The Fakening

A universal rule of life is that anything that has value will be faked or stolen. This happens everywhere on earth. You can go to some place on the fringe of civilization to see ruins of an ancient people and you will find some guy selling fake souvenirs. That’s because the locals figured out that authentic crap from their past had value to those funny looking white tourists, so they started faking the authentic relics from their past. Hobbyists in the collectible business will tell you that fakes are their primary concern.

Most likely, the reason that Facebook beat MySpace was that it was easier for Facebook users to keep score of the number of friends they had and see how that stacked up to others. Humans are social animals and one way to determine status is by the size of one’s social network. High status people have lots of friends and acquaintances. People know who they are by reputation. Therefore, someone on Facebook with 500 friends must be a bigger deal than someone with 5 friends. South Park made sport of this.

Inevitably, people found a way to fake their numbers so it would look like their status was high. Everyone knows about click farms that artificially inflate likes on social media or inflate follower counts. It’s fairly obvious that Facebook has been faking their ad numbers for years. This is mostly to defraud advertisers. Fringe celebrities will use services to inflate their follower counts. I’ve always suspected, for example, that Bill Mitchell is more “social media strategy” than actual listeners. Everything about him looks fake.

This story does a great job walking us through just how easy it is to be Bill Mitchell. Here are the juicy bits:

Instagram influencer marketing is now a $1 billion dollar industry, and you don’t need a cute dog or a book-worthy lifestyle to get into the game. According to an investigation by marketing agency Mediakix, anyone can fake their way into signing profitable contracts with brands.

The agency created two fictitious Instagram accounts: 1) ‘a lifestyle and fashion-centric Instagram model’ and 2) ‘a travel and adventure photographer.’ For the first account, Mediakix hired a model and generated the entire channel content through a one-day photo shoot. Introducing Alexa Rae (calibeachgirl310). The second account was dedicated to Amanda Smith (wanderingggirl), and this time Mediakix went even further. The entire feed was composed of free stock photos of random places across the world and blonde girls, always posing facing away from the camera.

After setting up fake personalities and generating their content, the agency started purchasing followers. “We started with buying 1,000 followers per day because we were concerned that purchasing too many followers at the onset would result in Instagram flagging the account,” Mediakix stated. “However, we quickly found that we were able to buy up to 15,000 followers at a time without encountering any issues.” And how much does this army cost? Between $3-$8 per 1,000.

Essentially, if the followers don’t like or comment on posts, they’re kind of worthless. So the next step was to purchase fake engagement. “Once we had accumulated a few thousand followers for each account, we started buying likes and comments.” Mediakix paid about 12 cents per comment, and between $4-9 per 1,000 likes. For each photo, they purchased 500 to 2,500 likes and 10 to 50 comments. The entire experiment ended up costing Mediakix about $1,000 (around $700 for setting up calibeachgirl310 and around $300 for wanderingggirl). After calibeachgirl310 and wanderingggirl reached 10,000 followers (the threshold amount for signing up on most influencer marketing platforms), Mediakix started applying them for sponsorship deals. “We secured four paid brand deals total, two for each account. The fashion account secured one deal with a swimsuit company and one with a national food and beverage company.” “The travel account secured brand deals with an alcohol brand and the same national food and beverage company. For each campaign, the “influencers” were offered monetary compensation, free product, or both.”

The whole thing is worth a read. Not a lot of it is new to those with a suspicious mind, but when you put it all together in one article like that, it is revelatory. If they could so easily create a fake celebrity on social media, then the people who control social media certainly know this. More important, they know this and use it to their advantage. For example, when a TV person signs up for Twitter, maybe their follower count is artificially inflated by Team Twitter, so that the celeb talks about it to their audience.

Of course, we have the extreme examples of the ruling class de-platforming anyone who challenges the one true faith on Facebook and Twitter. I had the Facebook account associated with this blog deleted due to a mysterious terms of service violation. Carl Benjamin, Sargon of Akkad, had his Twitter feed deleted because he made barren spinsters sad on YouTube. There are hundreds of examples of the scolds slamming the door on dissent. That’s what we can easily see.

You can be sure that the vinegar drinking scolds at Facebook and Twitter are using their robot armies to promote the cat ladies and demote the hate thinkers. People have noticed for a long time that they are mysteriously dropped from follower lists of people placed on the Left’s proscribed list. To do the opposite and promote Lefty crackpots is so obvious that even the most hysterical social justice warrior would think of it. How much of it goes on is hard to know, but the sky is the limit, as was made clear in that piece.

What is not so obvious is that other side of it, the fakery. The ease with which mass media is used to promote fake ideas, fake events and fake people. That’s not so obvious as no one complains about their follower count being inflated. No one is going to look too closely at Bill Mitchell’s twitter followers, because he is a harmless old man keeping himself busy in his retirement. The cumulative effect, however, of so much fakery in the mass media is not without its consequences. The fake new phenomenon is just one obvious example.

What happens when people start to think that Twitter and Facebook are mostly robots interacting with one another? Social trust has a value. Take it away and it can only be replaced by coercion. Otherwise, society begins to dis-aggregate. We know that diversity increases intra-ethnic trust and decreases inter-ethnic trust. In a diverse society, people trust their kin and distrust those not like them. Take that diverse society and immerse it in fake news and fake social media and the result will be a Balkanized, low-trust society.

Of course, one could argue that the strong arm tactics we’re seeing is the the inevitable result of diversity. The reason Google has to fire their smart men is their mere presence calls into the question the diversity project. The reason for the heavy handed social media policing is that diversity requires it. Fake news and fake social media are just modern incarnations of the old propaganda films from the previous era, just updated to make people think distrusting foreigners and rooting for your own team is weird and unnatural.

Regardless of cause and effect, this will not end well.

45 thoughts on “The Fakening

  1. “Fake news and fake social media are just modern incarnations of the old propaganda films from the previous era, just updated to make people think distrusting foreigners and rooting for your own team is weird and unnatural.

    Regardless of cause and effect, this will not end well.”

    Well, you either do what they are doing and keep people who inevitably will keep perceiving them as different from their neighbours (maybe because… they are), or separate people.

    Not a viable option to keep diverse people together while saying the truth about the differences.

    If it doesn’t work within the single family, why would it have to in a state?

    Of course mainstream — and mainline — science (in so far as it has social relevance), “information”, and anything else, are instruments of governance, disassociated from truth — and the quest for truth.
    Nothing new, as I am glad you note.

  2. When I joined Instagram,

    my first comment was to a trull, where I said her vanity was a drug.

    The word “drug” activated a preemptive censorship mechanism, I was asked my phone number “for confirmation”. I denied it them and left the site.
    However, I clicked the link to their Terms and Conditions.

    Repeatedly, the word “sincerity” was laid the stress on there.
    I could not help but think it was in a spirit of irony, and still hold it in no doubt.

    Irony can be a vent for sadism, power engenders sadism.

    There are — of course unnoted to the masses and the normal, the faithful and the fearful as some denote them — fragments of power-sadistic irony disseminated through the OKCupids, Twitters, Instagrams, …

    Humans are that which they are. If today’s winners became losers, and the losers won, they’d swap behavior too.

  3. Most likely, the reason that Facebook beat MySpace was that it was easier for Facebook users to keep score of the number of friends they had and see how that stacked up to others… People know who they are by reputation.

    Indeed. I imagine the main reason Facebook beat MySpace is this: Facebook started at Harvard and was only available to Harvard students; then it expanded to a few other ‘prestigious’ universities; then it allowed employees of high-profile tech companies (Apple, Microsoft) who were most likely alumni of those universities to join; only after that did they open membership to anyone. A kind of ‘trickle down’ status. MySpace, however, was open to everyone pretty much after they started.

    • Hmmm. A leftist has set up dimwits, dullards, and dolts to discredit them? Who could have seen it coming.

      Still, a competent, charismatc leftist might have more ambitious plans to advance his political career by manipulating frustrated right wingers of modest knowledge and understanding. So Trent Denton had better get off his Aeron office chair and start showing his face at right wing events if he wants to secure a low level place in the leadership of the emerging American national communism movement. You can do it, Trent!

      Meanwhile, the rest of you would be wise to educate yourselves about the obvious direction that your movement is taking.

      The Mystery of Fascism:
      Mussolini – as he would like to have been remembered
      By David Ramsay Steele

      Note well the author’s remarks about most of the rank and file of Fascism having no leftist background. Many of the rank and file, however, did have a military background, and the intensely communistic culture of a military prepared them rather well to be used by heretical, impatient revcommies like Mussolini, who was a veteran, too. We should expect contemporary revolutionary commies to attempt a similar movement by manipulating the USA’s many, many “conservative” veterans and militia nuts, who are probably more leftist than is polite to mention when having cocktails with Democrats. Maybe the go-getter will be also an officer of the military who has resigned his commission.

    • Wow, I must be psychic or something.

      Actually, no. The use of provocateurs has been standard issue commie tactics for over 120 years. Just like the use of jammed-up informers has be standard issue police tactics since forever. The latter matters if the police are not even close to being neutral much less on your side, as demonstrated in VA.

      Doesn’t mean you should attack them (bad idea on many levels), just be aware that they are likely present. So do not indulge violent rhetoric.

      • There are “60+ Jason Kessler profiles” on LinkedIn. So maybe Jason the Obamacrat Kessler is not the Jason Kessler of Unite the White.

        P.S. If an American cop is knowingly doing bully work for communists, then it deserves to be stopped without the blustering type of warning for which right wingers are notorious. If a subtle warning makes a naïve cop into a nervous wreck, then good. It’s become less useful to lefty and his corporatocratic counterpart. If the tax eating goon is hurt during leftist mob action, then better, for it, the cop, shouldn’t be exempt from the effects of ruining “domestic Tranquility” while pretending to insure it, too.

        Wherever secular communism is deprived the service and protection of cops, secular communists are less served and less protected.

  4. Fakery is a minor malady in the world of social networking. It’s real pathology is embodied in it’s use as a tool of memetic indoctrination. Repetitive messaging (particularly coupled with other forms of brain stimulation) can be used to implant thoughts and behaviors without the willful intent of the recipient. This science is now being used to grow the hive.

  5. Maybe it’s not just that the SM sites are promoting the cat ladies because the want to but because they are being paid to promote that content.

    The Obama era included a lot of court deals with big banks where big bank execs got off Scott free while their companies paid big settlements, including to ‘neighborhood’ groups promoting social justice. No one knows where all this cash went.

    • The social media site hosts are not friends of free thinking, independent people. They want people dependent on them for exposure, clicks, and social validation (friending, up arrows, etc). Herd ’em up and keep them on the reservation. We are not a target market, as we are a nuisance, from the host’s perspective.

    • Very good point- it’s an Industry, with depth, money, and manpower, working with other State Industries such as legal, admin, compliance, and surveillance.

      Until the judges and lawyers get some risk in making their imperious demands, the money will keep flowing.

      Why do we listen to these political officers, these robber barons? What’s the alternative to mad, unjust courts?

    • Overplayed, Trent. Not worthy of a white boy, much less a Jew. Respect your trolling or stay in bed. Shalom.

    • Um, Trent, Muslims are not peaceful, but they are Christian pests, like some other untrinitarian people e.g. Arians. You see, Muslims affirm that Jesus is the messiah promised by the Jews to theirselves, and anyone who does so counts as a Christian.

      It’s by the way that I have some exciting news for you.Taco_Town is entirely out of the closet.

      TT awaits, however, a competent leftist to lead Fascism to power. Interested in taking the job? Read my remark about the mystery of Fascism and let Mussolini, as remembered by a former commie, David Steele, show you how it can be done.

      It will suffice to say that Steele has no interest in competing against you, which is good for you since it’s obvious that you’re basically just a gnat.

      Hurry up. Don’t wait. One day CNN will be eating out of your hand.

    • I’m a bit confused as to how this relates to “white violence” when it appears that all involved were black.

      • “I’m a bit confused as to how this relates to “white violence” when it appears that all involved were black.”
        Pssst, he is not too bright, even for a darkie.

  6. Speaking of libertarians, does anyone know what happened to Ex-Army Libertarian Nationalist? His webpage has been removed. I know he was having some health issues 3 to 4 months ago and hasn’t posted much since then.

  7. AI in social media disrupts the humans from engaging in collective thought, the fertile ground where new concepts grow into new paradigms. So here we are.

  8. is it my imagination or have the libertarian pests “left the building” here of late? could just be a comic-con somewhere temporarily distracting them.

  9. What’s missing from the equation now are the independent rating services like those from the legacy media such as Nielsen, etc. It is astonishing that Facebook etc are allowed to self-report their stats. The potential for self-dealing ought to be obvious to all.

    So how is that business guys are now Ok with being conned on their ad buys_? Affirmative Action convergence of their marketing departments_?

    Time for some serious anti-trust enforcement.

      • Yeah, I agree that at least they think they are and that’s all that matters to them right now, not the stockholders ‘for shurrr’.

        It’s likely to be another case similar to the print media at the dawn of the internet. Those folks then were so intent on status-signaling to their peers how ‘khuull’ they were that they excitedly gave away their stockholder’s content for free on the web. Anyone remember ‘information wants to be free, mahhnnn’_?

        Old farts’ warnings at the time that this was wrecking their business model only served to show them just how righteous they were. And, after all they layoffs, a number of them tried to put the info-genie back into the paywall bottle. But none of them ever admitted that it was a big mistake, AFAIK.

        IOW, yet another Principle-Agent Problem in Econ Speak.

  10. Heh. Baudrillard was right after all, and there’s no unmediated reality. I do wonder, though, if folks like us are missing something because we’re old. We grew up in a meatspace world. I see lots of college kids’ social media pages (professional hazard), and it doesn’t bother them at all to have 2-4K “friends” — in fact, most of them do. I forget the name of the study that “proved” this (Murphy number? something like that), but nobody can invest emotional energy in that many people. Whatever function those 4K names (and their neverending assault of likes, shares, etc.) serves, it’s not something we geezers intuitively understand. If real college kids are as fake as all their fake college kid friends, I guess I’m trying to say, does it matter? Remember, Big Brother didn’t even bother with the proles. “It was just an ‘opeless fancy…..”

    • Dopamine…. friending / digital reinforcement provides a dopamine response just like the rats in the cocaine experiments. I’d also say its the expansion of meat-space social networks into digital space. So yes they matter but probably not anywhere near as much as the digital junkies my think.

  11. Another example of a simulacrum, where fake is substituted for real. Not only does fake exist, but it pushes the real out of the picture. Pay attention and be aware. Knowing what is really going on is half the battle.

  12. Facebook et al will do what they have the power to do within their borders. I say let them. The dissident, realism-centered right has one powerful thing going for it: truth. Efforts to suppress it only emphasize its moral high ground and encourage its followers to continue the fight to keep it alive. (#David_Wright, #T.S. Elliot).

    • Oh, dear James, I love your naivety. Truth is whatever they say it is. Ask the “JournOlists”, CNN, BLM, Antifa……..

      • I respectfully disagree. I’m with Churchill: The truth is incontrovertible. Malice may attack it, ignorance may deride it, but in the end, there it is. Winston Churchill

        • Third and forth century Romans knew the truth, and that the truth was that they were exhausted morally, culturally, and intellectually. No one expected to turn that beast around, and no one did. Truth and winning are not colors that mix well in every case. Hoffer–“To most of us nothing is so invisible as an unpleasant truth.” Enjoy it like an old book nobody else wants to read.

      • The truth might be hidden or obscured, but that is a different thing than the truth not existing at all.

        Rev Hoagie, I assume you are being slyly sarcastic.

        Keep in mind that major elements in our culture (much of government, many corporations, the media, and pretty much everyone on the left) have a vested interest in obscuring and denying what you can see with your own eyes and know in your own heart. Don’t give them that power over you.

  13. Happy to report I didn’t understand most of that, nor do I want to. The important and productive side of my life has always been three-dimensional (four if you insist on time being a dimension), and I intend to keep it that way.

  14. It seems a little strange that a marketing company would do a story on how useless marketing is…

    • There seems to be a civil war of sorts brewing in the marketing world. On one side are the “SEO Strategy” guys and their social media campaigns. On the other is the traditional ad men who like to tie marketing to actual revenue. The big browser makers are now colluding to block a lot of ads, for example. Their reasoning is that the fake ad men are discrediting the ad business. The next good Chrome will have an ad blocker baked into it.

      • A war that makes little sense. People still prefer to buy what they know and trust. SEO provides a list of choices. The Smart Co/Brand has separate campaigns to build the brand and to do the SEO. They work together to get the results needed. Here’s a list of 3 great widgets. The 2nd widget is a brand I trust so that’s likely where the customers $ gets directed.

        One thing Amazon does is their version of Fakery. If your product is successful on their platform (they have all the data and know which products are Uber successful) they will all of the sudden have your product with the Amazon brand attached.

        If Amazon ever gets taken down in court it will be over this monopolistic behavior.

      • I spend ten to fifteen minutes a day doing the USA Today crossword just to see if I had a stroke in the night.
        A week ago Ghostery was blocking somewhere north of 160 trackers, ads etc.

  15. we are all JFK jr now (i.e. flying blind).

    time to head to high ground, before the deluge comes.

  16. This will not end well is a rejoinder I hear often on a lot of topics of our demise.
    This from T.S. Elliot focuses it better for me:
    “If we take the widest and wisest view of a Cause, there is no such thing as a Lost Cause, because there is no such thing as a Gained Cause. We fight for lost causes because we know that our defeat and dismay may be the preface to our successors’ victory, though that victory itself will be temporary; we fight rather to keep something alive than in the expectation that it will triumph.”

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