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I don't understand what this "in order to" explains in the following sentence:

"Focusing on access reveals potential vulnerabilities that could be even more effectively exploited when used in combination with vulnerabilities of character or credibility, or both, of the message in order to shape the perception of the messenger as well as that of his followers," the document argues.

-- Huffington Post (2013/11/26): Top-Secret Document Reveals NSA Spied On Porn Habits As Part Of Plan To Discredit 'Radicalizers'

Does it explain, "they are used in combination with....."?

Is this talking about "in order to shape the impressions we get about the messenger and his followers?"

  • It modifies exploited, and the perceptions to be shaped are those of the people whom the messenger addresses. This is about discrediting the messenger and his message among those he wishes to influence. – StoneyB Nov 27 '13 at 21:35
  • I don't understand your second question. – Tyler James Young Nov 28 '13 at 0:38
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"Focusing on access reveals potential vulnerabilities that could be even more effectively exploited when used in combination with vulnerabilities of character or credibility, or both, of the message in order to shape the perception of the messenger as well as that of his followers," the document argues.

It's pretty much saying that if you focus on access, you will find potential vulnerabilities, of which if you combine them with vulnerabilities of character or credibility of the message, you will be able to more effectively fool the messenger and his followers (as Damkerng T. answered).

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I believe that you parsed the sentence correctly.

I parse it like this (not illustrated in the best possible way, but I want to avoid nested parentheses),

(Focusing on access) reveals (potential vulnerabilities) that could be even more effectively exploited (when used in combination with) (vulnerabilities of character or credibility, or both, of the message) in order to shape (the perception of the messenger) as well as (that of his followers)

The only difference is my interpretation. I understand it as "in order to fool both the messenger and his followers".

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