Attkisson: When people get online every day and take part in social media or do searches for news, what is it you think they don’t know?
Matthew Brown: I don’t think they know they’re being manipulated.
Matthew Brown is a data analyst who pierces the secrecy behind paid efforts to influence online.
Attkisson: What areas of the Internet are used to shape and manipulate opinion?
Matthew Brown: Everywhere social. Everywhere social means specific Facebook pages, but it also means the comment sections in every major newspaper.
Brown began investigating after his health insurance costs tripled and he commented about it on the Obamacare Facebook page. He got bombarded, he says, by digital activists disguised as ordinary people.
Brown: Digital activists are paid employees; their purpose is to attack anyone who’s posting something contrary to the view the page owner wants expressed.
Brown decided to use analysis software to crunch the numbers. He evaluated 226,000 pro-Obamacare posts made by 40,000 Facebook profiles. What he found was remarkable.
Brown: 60 percent of all the posts were made from 100 profiles, posting between the hours of 9 and 5 Pacific Time.
Attkisson: Which means what?
Matthew Brown: They were paid to post.
Source: Sum of Knowledge Part 1