This is the final part of LoveBomb, a special investigation* into weaponised data and disinformation, social media, and counter offensives. It is recommended you read the previous instalments before this one.
*The format is, in of itself, experimental and includes multiple formats which will be refined over the course of the investigation.
The staggering truth about paid advertising, on top of what we have already discovered about the use of hashtags and big data, is that £20.00 can lazily buy an account with under 350 followers access to almost 17,000 people, without even beginning to utilise the true power of big data and in depth psychometric profiling.
This means one account with a low follower number – and only the crudest form of targeting – has the potential to reach an audience of 85 million people with a tailored psychological message, on a budget of £100,000.
Less than half a million pounds can buy you access to the whole populations of the UK and the US, psychologically tweaking them as you fit, and using their own data to tweak their emotional responses.
Millions were spent on this during the course of the last few years.
As I wrote at the very start of this investigation, 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.