I have decided to respond to a US Government Request for Information regarding the military need to fight back against social media lies and slander campaigns aimed at Americans and US troops.
What US Special Ops Command is requesting is software. However, my proposal is to skip the software, and instead consider offering financial rewards to individuals who report and provide evidence of disinformation campaigns.
There are already many people who have been providing this service to the public, often putting long hours into video presentations and online tweets and articles. The people in this human cloud have not received any payment for their volunteer efforts. In fact, we’ve been attacked and demonetized. It’s time to correct this imbalance by opening up opportunities to individual, independent researchers to receive payment for their skills.
The request that has been published online is copied and pasted below. As you read it, keep in mind that a human cloud can accomplish all of the requirements of the software sought by USSOCOM, and that worldwide, a team of anonymous experts and amateurs, working individually, and reporting centrally, can provide a thorough search and analysis of social media. Financial incentives are the key to this solution, which is not commercial and off-the-shelf, but is actually much, much more effective.
Full Text Found at https://beta.sam.gov/opp/8c7d1d33507c45e398f2ba3fe5fae7ad/view#general
“United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) has a requirement for a Commercial Off the Shelf (COTS) software solution, to be used as a prototype for use of understanding the information environment that can detect misinformation, disinformation and mal-information campaigns in near to real-time to directly support information operations within Special Operations Command. The resulting analysis will be surfaced on a user interface and contextualized by the relevant narratives and network of accounts.
This software must leverage an intuitive cloud-hosted user interface software which provides processing and analyzing multi-modal social media and web data and has the programmatic ability to dissect and categorize information sectors. The government requires a prototype data pipeline that will identify viral and trending content for threat assessments and score data with a ranking system that highlights the likelihood of being fake or deceptive and display the information on the user interface.
The prototype will use a combination of deep learning, natural language processing, and dynamic network analysis to detect and examine the cross-platform spread of disinformation (in the form of images, video, and text) over vast and disparate data sources and inform teams of information which is intended to be deceptive. The vendor must address anomaly detection, deep fake, foreign influence and anticipatory analytics, leveraging deep learning, natural language processing, and proven machine learning development and capabilities.
The resulting analysis will be surfaced on a user interface and contextualized by the relevant narratives and network of accounts. The system is designed to improve over time by incorporating user feedback and adapt to the rapidly changing tactics of an adversary.
The vendor must use network graph analysis to narrow focus to a relatively small target subset, which will result in a reduced computational load for the deep fake detectors. The analysis will be required to incorporate analyst feedback for a human-in-loop pattern to improve the models over time, leveraging supervised machine learning. In addition, because the analysis will include not only the original content but also the fuller network context, the developed prototype is expected to deliver a much richer and nuanced set of results to better understand and identify misinformation/disinformation across the information environment.
REQUESTED INFORMATION – DO NOT SEND COMPANY BROCHURE
1. Capability Statement: Request you submit a Capability Statement that presents your technical capability for providing the support services as it relates to the above subject requirement. Capability Statements shall be limited to 10 pages, single spaced, 12-point font, with at least one-inch margins in Microsoft Word or Adobe Acrobat format.
Capability Statements shall be submitted by e-mail to the POCs identified below. The file size shall not exceed a 5 MB e-mail limit for all items submitted in response to this RFI. Capability Statement shall at the minimum answer the specific questions identified below to identify the technical approach to meet the Governments requirement as follows:
a. Describe how your company can meet the above requirement.
b. Describe how your company can service all the various areas to the above paragraphs.
c. Describe other contracts that your company has provided this type of service that is relevant.
d. Provide a Rough Order of Magnitude (ROM) for service for period of performance on this type of work and confirm that this work can be performed as a Firm Fixed Price Quote.
e. Provide any additional information that is relevant to this RFI.”