Cognitive Infiltration

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Cognitive Infiltration is a term which first appeared in a paper titled Conspiracy Theories authored by Cass Sunstein (an adviser to President Obama) and Adrian Vermeule in January of 2008. In the paper, Sunstein and Vermeule posit that belief in 'conspiracy theories' is due to a 'crippled epistemology' and that the government, where it cannot cause changes in peoples' beliefs through open dialogue, should engage in cognitive infiltration by entering online communities and expressing the government-sanctioned viewpoint.

A conspiracy theory can generally be counted as such if it is an effort to explain some event or practice by reference to the machinations of powerful people, who have also managed to conceal their role ... outsiders, unconnected with the group, will lack much credibility, and fail to have much of an effect in reducing polarization. As we will explore below, these circumstances imply that direct government rebuttals of the reigning conspiracy theory will prove ineffective; government will instead do best by using various tactics of cognitive infiltration to break up the polarized information cluster from within.

That's going to make tnihgs a lot easier from here on out.

Media Reports

"Obama confidant's spine-chilling proposal" by Glenn Greenwald - 15.01.2010
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