Deplorable = Deserving strong condemnation; completely unacceptable.
Bastard = an offensive or disagreeable person —used as a generalized term of abuse
The deplorable bastards’ real goal was to promote their own financial and geopolitical interests. How they did it is what makes them deplorable bastards.
They acquired individual Facebook profiles and a bunch of other information such as age, sex, education, income, voting record, address, congressional district, occupation and the list goes on and on for many tens of millions of Americans. They also acquired information on what Facebook articles we had previously “liked” and when we “liked” them. From that information, they knew things about what we tended to fear and what we tended to support.
Based on that knowledge and using sophisticated systems, they posted a combination of misleading and absolutely fake articles on our Facebook walls, in our twitter feeds and in our e-mail inboxes. They then tracked how we reacted to what they posted. Based on that information the posts were refined and re-posted. This cycle of posting, observing the response, modifying message and posting another reinforcing message, was repeated over and over and over and over again. For month’s on-end, millions and millions of us were each shown thousands of targeted posts
Both the campaign and the Russian government were involved. There is a legal brouhaha as to whether the campaign colluded with the Russians. Time will tell if there will be legal consequences. Legal consequences aside, that the bastards successfully did the above, is not disputed.
The goal was to diminish faith in our leaders, destabilize democracy and maybe convince, enough of us, to vote for an objectively incompetent candidate. To quote the candidate, “I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody, okay, and I wouldn’t lose any voters, okay?”
The deplorable bastards placed a continual stream of misleading/fake posts on our Facebook walls. Each article customized to our individual profiles designed to reinforce the following types of feelings:
- Fear and mistrust of the establishment.
- Fear and mistrust of people who do not look like you.
- Fear and mistrust of people who are not from where you are from
- Re-enforce the idea that the way to reduce our fears, is to “drain the swamp” and “seal our borders”.
They essentially trained us to hate and mistrust each other.
The mechanics of how the above worked are sophisticated but similar to what is done in many legal and morally defensible advertising campaigns of our modern world. Targeting advertising to individual’s preferences is not illegal or immoral, it is effective. Ads and other such posts promoting products and services are continually posted on our social media based on our preferences and profiles. They judge our reactions and update the posts on our walls to increase their sales, etc. For example, when I got within 6 months of turning age 65 I started seeing many ads for and articles about Medicare Advantage Plans.
What made these deplorable bastards different is the immoral use of grossly misleading and fake articles with the intention of getting us to support a deplorable agenda against our personal and social best interest.
So, how does one convince honest, hardworking people to believe things that are not true and contrary to their personal self-interest? If you are waiting for a dramatic reveal of intrigue and hidden secrets you will be disappointed.
Here is the truth. We learn about ourselves based on the feedback the world gives us about ourselves. If a child has a feeling they are loved, then shown information saying they are loved, it is likely they feel more loved. If a person has a mild fear, then are shown things that reinforce their fear, the fear gets more profound.
If the feedback we receive from the world is honest and sincere, our feelings about ourselves will generally align with reality. People who are more loved in reality will likely feel more loved. People who really do have more to fear will be more likely to feel more fearful.
The deplorable fraud was in the volume of misleading and fake feedback provided to millions of us in a form we were receptive to. That misleading and fake feedback reinforced the fears and suspicions for those of us who had mild fears and suspicions already. The huge volume of negative (fake) information overwhelmed the glimpses of reality that act normally to temper our fears and suspicions.
We see inner-city violence on the news and develop a mild fear of the violence in the inner city. But when we do business in the city or attend concerts in the city without incident, the fear of violence is thus not reinforced and the fear does not grow. However, if you see story after story, day after day, about how the inner-city is a war zone it reinforces your fear. The real world evidence you have that the inner-city is not a war zone gets overwhelmed by the news and stories on your Facebook feed. You will very likely come to believe the inner-city is a war zone.
The deplorable bastards created a bunch of misleading and fake negative behavior feedback loops. Feedback loops are powerful and those not based in reality are dangerous. They used sophisticated systems to repeatedly spread misleading and knowingly untrue information to reinforce their agenda of fear and suspicion of millions of people. These deplorable people are bastards.
Here are some stories about the deplorable bastards.