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Thinkst

Armies of online drones, compromised social network accounts, and surrogate users known as “Internet sock puppets” are used to drown out the voice of the voiceless.

These sock puppets are used by repressive regimes to deflect or redirect conversations that are important. Essentially, the use of these sock puppets threaten the benefits offered by a free Internet by abusing that same freedom. This makes for an insidious attack, because one of the fixes against sock puppet attacks would be to reduce Internet anonymity. A case where the cure might be much worse than the illness itself. This makes this project all the more important. It will map out these attacks, identify in depth the techniques commonly utilized, and build a set of tools to be used by organizations and the public to help defend against this attack.

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Current project status

Just an idea (Pre-alpha)
It exists! (Alpha/Beta)
It's basically done (Release)
People use it (Production)

Funding to date

2013 $130,000 8 months

Total Funding: $130,000

Addressed problems

  • Pro-government manipulation of online discussions (propaganda, imitation content, and/or sockpuppets)

Objective(s)

  • Research
  • Technology development

Beneficiaries

  • Activists
  • Advocacy groups/NGOs

Region(s)

  • Global

Technology attributes

  • Other
  • Reverse Engineering

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