September 19, 2021

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Re: Disinformation for Hire, a Shadow Industry, Is Quietly Booming,

Max Fisher writes of the disinformation industry as if his illumination
is news. After I wrote an article about a cyber sleuth who worked online
25 years ago for an English magazine, Hill and Knowlton, the global PR
firm, thought I lived in London (we had not acclimated yet to the global
presence of everyone on the Internet) and asked me to come by for a
talk. They wanted to do "brand defense" on the Internet, which meant
impersonating multiple people in Usenet groups and the like, all
forerunners of current practices. This is not new news. I wrote long ago
that "truth and lies are Siamese twins, joined at the lips," and began
with speech - or before, with deceptive gestures, as chimps have been
seen to do.