Orwellian doesn’t even begin to describe the deeply disturbing nature of a government-funded project being developed at Indiana University.
Called Truthy, the program will monitor, categorize and flag messages on Twitter in a way that even the NSA doesn’t.
According to the developers’ website, Truthy will help research “social epidemics.” What does that mean, you may wonder. Here are some more details from the developers:
“We also plan to use Truthy to detect political smears, astroturfing, misinformation, and other social pollution. While the vast majority of memes arise in a perfectly organic manner, driven by the complex mechanisms of life on the Web, some are engineered by the shady machinery of high-profile congressional campaigns. Truthy uses a sophisticated combination of text and data mining, social network analysis, and complex networks models. To train our algorithms, we leverage crowdsourcing: we rely on users like you to flag injections of forged grass-roots activity. Therefore, click on the Truthy button when you see a suspicious meme!”
Starting to get the picture?
According to the Washington Free Beacon, the federal government has already contributed $1 million to the project.
The description of the purposes behind Truthy should be chilling to every American, particularly in the light of knowing that it is funded by the same government that has tapped virtually every phone in this nation and unknown others, spied on journalists, intimidated conservative nonprofit groups and armed local police forces with military-grade weapons and vehicles.
It doesn’t take much reading between the lines to get the strong sense that Truthy will be primarily looking for “political smears” and “social pollution” that leans to the Right. Ever since this Administration first hired a director of new media to combat “disinformation” about the Affordable Care Act, it’s been obvious that flying monkeys at the White House have been charged with manipulating the Internet, occasionally making entire stories disappear, such as those involving the Obama daughters’ vacation itinerary.
The language used by the Truthy project leaders, combined with the Obama Administration’s history of targeting conservatives for harassment, as in the IRS scandal, paints a picture of a government terror tool the likes of which Orwell never dared dream.
WorldNet Daily reported that John Whitehead, author of “A Government of Wolves: The Emerging American Police State,” said, “For the federal government to be tracking so-called hate speech or subversive propaganda is not only Orwellian but violates the very fundamental rights to free speech and privacy guaranteed to us by the Constitution. … Moreover, encouraging fellow citizens to inform on each other is reminiscent of the treachery we witnessed under the Nazi regime where people were arrested for merely raising questions about government actions. This is clearly an illegitimate use of taxpayer monies.”
If there’s one thing this Administration’s history underscores, it’s that the lawlessness of the president trickles all the way down to his low-level lackeys. The chances that the White House would be content to use a tool like Truthy merely for research purposes are virtually nil.
Once it’s ready for regular use, it’s doubtful the purpose that will be served by Truthy will be the truth.