HomeMedia DigitalCounterfeiting makes its way into cyberspace

Counterfeiting makes its way into cyberspace

It begins in 2016, with the notorious case known as pizzagate where an armed civilian, Edgar Maddison Welch, breaks into the “Comet Pin Pong” Pizzeria, in Washington, District of Columbia (DC), which had been reported on social media in to be part of a network of pedophiles, where it was said that powerful American politicians were involved, among whom was Hillary Clinton, nothing more and nothing less than a Democratic candidate at that time in the 2016 presidential elections. This news was revealed by Wikileaks, not Such a network was verified by the police, with which the news was labeled as Fake News. However, it triggered this event that endangered the lives of innocent people and led one person to prison for 4 years. An event of global resonance that marked the debut of this manifestation of content falsification in cyberspace. Fake News in the 2.0 world, sometimes the protagonist, in episodes a supporting actor.

Also, these false contents manifest themselves beyond the news, as fake sites on the Internet, as fake forms to fill out on the Internet, as fake emails, among many other ways, with the purpose of stealing user data, discrediting brands, creating opinion matrices, confuse, etc.

Then, bots (robot apheresis) enter the scene, computer algorithms that automate human actions and behaviors, especially interactive responses and repetitive tasks. There are good bots and bad bots, the former carry out automatic activities like Internet crawlers to search websites on the Internet; as the basis of interactive customer service response systems or to hold conversations with the customer emulating humans. In contrast, bad bots are used to falsify the filling out of forms, to generate false impressions per million and clicks on advertisements displayed on the web, to generate false purchase intentions (known in English as Leads), to answer falsely surveys; to generate non-human traffic, invalid traffic or incentivized traffic on the sites, digital platforms and social media; to generate fake website visits and video views; to generate likes and any other indicator of false user engagement with the content, site and service; to create fake users and artificially inflate their number; to generate and distribute junk mail (spam); to make massive false service requests and interrupt their operational continuity. Many of these bot actions generate distrust; This was one of the reasons why the Twitter negotiation was delayed; an audit was carried out to verify the number of active users on the social media. In the era of big data, will fake data also be big?

In the political campaigns for Trump's 2016 elections and the campaign for the 2016 municipal election, and then, in 2018, for the presidential election of Jair Bolsonaro, social bots - fake user accounts on social media, with specific profiles - were used. to generate posts, trends and obtain followers, created and maintained by bots‒. These are used in political marketing strategies to develop and test narratives and themes, and in political communication, to segment speeches and guide debates. This is better than a survey, right!

Also, these bots were used to encourage and persuade online debates about impeachment requests for President Donald Trump in 2019, sparked by a whistleblower's complaint to the US Congress. about the alleged pressure exerted by Trump and senior officials of his government before líderHe is from Ukraine to carry out an investigation into Hunter Biden's business activities in that country, and in 2021, for the assault on the Capitol after Trump lost re-election; In these cases, social media, particularly Social media became the public space but instead of encouraging debate and the confrontation of ideas, it became the field for the battle of bots and misinformation.

Today, 2024, click farms are becoming popular, a fusion of digital and human technology to circumvent the filters and controls that have been implemented on digital platforms and social media to avoid bots that falsify reality. and the figures and indicators bloat. With these farms made up of hundreds of smartphones, centralized and controlled by humans, human interactions on social media, websites and digital platforms are amplified and multiplied by feigning interest. Imagine how these farms will be enhanced with the help of Generative Artificial Intelligence algorithms, they will no longer make clicks, now they will fill out surveys, forms, purchase and service orders, they will give investment advice, activities carried out by humans but enhanced.

Counterfeiting seems like a new socio-economic-cultural phenomenon but it is not.

The purpose is to appear real while being false, to what extent, will depend on the target audience, the intention, that is, the reaction and the emotion triggered that is desired, the ethical/moral framework that one has, this will indicate which category it falls into. counterfeiting: licit or illicit. Look, a magician or illusionist falsifies reality for entertainment.

Likewise, counterfeiting is a frequently used resource in marketing; it allows us to probe whether a good or service that we want to produce will be accepted by the target market, in the first instance; To this end, models are created with the help of graphic and industrial design professionals, architects, cognitive, behavioral and consumer psychologists, linguists, semioticians and experts in social communication, among other specialties. These models are created as close to the possible and imagined reality as possible, their intention is neither the prediction nor the understanding of a phenomenon but rather to achieve a measurement of the affective impact and the immediate reaction triggered in segments of the target population in front of the model, which In the case of products, they are called models, facsimile, machote. In the case of new services we do not know about the use of these models, however, with virtual and augmented reality it would not be strange for some way to exist or emerge to model a service that has not yet been produced.

The sets and locations emulate real settings to recreate a play, film and television. Sound effects, exclusively in the case of radio, seek to recreate reality, to produce the emotional effects and desired reactions in the audience. The illustrations, photographs and texts in the written press seek to recreate an experience and experience of reality through its representation, meaning and meaning. They are all representations of real events, some false and others true.

Two events illustrate these cases of falsification of the reality of the content, used as a resource, and their impacts: The explosion of the battleship Maine and the Spanish-American War of 1898; subtitles National Geographic in the article on the subject: “The virulent campaign of the US press to push its country into war against Spain was full of disqualifications, exaggerations and quite a few fake news” (15-2-2024, National Geographic). It is said that William Randolph Hearst, a social media mogul, responded to a 1987 telegram to the artist and New York Journal correspondent who was in Cuba and wanted to return, “Please stay. You put up the images, and I'll put up the war.

The War of the Worlds, the recreation for radio by Orson Wells, together with collaborators of the Mercurio theater group, of the novel of the same name by Herbert George Wells, 1898, broadcast on radio nationally, on October 30, 1938, the night of Haloween, in the USA, where the false invasion of Martians to planet Earth is reported in news format. A radio program with live music was faked that would be interrupted with false news about meteorites devastating planet Earth, it was so convincing that it generated shock and panic throughout the nation. (21-10-2019, National Geographic).

Today these events would be classified as manipulation of information, disinformation, malicious information, fake news, war propaganda or classified as fiction, other synonyms for false.


.-While the journalist looks for truthful information, the audience, the consumer, user and common citizen look for credible information. Into this gap enters false information, intentionally very similar to the truth, an imitation or emulation of the truth, sufficient to commit and make decisions.

.-Cognitive biases disguise the false as truth.

.-While surveys take a snapshot of the tastes and opinions of a population through a sample and a specific questionnaire, social media takes a continuous 24/7 video of the tastes and opinions of the population - active users of the medium - without need to prepare prior questionnaires, with the possibility of extracting geographically, demographically and emographically segmented analyzes of all active users on a variety of topics.

.-Post-truth politics is a very fashionable political culture (2016) that only seeks a discourse that appeals to emotions, instead of arguments, facts, debate or truth. It is about generating and disseminating abundant credible information that constantly triggers stimuli - doses of dopamine, among other natural chemicals - and triggers reactions. Here fake news gets fertile ground.

What to do?…Think about your answer!

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