Words or Less 21:34 Sat Aug 22, 2015

Dublin Opinion >>

Social Media as a Tool of Hybrid Warfare; The Case of Syria

category international | rights, freedoms and repression | other press author Tuesday August 29, 2017 01:47author by 1 of indy Report this post to the editors

This article appeared as a guest article on the Saker Blog and is reproduced here to help draw attention to this issue.

August has been a month for exposing how the “Empire” works at the social media level, inside the activist communities and, in this case, through the social media movements aimed at defending Syria. Western governments have outlaid millions for this purpose and countless allied agencies are involved across various languages and media, from actual military personnel managing multiple fake characters [1], to other programs targeting online socio-political activism, even to the extent of online publications being created and “discovered” that appear as belonging to ISIS [2].

From mid-2013 it became obvious that the Syrian driven social media movement for the defence of their country was losing control to strange characters who had no links to Syria. A Lebanese-Syrian analyst, a guest on this blog [3], flagged this issue during that year. Opportunists and operatives poured in, forming strange, contradictory alliances and “attack packs”, succeeding in driving away much of the original Syrian activists who had volunteered, at great personal risk, to engage with the English speaking world in explaining the truth about Syria. Most of these retreated to Arabic language pages and were never seen again. Many of the high quality supporters from the West and elsewhere also were pushed out or silenced and replaced by a cabal who bludgeoned non-compliant Syrian activists and supporters, brought in the absolute taboo “values” of sectarianism, as well as political, religious and other agenda that didn’t belong in the movement or in Syria. A few of the original Syrians remained on but, alarmingly, two in particular, seemed determined to assist the process of surrendering the movement to these nefarious characters.

NATO, it is suspected, places “experts” in various fields of interest amongst the movement of “Empire” resisters as Trojan Horses, implants, ready to explode like cluster bombs, releasing their smaller submunitions in their midst when required. As a matter of fact, it would be rather naïve to expect the contrary. Standing in the way of this pernicious strategy were a few indigenous activists and leaders, primarily operating on social media and blogs in those earlier years of the war. Some chose to use pseudonyms for reasons of security and greater freedom of expression. In any resistance movement, all patriots and solidarists have the duty to protect the identity and safety of their colleagues and this betrayal of basic resistance protocol was used repeatedly when any of these activists refused to come under these forces’ control or clear the way for their total domination of the movement. Those activists who did not yield, were subjected to systematic vilification, disinformation campaigns and acts designed to cause harm or even worse, death. A concerted campaign ensued where those activists’ friends were given an ultimatum to disassociate with them or face excommunication from the activist community, to the point of even personal threats being made against some family members.

What happened to this budding indigenous social media movement makes sense when studying a NATO document and some of its references which discusses the importance of using social media in their suite of war strategies known as “Hybrid Warfare”. It is titled, “Social Media as a Tool of Hybrid Warfare”.[4] It focuses largely on tactics attributed to Russia, but reveals NATO’s own anxieties of such strategies commonly known as their own, ricocheting back to them. The third chapter, from page 18 onwards, becomes interesting as descriptions therein mirror identically, to the finest detail, similar observations of nefarious interlocutors in the Syrian social media defence movement. Here are some of the descriptions in that chapter; “minimize alternative voices.”; ” [s]aturating the information environment—the coordinated use of blogs, posts, articles etc. that are posted and reposted by opinion leaders, activists and fake personas.”; “[t]argeting and distracting the opponent: – Distribution of misinformation and rumours—to publicise an opponent’s alleged wrongdoing.”[5], and; “[t]argeting an opponent also involves any sort of personal attack, and can go so far as to acquire personal information and use it to defame, ridicule, threaten etc.”[6]

These strategies have been used by purported colleagues and solidarists in the Syria online defence movement to saturate and dilute indigenous voices with their own and to attack individuals, in some cases parties, entire nations and alliances. The NATO document discusses social engineering for military purposes such as espionage and information gathering and also that of “[d]eception—creating ‘noise’ or ‘informational fog’ around a topic in order to distract attention from more strategically important events.” [7] Discussed is the phenomenon of “trolling” and distinguishing the more common form from another type that NATO StratCom COE describes as “…the ‘hybrid troll’, who engages in the same patterns of behaviour as the traditional troll, but operates in the context of a particular political or military agenda.” [8]

Had there not been instances of alert and experienced individuals from the region, recognizing warning signs of infiltration of subversive elements into their movement and even into Syria itself, these concerted, seemingly co-ordinated responses that come straight out of the publications of NATO and the likes of Nissen from the Danish Military [9] would never have happened, nor would the realisation that, like any movement defending a cause under attack by “the Empire”, every aspect of resistance is infiltrated and in this day and age the information platform is of extreme importance.

From infiltrators who had fake threats published in purported ISIS magazines to lend them and their agents credibility in the Syria movement in order to hide their sectarian, Christian Zionist agenda, [10] to those who drown the native voices out with repetitive, scratched recordings of subjects of their own and attack with unusual viciousness any Syrian who merely questions them or wishes to remain independent and on the scene of defending their own country, the end result has been an almost total decimation of the English language social media defence of Syria movement.

Nevertheless, this nefarious strategy that always targets “enemies” of the West, has not really succeeded in damaging Syria. The first few years of the online movement for the defence of Syria were the most crucial years where many journalists, political and academic figures and the like approached the movement for information and insights as the whole story was so new and hard to fathom as the media and information war on Syria had reached levels unprecedented. Syrians and their great friends worked feverishly and in a state of urgency, in unison, collaboration, with great professionalism and skill to provide the “outside” world with the real story about the War on Syria. This was the ground work and the essential work has been laid out already and these activists stand proud.

[2] The Clarion Project and the ISIS Dabiq Trail
[5]Ibid; p 19
[6]Ibid; p 20
[7] Ibid; p20
[8] Ibid; p 27
[9] [8] Nissen T.E, The Weaponization of Social Media, Royal Danish Defence College,2015
[10] The Clarion Project and the ISIS Dabiq Trail

Related Link:
author by socialistpublication date Sat Sep 02, 2017 02:41Report this post to the editors

Now google has been shown to be actively blocking WSWS links

© 2001-2018 Independent Media Centre Ireland. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by Independent Media Centre Ireland. Disclaimer | Privacy