A New HOPE (2022): "Demand Protest: Manufacturing Truth in a Post-Truth Era" (Download)
Saturday, July 23, 2022: 7:00 pm (DAC 416ABC): Online hoaxes have evolved from the realm of folk tales and anarchic fun to becoming one of the primary weapons of choice in the post-truth world, now used by intelligence agencies, corporate interests, and even hacktivists. This talk will examine the history of online hoaxes and propaganda while dissecting the tools and tactics that have become the modern weapons of political warfare. SquareMatrix will provide a behind-the-scenes anatomical look into the inner workings of Demand Protest, an online political hoax purporting to be a company running large-scale paid protesting and public influence operations. This project briefly captured conservative media's imagination in the run-up to the 2016 election and ultimately forced them to debunk a false narrative about paid protesters that they themselves had created. The tactics and learnings from a hoax that caught the attention of The Washington Examiner, InfoWars, "The Drudge Report," and Tucker Carlson will all be laid bare by those that perpetuated it. Why leave shaping reality to the bad guys?