IranDecember 26 2023, 4:53 am

Addressing Perception Hacking in Electoral Processes

In its Novem­ber Q3 Adver­sar­i­al Threat Report. Meta report­ed on the grow­ing trend of “per­cep­tion hack­ing” in elec­toral con­texts, a strat­e­gy increas­ing­ly employed by IO actors, notably from Rus­sia and Iran. This method dif­fers from direct on-plat­form cam­paigns or elec­tion sys­tem breach­es, focus­ing instead on cre­at­ing a false sense of per­va­sive influ­ence. It plays on pub­lic fears about wide­spread decep­tion. Analy­sis of past U.S. elec­tions revealed that these oper­a­tions were gen­er­al­ly less effec­tive than pro­ject­ed, often over­stat­ing their impact and reach. IO-for-hire ser­vices con­tribute to this by exag­ger­at­ing their suc­cess, such as by pur­chas­ing fake engage­ment or claim­ing unver­i­fied tech­no­log­i­cal advances. The pri­ma­ry goal of per­cep­tion hack­ing is to under­mine con­fi­dence in demo­c­ra­t­ic process­es and the reli­a­bil­i­ty of facts, with­out direct inter­fer­ence in elec­tions. Defend­ing against this involves con­sis­tent, fact-based report­ing on threats. His­tor­i­cal assess­ments since 2017 show that the mere exis­tence of Coor­di­nat­ed Inau­then­tic Behav­ior (CIB) cam­paigns does not equate to effec­tive­ness, as many have lim­it­ed suc­cess in engag­ing sub­stan­tial audiences.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.