Journalists Investigating Military “Info Ops” Find Themselves Subjects of “Infocrafting”

For some web editors, danger may lurk around certain kinds of stories. Take USA Today Washington Enterprise Editor Ray Locker, who was working with Pentagon reporter Tom Vanden Brook on an investigative piece about Pentagon propaganda contractors – “info ops” – whose work was allegedly of questionable quality.  In true cloak-and-dagger style, as the duo was conducting citizen oversight of government, someone was conducting a covert misinformation campaign against them, creating fake Twitter and Facebook accounts in their names, plus creating Wikipedia entries and dozens of message board postings and blog comments, all intended to sully their credibility. Websites were mysteriously registered in their names as well, although they were later taken down following Pentagon inquiries. It was a lesson in what Locker called “infocrafting” and the dangers of working in today’s world of high level technology and the cyberwar. Watch your backs, web editors.

The details, provided recently in USA Today, The Washington Post, and the Tucson Citizen, read like a military intelligence spy novel.

What dangers can you imagine might be lurking behind your efforts to publish The Truth?


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