Imagine a war fought in cyberspace. A digital conflict designed to replicate a computer virus, which attacks the mind.

Malware for humans.

This is not fiction. Not a future dystopia. This is reality. Our reality of today.

“Within this, however, is good news: what can be used for evil can be deployed positively. There is real hope.”

This special investigation has exposed how network centrality (the principles of how our digital lives overlap) has been used against us. How colours, keywords, repetition, and cross-association have been deployed to change the way we act, react, and interact. How our data has been used to manipulate our choices, to use us to spread the infection, and to weaponise our fears, morals, and prejudices.

Over the course of this series you are going to be shown how a social network has been turned into the most powerful propaganda machine ever created. Your understanding of social media as a weapon is going to be challenged. What you think about so-called bots, hashtags, and the power of viral messaging will never be the same again.

Within this, however, is good news: what can be used for evil can be deployed positively. There is real hope.

For the last two weeks a covert experiment has been taking place. A weapons test under the operation name #LoveBomb, conducted through the Liberty STRATCOM public initiative – a Byline project I have established.

The genesis of the operation name is simple. A very real conflict, the Alternative War, has just been won by the side fighting with the pshychology of hate as its primary weapon. It’s time to take back control.

The articles which follow in this series use an experimental mixture of the written word, images, video, and audio to explain the investigation’s key findings which are, in summary:

1. A key right-wing disinformation network has been exposed

2. The chilling power of the Russian bot-net can be quantified and used against itself

3. The shocking value of the investment return on paid social media advertising is exposed and quantified

4. The full, disturbing, global reach of disinformation is quantifiable and can be harnessed against itself

5. All of these networks can be mapped and deployed in counter offensives.

“our data has been used to manipulate us, to use us to spread infection, and to weaponise our fears, morals, and prejudices.”

This independent investigation has been crowdfunded through Byline Media and you can keep up with it by following @j_amesp or @libertySTRATCOM on Twitter.

You can find out more or support the Liberty STRATCOM initiative here.

You can download or buy the book Alternative War here or through all other on and offline retailers.

Articles in this series will be released every day for the next week.

This is the beginning of the digital resistance.