--[ Media Effects Used in Influence Operations

$ getent passwd ktzvetanov
├─ name: Krassimir Tzvetanov
└── org: Purdue University

Krassimir Tzvetanov is a graduate student at Purdue University focusing on Threat Intelligence, Operational Security and Influence Operations, in the cyber domain. In the recent past, Krassimir was a security engineer at a small CDN, where he focused on incident response, investigations and threat research. Previously he worked for companies like Cisco and A10 focusing on threat research and information exchange, DDoS mitigation, product security. Before that Krassimir held several operational (SRE) and security positions at companies like Google and Yahoo! And Cisco. Krassimir is very active in the security research and investigation community. Krassimir holds Bachelors in Electrical Engineering, Masters in Digital Forensics and Investigations, and a Masters in Information Technology with focus on Homeland Security.


Over the past 5 years, the InfoSec community has had a miopic focus on some of the technical components of influence operations such as twitter bots. At the same time they show marginal, if any, understanding of the underlying social and media theories used in influence operations. In this talk we cover some of the basics that have worked for hundreds of years before social media existed. It focuses on the Media Effects such as two-step flow of information, gatekeeping, agenda-setting, priming, framing, spiral of silence, echo chambers, and cultivation, used to conduct those operations.

The talk itself is an introduction and highlights particular theories, and provides links for further reading. It will briefly also cover Bezmenov’s Subversion Model to provide a frame for the explanation of the social division we have been observing over the past few years, as well as support the thesis with a sociometric study showing the effects.