New Jersey
99 Grayrock Road, Suite 203 & 204, Clinton, NJ 08809
877.959.0476 Call

Podcast with Theresa Peyton: Fighting Cyberterrorism, Fake News, Manipulation and Misinformation Campaigns, Mass Mind Control, Election Fraud

For the episode audio, please check out our podcast page. 


Terry Tateossian (00:46):

So I am really excited to introduce our guests today. This interview cannot possibly happen at a better time when we all need to hear this message. And this information, our guest today is one of the nation’s leading experts in cybersecurity, an it strategy. And she is the CEO of Fort Alice solutions, which is an industry-leading security consulting company. She has served as the first female chief information officer for the white house working with president George W. Bush and where she was overseeing it operations for the president of the United States himself and all of his staff. She was named number four on the IMF sec Global’s list of the world’s top 50 cybersecurity influencers of 2017. And you can also find her profile in the Washington post for her role in the 2017 CBS reality show called hunted. And I’m going to drop all of those links down below for you guys to be able to click and look at the different sources, guys, please help me welcome Theresa Payton.

Terry Tateossian (02:06):

Hi, thanks for having me on. I’ve been looking forward to this conversation.

Terry Tateossian (02:10):

Me too. Me too.  I personally cannot tell you how I have devoured your book manipulated, which is available on Amazon. It actually was just released in April of this year, and it it’s just mind-blowing because I mean, Holy cow, you go over everything that is happening right now in the world. And you provide perspective. You provide data, you provide historical evidence-based information on how some of these things have evolved to where they are today. And I think that your book should be mandatory reading for everybody, everybody in the United States needs to, to read and become more educated so that we could stop being manipulated by, you know, all of the different agents out there and all of the different groups that are interested in penetrating our country in, in essence. So before we get started on that topic, can you tell us a bit about how you became interested in this field and how did it all start out for you?

Theresa Payton (03:24):

Yeah, so it’s interesting is, I mean, I’ve had a career in technology and you know, since kind of it’s been awhile, but I spent 16 years in the financial services industry. I, my initial roles were around delivering, cutting edge technology to the people that use the banks. So the customers, the commercial customers, small business consumers, and by being on sort of that cutting edge of technology, I was on the cutting edge of terrorist financing, anti money laundering you know, catching fraud. We didn’t call it cyber security yet. And that just sort of created you know, kind of this interest for me around how do we write the wrong, you know, how do we make sure that people and organizations and our nation and our allies are safer? So fast forward got the distinct honor an opportunity to work for president George W. Bush and was there two and a half years did these major modernization efforts including completely updating our cyber security program there.

Theresa Payton (04:32):

And you know, it’s interesting about this book. It’s, it’s been a passion project of mine for almost five years. And when I first approached my book agent, cause this is my third book. The first two books I wrote with a privacy lawyer, a coauthor, a tech Claypool who’s and amazing, brilliant genius and privacy and cyber security law. And this one I wrote by myself, but when I approached her, she said, Hmm, I just don’t. I think it’s a limited appeal, right? Five years ago. And then after we knew that there was something going on in 2016 and the Mueller investigation was announced, I went back to the book agent. I said, that was what I was talking about. Like, I have to write a book about this. I have to warn everybody what’s happening because they’re, they’re not seeing it in an, our company, the work that we do on the front lines of incident response, protecting the United States and our allies, protecting companies and protecting individuals.

Theresa Payton (05:32):

We’ve seen these manipulation and misinformation campaigns get bolder, get more sophisticated, get better finance, not just for elections, but anything you can imagine. And she said, well, I think we’re going to learn everything there is to know through the Mueller investigation. I’m like, no, it’s not just the Russians and it’s not just elections, but she just kept telling me to go back and think about the book concept. And she really did me a favor because if I had written this book five years ago, it’d be dusty on the shelves somewhere. And by really pushing hard on me and getting me to come back to her and explain what I wanted to do with this book concept and constantly refining it. I think, I think we finally got to a book that is something that everybody can take something away from and use in their personal lives use at work. But kind of, of utmost importance is be using it as you’re thinking about elections because elections matter

Terry Tateossian (06:30):

Elections do matter in your book, you quote Warren buffet as saying that a cyber warfare is the greatest threat to mankind even more so than nuclear weapons. Why, why did you use that quote in your book and what did he mean by that?

Theresa Payton (06:53):

Yeah. And so when I’ve seen him kind of the different interviews he’s done where that quote is mentioned, you know, he was at the time that that quote was mentioned my interpretation, at least of the context around that quote was kind of twofold for Warren buffet. And the reason why I liked it is, is that was kind of like my perspective on cyber warfare as well, several years ago. And it’s changed. So I’ll talk about that in a moment, but he really was seeing two things on the landscaped and the first was the wholesale theft of intellectual property of not just the United States, but other countries. But if you think about, you know, what America has provided to the world from an innovation perspective, big tech, nanotech any type of intellectual property, clean energy, sustainable, and renewable a fuels that costs a lot of money in R and D and it’s being stolen by unscrupulous competitors and it’s being stolen yes by nation States.

Theresa Payton (07:57):

And so and cyber criminals who know they can monetize that stolen intellectual property. So there was that, that he was also looking at the theft of information of identities used in fraud, insecure, you know, just the money, the drain of money. We spend so much money on cybersecurity protection strategies, and yet bad things still continue to happen, which is also a financial drain on the economy. And then sorta the stolen R and D and intellectual property. I have that same mindset, but I also add on top of that, it is my belief system that the cybercriminal playbook and the nation state playbook now has a new chapter in it. And the chapter is manipulation and misinformation campaigns that quote still resonates today. But I would add that new chapter is available in the playbook.

Terry Tateossian (08:49):

So to dive in kind of unpack that a little bit more, I have two questions. The first one is what is the manipulation playbook? So, you know, coming from a marketing background, you know, we like to call things really cute names. You know, we have the playbook for this. We have the playbook for that. This is our social media playbook. What is the manipulation playbook and who uses it and why,

Theresa Payton (09:18):

You know, it’s interesting, you say that because a manipulation playbook can actually have positive or altruistic purposes behind it for a marketing company. So it could be, you know, people really need to be healthier and they really need our product to help them be healthier. Maybe they they’ll sleep better or they’ll meditate or there’ll be incentive to eat better. And so that manipulation campaign is sort of that emotional response to interacting with that campaign. It could be an ad campaign, radio TV. It can be an organic campaign on social media where it’s your own customers or influencers who are using your products. There can be a lot of good that come from a manipulation campaign. So manipulation doesn’t have to always be, this is what unscrupulous or evil people use, but here’s the thing about a manipulation campaign. It can either be truth amplified, and there’s a positive purpose.

Theresa Payton (10:17):

And unfortunately, things that are made for good can also be used for bad, but it can also be truth mixed with dis information or complete disinformation. And it’s intended to get you to have an emotion that makes you act a certain way, or, and since you to disengage and not act at all. So that playbook that’s being used, not by marketing firms to try and get us to be healthier, be better, or take an action that playbook is being used on every social issue you can imagine. So for example, years ago, and up until pre COVID, so Covitz kind of changed how the manipulators use their playbooks. So they’ve moved to different topics, but there was a huge to vaccinate or not vaccinate or the anti-vaccine movement going on in America. And I have three children and I’m watching like the vitriol on both sides of the argument.

Theresa Payton (11:15):

I’m watching it get almost out of control, downright dangerous, where children are dying and people are put at risk. And so I started looking into it and I started checking in with research you know, kind of the think tanks and the research institutions. And they were seeing something similar that I was seeing, and that is all of the people commenting on Americans, vaccinating or not vaccinating their children. Weren’t all American. As a matter of fact, there was a huge to vaccinate and anti-vaccine campaign actually created by Russian cyber operatives, posing as posing, as doctors, as your neighbor, as somebody else, and getting us to argue with each other and then their work is done. And so somebody would say, well, do the Russians care if we’re vaccinated or not vaccinated, that’s actually not the point. The point is, is to get you to the point where you don’t know what to believe.

Theresa Payton (12:13):

So then you’re open to believing anything. So that’s an example of a manipulator handbook that has nothing to do necessarily with politics, but as a lot to do with like how discourse in America plays out. And if you can get us to actually call each other names and be nasty to each other on something as personal as am I going to vaccinate my kids or not. Can you imagine once you extrapolate that into something that people are going to be even more passionate about? So what does that mean for companies? So we study this for companies as well at my company. And so for example, I was noticing that it, when we were talking about the Canadian us pipeline and we were talking about fracking there was this big groundswell for fracking against fracking. And some of the information is absolutely true. There are environmental issues and concerns, build it for building the pipeline for the transportation of that oil, for how the fracking occurs.

Theresa Payton (13:18):

But I was noticing just kind of this crazy amount of social media around Justin Trudeau and Trump and the oil pipeline and fracking. And so you start digging into that and guess what, Russian Russians now, Russia is not the only one doing this, but these are two examples. Russian cyber operatives were behind this anti-fracking campaign. So somebody might say, well, do they care about the United States environment? No. What Putin needs to fund as economy is to sell energy. He sells energy to Europe, middle East Asia, primarily Europe. Guess what? America’s energy independence has driven down the price of energy globally, and that’s not good for Russia. So they started at campaign to try and shut down fracking. It can happen to any industry based on what a particular government leader may decide. Hey, I want to be strong in this area. You’re too strong for me. And the way I’m going to even the playing field is instead of competing, I’m going to manipulate and I’m going to even the playing field by taking you down a notch so I can climb. And that’s the real challenge that we’re faced with here. Wish if you think about it,

Terry Tateossian (14:39):

It makes complete sense why this would be happening. How would you define misinformation and manipulation campaigns? How would we be able to identify them for?

Theresa Payton (14:52):

Yeah. So for example there’s a variety of different techniques that can be used in a manipulation campaign. But mainly as you notice from reading the book, the current favorite distribution path is social media. Now, a lot of people would say, well, wait a minute. I mean, can’t, we figure that out on Facebook and Twitter and the answer is yes, sort of, kind of, but they’re not just hanging out there. So if you think about how some of the social media platforms in order to be more engaging, more authentic and more organic, what they’ve done is they’ve created an opportunity for private messaging groups. And so what they’ve been able to do, whether it’s through deep, fake documents, deep, fake photographs, deep, fake videos, or even just amplification of old news repackaged to make it look like it’s new or misinformation campaigns. They’re not just posting it on Facebook and Twitter because that was already well-documented in the Mueller report.

Theresa Payton (16:00):

And so it’s not as easy to get away with that. They are still using those, but they know how to hide differently, but they’re also doing things like they’re on Snapchat and they end up infiltrating into Snapchat groups. They ended up being in sort of like these private Facebook groups, again, that makes it harder for Facebook to know, to flag too, stop something for perpetuating until it’s too late. They’ll use things like telegram and WhatsApp, and they just sort of hide in plain sight in these messaging groups and people believe it because they think it’s like a smaller subset. So it’s really hard to spot. But what I always tell people is if you see something and you have an emotional reaction, that’s fairly strong. And so it’s either huh. I knew it. And just people weren’t telling me or yep. Pretty much confirms it for me or literally wants to make you run out of your house and do something before you do that or disengage, right?

Theresa Payton (17:02):

Like, ah, forget it. I’m not going to vote or whatever, before you do that. I always say, check three sources, pick a local source, pick a national source and pick an international source and look up that topic. So for example, for me, I’ll, if I see something on social media, I will, you know, perhaps go look at my local news. If they’re not talking about it, then I may go do a national paper. I may go to the wall street journal, the Washington post the New York times and just see what are they saying about it? And then it’ll go overseas. So I’ll look at something like the guardian or the BBC news daily mail you know, I’ll look at some of the Irish newspapers and they’ll just see kind of what reporting there. I will as well go to things like the Russian times and see what they’re saying because they kind of have their own narrative on the world. And that, that takes minutes to do it. Doesn’t take a long time to do, but before you either have an emotion and act on it or disengage cause manipulation campaigns also want us to disengage check three sources again, local national outside your country. And that can be a great way not to be manipulated.

Terry Tateossian (18:19):

This episode is brought to you by reading mask. A lot of us are looking to protect the health of our employees and our office guests, as well as ourselves ready, masks, new unique and innovative line of comfortable and strapless and 95 masks are available on their website. That’s R E a D I Check them out as social distance in style. If you like our discussions. And we’d like to support our efforts, be sure to subscribe on Patrion, Spotify, iTunes, Google play, or YouTube. If you have an idea about a topic or know someone who would be a great guest reach out on our website, amplified Very interesting.

Theresa Payton (19:13):

Do you feel that are big tech companies like in all of the information providers that we have out there that are economy and our democracy has, you know, they have become giants. Do you feel that they have a responsibility to weed out the fake news or protect the democracy in some way? Or do you feel like they have sold out? Yeah, they’ve given up and they’re just letting this happen. I mean, what do you feel their responsibility is in this? I think it’s an incredibly fair question. And it’s one that I’ve thought about a lot and I’ve researched a lot and you know, I, the business model changed on them. So if you think about the early days of the social media companies, what, what was kind of the initial early days, it was about, Hey, let’s hyper connect, you and me and let’s make sure connections are easy to do.

Theresa Payton (20:11):

And then based on what you like. And I like, if we have those in common, let’s just give us more of that and let’s have as much engagement as we can of you and me on this one place. So if you think about it, right, we just kind of, their whole business model was around hyper-connectivity and giving you more of what you want, which means you slide into a little echo chamber and they give you more of what you want. So you keep coming back. There’s also been studies done that when you get likes on your posts or retweets or hearts or comments, it releases yes. Releases that feel good, right? And if you need to vent, you get a feel good when people respond to the venting. I know I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with that. So what they’ve done is they put you and I in an echo chamber of the things you and I like to hear.

Theresa Payton (21:02):

And then they feed us with dopamine and they want us to sort of stay there. Then they, they monetize that. And so marketing companies will go to them and say, we want to sell this meditation app because we want to help people sleep better. Who, who wouldn’t want to sleep better, especially, you know, with the meditation app, who are the people that we should get in touch with. And so they then take those vertical at echo chambers and they promote those ads to us and we buy the ads. So it’s in their best interest and their business model to make sure we’re hyper-connected as many people as possible are signed up for an account they’re actively engaged and interacting with ads. Guess what, if we’re all kind of liking each other and all just kind of calm that doesn’t get us to click on things as much when we start arguing with each other, they actually make more money.

Theresa Payton (21:54):

So they built this model around altruistic purposes for you and me. And then they monetize the model. All the nation States and the manipulators did was take advantage of that model and give us more of what we want in our little echo, chambers selling ads. They make money. We argue with each other. We’re more disenfranchised than we’ve ever been. Social discourse is like at an all time negative and they’re rich and social media is rich. I actually say in my book you know, you’d actually have to completely disrupt the current social media model to fix this. And this is why it’s really big tech. It is international cooperation among governments, and it’s up to you and me like no one group, you can’t legislate our way out of this. We cannot technology our way out of this. You can’t use algorithms to figure this out. And we can’t put our heads down in the sand and say, well, somebody needs to fix this for me. So it really is. There are three groups that have to come together and lock arms to fix this problem.

Terry Tateossian (23:04):

Yeah. I mean, we had a blackout Tuesday yesterday and I feel like instead of actually just being quiet, you know, people were just busier, posting even more. And I was thinking to myself, the only way to really have a blackout Tuesday is if we ask all of the social platforms to go down for a day and just everybody needs to be quiet, because it just seems like even when you know, you’re trying to change behavior where you’re trying to do something, it, you know, it doesn’t work. And in your book, you mentioned how fake news is actually more infectious and faster with more impressions and more people subscribing to it and then bringing it back to their own families or own friends and then affecting those people. So somewhat similar to the Corona virus, you know, you compared the two, you have infections happening in your mind and infections happening in your body. How does that work? Why does that happen?

Theresa Payton (24:11):

Well, I mean, first of all, everybody’s so busy. I mean, even pre COVID, we’re all just trying to do the right thing. We’re all busy running our lives and we want to stay connected. And so again, it’s one of those things where everybody kind of has their own pattern for how they get the news and how they stay in touch with people. And what’s interesting is I had a feeling that falsehoods were traveling faster than the truth because that’s kind of human nature. Yeah, because the more sensational, it sounds, the more interesting it is to pass it along. Right. So if you say, you know, the sky out there today, it’s blue. It’s like, yeah. Tell me something. I didn’t know. But if you say, I know it looks blue, but guess what I heard today, it’s a certain shade of blue and that certain shade of blue means that aliens are coming.

Theresa Payton (25:03):

And you’re like, what? You know, I always knew there had to be an area, 51 in aliens and the next thing you know, you’re going to pass. That’s more interesting. Right. And so I’m kind of making up a ridiculous example. But what I found in my research was is not only do people post the falsehood, but even when somebody pointed out to them that, Hey, I just wanted to help you out because I did some fact checking, I checked a couple of different sources. That’s actually been debunked and the person responded to a lot of these different research surveys. They’re like, yeah, I know, but it proves my point or it’s something I agree with. So I just leave it up there. So people don’t, they don’t correct themselves. And it’s because we all walk around with confirmation bias. It’s what keeps us alive. Confirmation bias tells you things like, you know, I have no idea if that stove is on.

Theresa Payton (25:58):

But if I touch the stove, it’s going to be high and I could burn myself. And so confirmation bias is one of those things we walk around, it’s part of what keeps us alive and safe and healthy. And every once in a while, you’ll probably reach out and touch the stove and it will be high. And you’ll be like, yeah, I knew it. And if it’s not hot, you know, well, they probably had it turned off and then you kind of move along, right? It’s, it’s part of how we get through the day and don’t end up being like run over. Right. So, so confirmation bias is a real natural instinct and we’re all wired to have it. The challenge is, is how do you choose to feed your confirmation bias? And what do you do with that? So knowing that we all have some level of confirmation bias, how do create a process for yourself to not be manipulated?

Theresa Payton (26:45):

That’s really, really important. So like for example, I admitted it in the book. I am a conspiracy theorist from a long line of conspiracy theories. I know that about myself. So when I have a hypothesis, I actually force myself to write down two opposite hypothesis. So when I’m doing my research or when I’m reading or when I’m interviewing people, I actually make sure I have data points that fit the different hypothesis so that I keep my confirmation bias and check. I think that everybody needs to learn how to do that. Especially in today’s day and age. Mmm. You said in your book that tactics over countries without armies is an actual real thing. Do you believe that we’re in the middle of that right now?

Theresa Payton (27:45):

I think it’s very possible. You know, so if you think about the manipulation campaigns going on during COVID, you know, kind of want to, we’re going through so many chapters so rapidly right now in the world, right. Of, of major issues. And I don’t, I want to come back to racism because that’s been around for centuries and I want to come back to what’s going on there. That’s very disconcerting, but around COVID-19 for example, the misinformation and manipulation campaigns, you know, you could invade a country or you can pump all kinds of ridiculous miracle cures, and this is how you don’t catch it. That are completely not true, completely unhealthy, and put a lot of people in harms way. Guess what? We had nation States doing that they were promoting fake cures, which were dangerous at best, potentially deadly at worst, right? They were promoting counterfeit masks, hand sanitizer.

Theresa Payton (28:51):

So no bullets were fired. No planes flew overhead from other militaries, but they did something else. The other thing that they also did because a lot of times manipulation campaigns are also for controlling your own citizens. And so what you saw with Iran and North Korea and Russia was they started a misinformation campaign accusing the U S military creating. COVID-19 also telling their own citizens. They were doing a great job. There were very few cases, very few deaths and America was a dumpster fire. So was Europe. They were saying European union is going to fall apart because they disagree and they didn’t handle it. Right. And they, then they then took that misinformation around the globe. And now I look at, so we’ve been working on, you know, really trying to understand these different groups who you have peaceful protests, which absolutely every town in America should be finding ways to support ending racism.

Theresa Payton (30:01):

We should all be anti racist and candidly, I can’t. Yeah. Like I thought when I was growing up, I just thought, because I lived on military basis, which I just never saw the racism grow. Like my whole life was military bases, married a guy in the Navy. I just thought it was, I was growing up. I was like, Oh, this will eventually go away because it’s my generation. I’m gen X, as we’re in charge, we’ll be done with this. Like how ridiculously naive was I? And so I’m very frustrated and very involved in trying to figure out like, what can I do to make it better, to make sure there is truly an anti-racist movement I’m in America. And so one of the things we’re doing, because one of our gifts is intelligence. Operations is we’re really digging into who are these people showing up with Molotov cocktails.

Theresa Payton (30:55):

Those are not, I’m talking to that. I’m trying to be a part of their peaceful protest movement. Who’s organizing these people and who is taking, who is taking these voices that need to be heard and creating destruction. And they’re not even part of this movement. And, you know, it’s that misinformation, manipulation and candidly coordination campaign, that’s very dangerous is really playbook is being used. And the nation States are playing a role in that playbook. They’re not all American citizens. There’s fake personas, pretending to be Americans who are getting people to basically undo what the movement is trying to do. So I, I want to unpack that was you a little bit, because I don’t think that most people understand what the motivation behind this as, why do other nation States want to see America divisive, fighting at odds with each other? What do they gain from that?

Theresa Payton (32:08):

And why are they doing that? Like you said, they have misinformation campaigns entirely to their own citizens, as well as to the American citizens, why they went democracy to fail. They don’t like democracy. And you know, if people, so for example this fall, your vote matters. And at the city level, at the County level, at state level, and yes, at the federal level, and yes, it’s a presidential election cycle. And if they convince everybody it’s unsafe to go out and votes if they convince everybody your vote, doesn’t matter because the system’s rigged against you and people don’t show up and vote. They win. They have everything to gain by making sure that people are mad at each other, not speaking to each other, that the dialogue is nonproductive. They have everything the game because democracy is a threat to their power. So America is not perfect. Clearly the fact that we still have racism, bigotry and hatred in America is a Boren on it needs to be eradicated. So we’re not perfect. But democracy assure better than what I see going on in these other countries. So we have incredible amounts of room to improve. But they have everything to gain. If they just tell us to give up and sit back and not vote,

Terry Tateossian (33:48):

What happens if we fail against this cyber war, this, you know, whatever you want to call it, misinformation war, what happens to this country? If we fail,

Theresa Payton (33:59):

We’re not going to fail. I’m not going to let it happen. I mean, there’s, I, it’s hard. It’s really hard, but I think I have a lot of optimism and it’s, well-placed optimism that the various nonprofit fact checking organizations, the university researchers you know, even department of Homeland security within the CSO organization, both what they’re doing on election security, but also manipulation campaigns. It’s just, we’ve got to get the word out. We have to get to everybody and help them understand that, you know, I know times are hard and I know a lot’s going on, but the best way to make up your own mind is to not be manipulated and to get the facts. And you’ve got to sort through what you see on your social media wall and what you see in these private messaging groups. And you have to find the truth and then make up your own mind. Don’t let people make up your mind for you. And that’s what the manipulators do they make up your mind for you.

Terry Tateossian (35:07):

Exactly. and you touched a bit about what can each of us do as individuals to fight this attack on our democracy? You know, you mentioned go find additional sources, go talk to other people with a different point of view. Look for the truth. Don’t let other people make up your mind.

Terry Tateossian (35:29):

What else can we do? How can we get involved? Because in all honesty personally, I have, I was born in a different country. I came here as an immigrant at the age of 13, I’ve lived in communist countries. I’ve been to other communists countries. I’ve been to non communist countries. I’ve been to as many different governments as you could. There are, and there is no other place like the United States. You know, you said that we’re not perfect. We’re definitely not, but neither is any other country out there. There’s no perfect government. There’s no perfect country. There’s no perfect society. Everything can be improved, but what I’ve seen out there, I don’t think people understand what they’re fighting for. They don’t have a clear concept of what it is that they have. So what can we do to help this war against misinformation? How can each of us help other people find the truth and find more information?

Theresa Payton (36:32):

Yeah. I’m so glad you asked that. So there’s a couple of things people can do. I understand how busy everybody is. So I’ve been doing a couple of things. I’m creating very short snippets and posting them on YouTube, like little excerpts from my book. And then what that means with the headlines. If you’re talking to young people. I, so I’ve spent time in the high schools and speaking to college students and people who were post high school who are working. And I have to tell you that generation, it doesn’t know that they’re in danger of being manipulated by internet means. So that generation sees internet means as an authentic expression of somebody’s belief system. And they see this funny and comedic and they are being manipulated. As matter of fact, I taught a class, I wrote about it in the book and I was able to help them spot manipulation campaigns on Facebook, on Twitter ms.

Theresa Payton (37:31):

Reed, fake news dr. Documents. But when it came to names, they got it wrong almost all the time. They did not realize most of the memes that I like. And I would tell them this meme was created by Russian cyber operatives, not a political campaign. Like they, they were like, nah, I mean, it’s crazy. So the young generation needs to be taught that they’re being manipulated there, knowing how busy everybody is. If you say, you know what, I heard what she said, but I’m not going to check three sources on everything I get upset about. I totally understand that two places I personally like to go when I’m sort of checking myself that are very easy to use. One is, but another one is fact because they both have like different areas of focus. And so that’s super simple, right? You just take the news article, you or the topic, plop it in their little search engine and it’ll come up and say, we’re either researching it or you don’t find it or we’ve researched it.

Theresa Payton (38:32):

It’s kind of true, not true at all, or is so that can be, you know, it takes longer to talk about it than it does to do it. And that could be a great way. The other thing we all have to do is when you see these misinformation manipulation campaigns, you must report it to the social media company that you saw it on. They’re trying to get their algorithms better and better and better. And the only way the algorithms learn is the things that slip past them. You have to send it to them. So just to understand, they’re trying to make sure they don’t cross that fine line of shutting down free freedom of speech. So we have to, we have to help the algorithms learn. And the only way that happens is you have to, you have to report it.

Terry Tateossian (39:16):

Absolutely. I think we should all be vigilant in what we share as well and what we’re passing around as you know, almost like a virus of information. So Theresa, how can people find you?

Theresa Payton (39:28):

Well on Twitter I’m tracker Peyton the company is @FortAliceLLC on Twitter. We’re on LinkedIn. I also the women of my company started a LinkedIn group called help a sister up and it’s for men and women to promote more women in STEM fields, but especially cyber security and fighting fraud. So feel free to join us. There’s a great, yeah, organic little group has nice, safe place to talk about promoting more women to join the field. And certainly if people want to reach out to me on LinkedIn or Twitter, those are great places to reach me.

Terry Tateossian (40:02):

Absolutely. I highly recommend your book manipulated it’s out on Amazon. And thank you so much for being here and for your time today, I think that what you are sharing in your book and verbally, you can’t put a price on it. It’s, it’s invaluable. It’s something that everybody should be aware of. And we should all think about what we believe in and question everything that we hear, because misinformation is everywhere. Fake news is everywhere.

Theresa Payton (40:33):

I really, I really appreciate you having me on today. It’s been like a true honor and pleasure. Your questions were so deep and insightful, and I really do truly believe this. This is then one of the most important things that I’ve worked on as a passion project. And I really hope I got it right, because I, I really do feel strongly that democracies everywhere and citizens who are not living in a democracy, they need to understand this very insidious and silent manipulation that’s going on so that they can think for themselves and act for themselves.

Terry Tateossian (41:13):

Absolutely, absolutely. Well, we’re looking forward to sharing this episode and we got to have you back on Theresa. I think

Theresa Payton (41:23):

You have me back. You’re amazing.

Terry Tateossian (41:25):

I mean, I literally, I think I had another 40 questions that were, you know, out of time that I’m wanting to ask, but yeah, absolutely. Thank you so much. Really appreciate it. And see you soon. See you soon. The production of the amplified podcast has been brought to you by social fixed medium social fixed is a transformational growth hacker agency focused on emerging technology platforms, video and podcast, production, content marketing, and overall startup strategy. Social fix has helped over 300 clients generate millions of dollars in revenue fund raising and a profit. If you’d like help launching or growing your business, visit social

Terry Tateossian (42:18):

If you like our discussions and we’d like to support our efforts, be sure to subscribe on Patriot on Spotify, iTunes, Google play, or YouTube. If you have an idea about a topic or know someone who would be a great guest, reach out on our website, amplified If you enjoy this topic, make sure to tune in next week for our chat with Chris boss, former FBI hostage, negotiator, CEO of the black Swan group and coauthor of the book never split the difference. Chris and I talk about terroristic crisis negotiations, law enforcement reform, tactical empathy, active listening, emotional hygiene, and the three negotiator archetypes. It’s a mind bender. You don’t want to miss.