Element Descriptor

On the Internet nobody knows you’re a dog. Or a bot/sock puppet for our Lords and Masters. Being able to spot and call out likely sock puppets is a useful skill that will save everyone time and aggravation….

Level descriptors

You can spot basic greenwash and paid trolls/persona management software being deployed, and explain the battle for hearts and minds to Joe or Jane PublicYou can see more sophisticated and insidious corporate marketing, and explain how it works and how it can be combated to various folks, including those who still think “free market democracy” is A Thing.You can spot sock puppets before their mouths are opened for them, figure out what they are going to say, why and how, and have a series of funny rebuttals ready before their first sentence is out. You know their theory, their practice, their countermovesThe best greenwashers back off if they know you are involved, hissing and crossing themselves. You have a comprehensive historical, cross-cultural knowledge of all the tricks, including in cyberspace. You can convey this to anyone at anytime, in language they understand, with examples that make them go “doh. I see it now, thanks.”

Element Overview Essay

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So the reasons of not understanding how corporate sock puppetry works is that people are insufficiently cynical about astroturfing and the ways that corporate interests will mimic the democratic organisations and the lengths to which corporations will go to burnish their reputations.

The consequences are that you can be taken in and tell the people can be taken in by democratic sounding organisations, or by campaigns which have been run out of Russian bot farms to genuinely muddy the waters and confuse people.

The solutions are to keep on top of the latest developments in sock puppetry and persona management There are academics and there are websites that keep track of the latest efforts. There’s also an historical approach that has to be adopted. So Alex Carey’s work on propaganda in the 20th century in democratic societies is essential reading and really ought to be turned into a bunch of cartoons.

Development Resources

Assessment Resources