From influencee to influencer : the rhizomatic target audience of the cyber domain
Sartonen, M., Huhtinen, A.-M., & Lehto, M. (2015). From influencee to influencer : the rhizomatic target audience of the cyber domain. In N. Abouzakhar (Ed.), ECCWS 2015 : Proceedings of the 14th European Conference on Cyber Warfare & Security, University of Hertfordshire, Hatfield, UK, 2-3 July 2015 (pp. 249-256). Academic Conferences and Publishing International Limited. Proceedings of the European conference on cyber warfare and security. http://tinyurl.com/ECCWS2015
© 2015 the Authors & Academic Conferences and Publishing International Limited.
The messages of an influence operation are interpreted in a variety of ways by their receivers. To increase the probability of success, these messages are typically tailored to affect a defined group, a target audience. Target audience analysis (TAA) is a process of finding suitable target audiences for influence operations. There are multiple ways of completing the task, ranging from fast and intuitive to complex multi-staged processes. These processes use the information available at the moment of making presumptions about the effectiveness of competing approaches in order to choose those with best end results. The internet presents a challenge to this type of sequential, linear process by resisting to stop changing while the process is being executed or to conform to direct causalities. The internet is more like a rhizome, as presented by Deleuze and Guattari in the Thousand Plateaus. Within the context of rhizome, we also suggest defining the target audience (TA) – not as a pre-defined, but as a timesensitive group, temporarily advantageous to the intended influence effort. This temporal advantage may be due to different causes, such as the topic being promoted by a popular media figure (a blogger for instance) or real-life incidents capable of shifting opinions towards the intended end of opinion charts. Instead of carrying out a linear, effectively one-time process of TAA we argue that it is possible to use the powers granted by the digital domain to constantly be on the lookout for, not perhaps the rhizome itself, but the ‘fruiting bodies’ it produces. Whenever the rhizome produces a favourable TA, it can be found by software, analysed and either catalysed into growing or suffocated with a spiral of silence. ...
PublisherAcademic Conferences and Publishing International Limited
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ConferenceEuropean conference on information warfare and security
Is part of publicationECCWS 2015 : Proceedings of the 14th European Conference on Cyber Warfare & Security, University of Hertfordshire, Hatfield, UK, 2-3 July 2015
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