Crisis Management Centre has identified the existence of coordinated inauthentic behaviour (CIB) and brute force communications in the social media discourse on the chicken supply issue in Malaysia and selected Southeast Asian countries between 1 January and 21 July 2022. The latest Crisis Management Centre report titled ‘The Emperor’s New Clothes Through the Lens of Cyber-Social Manipulation – A Communication Analysis of the Chicken Supply Issue’ shed light on the depth and breadth of the evolution of social media manipulation.
The research utilised advanced artificial intelligence (AI) coupled with an extensive benchmarking exercise. Conducted over six and a half months, it revealed that over 7,000 potential disingenuous accounts were deployed in social media discussions related to the Malaysian poultry industry. The number comprised of identified bots and trolls on various social media platforms.
Founder of Crisis Management Centre, Nordin Abdullah, said, “Many social media platforms have issued threat reports of late. However, all of them has fallen short in understanding the true impact that coordinated inauthentic behaviour and brute force cyber-social communications have had on policy decision-making process and share prices of publicly traded companies.”
In the report, over 10,000 posts were identified to have originated from disingenuous accounts, which equated to over 40 per cent manipulation in terms of sheer volume of identified communications. In terms of sentiment manipulation, this level of activity artificially added an additional 10 per cent manipulation of overall positive sentiments on the subject matter.
The word cloud analysis showed that the bot and troll postings changed the centre of attention and shifted the overall narrative away from the centre of attention of the data set without bots and trolls.
“The chicken supply issue, which primarily includes Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore has made headlines in the media in the three respective countries. At the height of discussion, it was also reported in several international 24-hour news networks. Further analysis is required to ascertain whether there was cross-border influence exerted in the cyber-social battlespace by external stakeholders to influence the policy decision-making process. This would require proprietary data by platform owners to determine the levels of mass reporting, brigading, paid boosting and coordinated violating networking on this subject,” continued Nordin.
“Technology has made it possible to use brute force communications, similar to brute force cyber incursions, to disproportionately influence public sentiment. Subsequently, decision makers in the public and private sectors are unduly influenced to meet the original manipulator’s political or business objectives.
“Two high level concepts have emerged, firstly for the ability for cyber-social attacks to disrupt governments and their ability to effectively make informed decision on critical matters that impact delivery of public services. Secondly, for the ability for cyber-social attacks to disrupt supply chains. This has especially become an area of concern for public diplomacy practitioners and those companies involved in cross-border activities.
“The ability to manage disruption within this threat-prone environment has become a collective responsibility. The time for blissful ignorance is over. We live in the age of crisis,” concluded Nordin.
The Crisis Management Centre was established by Glenreagh Sdn Bhd to empower individuals, corporations, industry associations and governments to effectively deal with all aspects of crisis.
To get a copy of ‘The Emperor’s New Clothes Through the Lens of Cyber-Social Manipulation – A Communication Analysis of the Chicken Supply Issue’, visit www.crisismanagementcentre.com.