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  1. #26
    Thailand Expat tomcat's Avatar
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    ...rusbots pressed into service once again!

    Russia turns on Morgan Freeman over election 'war' video











    Media caption
    Russia has aimed its entire media arsenal at the veteran Hollywood actor Morgan Freeman over his appearance in a video accusing the Kremlin of waging "war" on America during last year's presidential election.
    The video shows the Oscar winner accusing President Vladimir Putin, a "former KGB spy", of launching cyber attacks and spreading false information in order to avenge the collapse of the Soviet Union.
    He urges President Donald Trump to tell the nation that "during this past election, we came under attack by the Russian government".
    The clip was produced by The Committee to Investigate Russia, a group set up by Hollywood director Rob Reiner to expose what it calls Russia's "aggressive effort to subvert the American democratic process".
    The committee includes former National Intelligence Agency director James Clapper on its advisory board.
    Freeman 'duped'

    The official Russian reaction has adopted a knowing rather than angry tone, suggesting that Morgan Freeman is more to be pitied as a dupe of political interests.
    President Putin's press secretary Dmitry Peskov said the Kremlin was not taking the film seriously, as its accusations were "groundless and of an exclusively emotional character".
    "Many creative people easily fall victim to emotional strain, and don't have real information about the actual state of affairs," he said, comparing the "emotional manipulation" of Hollywood stars to the McCarthyite anti-Communist campaigns of the 1950s.
    "It will pass with time," concluded Mr Peskov.
    The foreign ministry spokeswoman, Maria Zakharova, wrote on Facebook that Morgan Freeman had been "duped" in an attempt to stop alleged wiretapping of the Trump campaign under the Obama administration from "turning into a new Watergate".
    She predicted a "spectacular finale" when the truth comes out - "I can't wait".
    'Russophobic cliches'

    Official and pro-Kremlin TV channels went further.
    Image copyrightROSSIYA 24Image captionRossiya 24 caption reads 'Hysterical Freeman'The Rossiya 24 rolling news channel brought together a panel of psychiatrists, who attributed Morgan Freeman's performance to a Messianic complex resulting from playing God or the president in several films, not to mention "drug abuse".
    The channel's eccentric weatherman Vadim Zavodchenkov also got in on the act, explaining that Mr Freeman was ill through "overwork and marijuana use".
    TV Centre subjected the video to detailed analysis, concluding that it was the actor's "worst role".
    He put his "deep, persuasive voice" to the service of an "establishment campaign to oust Trump", in which the video plays the part of "softening up public opinion," it said.

    St Petersburg's Channel 5 warned Morgan Freeman that he had "lost millions of Russian fans in a moment" by turning into an "American propaganda loudspeaker" repeating "Russophobic cliches".
    It surveyed the views of some Russian cinema stars, none of whom approved of Morgan Freeman's latest role.
    Director Vladimir Bortko lamented a "remarkable artiste talking utter nonsense", and Andrei Konchalovsky mused that performers are "in general excitable buffoons, and easily led into propaganda".
    The actor Nikolai Burlyayev was more measured, saying it was "a matter for his conscience".
    Image copyrightNTVImage captionMikhail Gorevoy: 'Make our countries closer'He added: "If I were offered a text saying something about America, I would turn it down, even though I am critical of the country. Everyone is free to choose."
    The NTV channel also turned to Russian cinema for reaction, eliciting the thought from director Stanislav Govorukhin that "not all actors are idiots, but you will find some who are. It happens".
    Mikhail Gorevoy, who has played Russian heavies in Bond movies and the Steven Spielberg film Bridge of Spies, used NTV to appeal to Morgan Freeman directly.
    Speaking in English and Russian, he called on American actors to "make our countries closer, not to tear us apart".
    'Fear and loathing'

    The pro-Kremlin press also joined in. The popular tabloid Moskovsky Komsomolets headlined its story "Morgan Freeman's Fear and Loathing".
    Journalist Mikhail Rostovsky also accused the actor of reacting emotionally, saying he was involved in a "highly aggressive and specific propaganda campaign against our country".
    "But even though Morgan Freeman is being used, I'll always love his films," Mr Rostovsky assured the actor.
    #StopMorganLie

    Condemnation of Morgan Freeman on Russian Twitter is blossoming with the English hashtag #StopMorganLie, in what social media analyst Eliot Higginssees as a campaign by Russia's RT broadcaster.
    Skip Twitter post by @EliotHiggins


    RT tries to make #StopMorganLie a thing, quoting accounts with barely any followers to make their case https://www.rt.com/news/404000-twitter-criticism-freeman-putin/ …
    2:07 PM - Sep 21, 2017


    Certainly, many of these tweets repeat formulas along the lines of "The Indians remember American democracy all too well, as they do in Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Iraq, Libya and Yugoslavia. Are you really proud of this democracy?" in English and Russian.
    But an NTV programme presenter concludes by hoping that, "in the best Hollywood tradition, this will have a happy ending".
    Majestically enthroned amid the vulgar herd

  2. #27
    Thailand Expat tomcat's Avatar
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    ...a busy time for rusbots!

    (CNN)@tpartynews looked as American as could be. A Twitter account, its profile photo on the site was a "Tea Party" teapot in the colors of the American flag. Its cover photo was an image of the U.S. Constitution.

    In the lead-up to the 2016 presidential election, @tpartynews posted pro-Trump, conservative and anti-immigrant messages. It regularly retweeted Fox News, Ann Coulter and other conservative Twitter accounts. And 22,000 accounts followed it -- one of them former White House advisor Sebastian Gorka's.
    But @tpartynews wasn't American. It was part of a Russian propaganda operation, according to Russian journalists who discovered the link.
    Those journalists discovered that @tpartynews was linked to Russia's Internet Research Agency, a shadowy news service with ties to the Kremlin -- one of up to 50 such twitter accounts which collectively had more than 600,000 followers. The Internet Research Agency was also the group linked to $100,000 worth of politically-themed ads purchased on Facebook during the 2016 election, the existence of which Facebook disclosed to Congress and the public earlier this month.
    As with Facebook, there is growing evidence that foreign governments, including Russia, used Twitter to try and influence public opinion during the 2016 U.S. election.


    Part of the Russian propaganda campaign during the election involved the creation of an entire army of trolls and automated "bots" on Twitter, which together overwhelmingly supported one candidate, according to two reports by US intelligence agencies.
    Most of these accounts were "made to look like Trump supporters, but actually begin and end in Russia," says Samuel Wooley, the director of the Computational Propaganda project at the Oxford Internet Institute.
    Wooley and his team tracked suspected bot accounts during the 2016 campaign.
    Bots played a "powerful role in determining the flow of information among users" during the election campaign, Wooley's team concluded.
    Bots "amplify someone's position," Wooley told CNN. "So people like to tell me, 'propaganda has been around forever.' But what I say to this is, 'when you computationally enhance propaganda, you have a much more difficult time parsing information and understanding actually what's going on."
    The Russian campaign created an illusion of support, says Wooley, that was manufactured by people or institutions creating automated twitter accounts.
    After reviewing 17 million tweets, the Oxford Internet Institute found that the automated accounts "supported Trump much more than Clinton.." and concluded there was a "... possibility that bots were a key player in allowing social media activity to influence the election in Trump's favour."
    @tpartynews is no longer active. The account has been shut down by Twitter, though the company won't say why. According to Zakharov, the account ended just as Russian media began to expose it.
    Evidence of Russian Twitter use is emerging as Facebook faces scrutiny following its disclosure of the ads purchased by Russians on that network during the election.
    But there is a glaring difference in how the two social media companies are reacting to the news. While Facebook says it is working to prevent future misuse of its platform, Twitter says its plan is to let its open forum service fix itself. The company encourages users who see falsehoods being posted to counter that message with the truth. Twitter says it will not screen accounts based on political content -- though it does shut down accounts tied to terrorism, hate-related violence, and child pornography.
    The company will not answer questions about specific accounts, and that includes @tpartynews.
    When asked about specific policy, Twitter directed CNN to a June blog post written by its vice president of public policy, Colin Crowell.
    "Twitter's open and real-time nature is a powerful antidote to the spreading of all types of false information. This is important because we cannot distinguish whether every single Tweet from every person is truthful or not. We, as a company, should not be the arbiter of truth," Crowell wrote.
    Instead, Crowell said, it is up to "journalists, experts and engaged citizens" to correct misinformation.
    Which brings us back to @tpartynews and one of its most prominent followers.
    Wooley says getting influential social media users to follow Russian propaganda accounts was an important part of the disinformation campaign.
    "The hope of the bot and the hope of the creator of the bot... is that someone picks it up and tweets it out, and then lots of other people make it viral."
    Sebastian Gorka has that kind of influence and he was following @tpartynews. From January until he was pushed out in August, Gorka served as a deputy assistant to President Trump. He was a frequent guest on television and talk radio, and an avid Twitter user.
    CNN contacted Gorka by e-mail to ask him if he knew he was following a potential Russian propaganda account, and if so why he would do that. In his response, he seemed to indicate that he did, saying that he followed it for the "same reason I follow CNN: ... to know what the Enemies of Truth are doing."

  3. #28
    Thailand Expat misskit's Avatar
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  4. #29
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    Dozhd is only in Russian, so couldn't pick up the original interview.



    An ex St. Petersburg ‘troll’ speaks out Russian independent TV network interviews former troll at the Internet Research Agency

    One of the many remarkable things about 2017 is that American journalists no longer have the Irish Republican Army in mind when writing “IRA,” which is now used most often to mean the Internet Research Agency — the “troll factory” responsible for buying ads on social media and polluting American online news discussion in an apparent effort to destabilize U.S. democracy. On October 15, the Russian independent news network Dozhd published the latest development in this ongoing story: an interview with a man who allegedly worked for the IRA from 2014-2015. Meduza summarizes that interview here.




    Dozhd calls him “Maxim,” but that’s not his real name. The TV network says Max’s employment records confirm that he spent 18 months at 55 Savushkina in St. Petersburg, working for the Internet Research Agency (IRA), Russia’s infamous “troll factory.” He quit in early 2015, before Donald Trump even announced his presidential candidacy, but not too soon to get a taste of the “factory’s” war on Hillary Clinton.


    The foreign desk
    According to Max, the IRA’s “foreign desk” had open orders to “influence opinions” and change the direction of online discussions. He says this department within the agency considered itself above the “Russian desk,” which he claims is generally “bots and trolls.” The foreign desk was supposedly more sophisticated. “It’s not just writing ‘Obama is a monkey’ and ‘Putin is great.’ They’ll even fine you for that kind of [primitive] stuff,” Max told Dozhd. People in his department, he says, were even trained and educated to know the nuances of American social polemics on tax issues, LGBT rights, the gun debate, and more.


    Max says that IRA staff were tasked with monitoring tens of thousands of comments on major U.S. media outlets, in order to grasp the general trends of American Internet users. Once employees got a sense of what Americans naturally discussed in comment forums and on social media, their job was to incite them further and try to “rock the boat.”


    According to Max, the Internet Research Agency’s foreign desk was prohibited from promoting anything about Russia or Putin. One thing the staff learned quickly was that Americans don’t normally talk about Russia: “They don’t really care about it,” Max told Dozhd. “Our goal wasn’t to turn the Americans toward Russia,” he claims. “Our task was to set Americans against their own government: to provoke unrest and discontent, and to lower Obama’s support ratings.”


    Covering their tracks
    The trolls at the IRA were also careful about covering their tracks. Max says anyone working in the foreign desk was required to post comments using a VPN, to disguise their Russian origins. He says an employee once shared a photograph taken at the IRA’s office, which was especially forbidden, because photos can contain revealing metadata. This incident also revealed that the IRA employed staff to spy on its own trolls, Max says.


    Even two years before Americans actually voted on their next president, St. Petersburg trolls were told to attack Hillary Clinton, reminding Internet users about her wealth, her husband’s legacy, and her various corruption scandals. The IRA even encouraged employees to watch Netflix’s “House of Cards,” supposedly as an education in U.S. politics. Staff would also monitor each other’s use of English, nitpicking over grammar and punctuation, in order to weed out ESL formulations.


    A separate “Facebook desk” supposedly battled endlessly with the website’s administrators, who regularly deleted their fake accounts just as IRA staff managed to “develop” them into supposedly powerhouse influencers (accounts with many friends and posts). IRA staff challenged these decisions, Max said. Facebook staff would write to them, saying, “You are trolls,” and the agency would respond, invoking the U.S. Constitution, and arguing that they believed in what they were doing, and were entitled to free speech. Sometimes they even won, according to Max.


    Growing sophistication
    As time went on, the IRA’s themes grew more complex, and staff were even subjected to lessons on U.S. tax policy, so they could expand their trolling to tax-related issues. A separate “Analytics desk” would supposedly supply his department with Excel files containing hyperlinks to news stories and short summaries of how to comment on these articles, in order to incite American Internet users and derail political discussions.


    When the U.S. presidential race was just starting, the IRA supposedly conducted classes on which of the early candidates were best for Russian interests. Max says the IRA even maintained a “secret department” that sent staff to the United States for certain undisclosed tasks.


    Max says the international desk had about 200 employees, each earning 50,000 rubles ($870) a month. Staff would work two days, then have two days off, before repeating the schedule. People worked 12-hour shifts, he says.


    When the job stopped being fun
    Before he left, Max says the IRA started demanding more from its staff, fining employees more often and focusing more on the quantity than the quality of their output. Then there was a change in management and all his co-workers were fired, he says.


    The staff changes apparently followed an employee’s decision to grant an interview to local reporters, including leaked photos of the IRA’s St. Petersburg office. “They found the culprits quickly,” Max says. “They detained them in the basement, and interrogated them, asking, “What did you do? How did you do it? Whom did you tell?’”


    In early 2015, something happened, Max says, and the IRA apparently started burning documents. He didn’t see it himself, but he says he could smell the fire in the office building. Staff were ordered to delete their records, people started being reassigned, “and everything got much worse,” Max claims.


    After the leak and the interview, IRA administrators apparently started meeting specially with employees, telling them that they should be proud, not ashamed, of their work. “Because every country has their own kind of organization that defends their national interests and distributes civil unrest,” managers told staff. “This is information war, and it’s official.”


    https://meduza.io/en/feature/2017/10...oll-speaks-out

  5. #30
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    Exclusive: Putin's 'chef,' the man behind the troll factory

    Yevgeny Prigozhin is a Russian oligarch dubbed "chef" to President Vladimir Putin by the Russian press. In 2002, he served caviar and truffles to President George W. Bush during a summit in St. Petersburg. Before that, he renovated a boat that became the city's most exclusive restaurant.

    But his business empire has expanded far beyond the kitchen. US investigators believe it was Prigozhin's company that financed a Russian "troll factory" that used social media to spread fake news during the 2016 US presidential campaign, according to multiple officials briefed on the investigation. One part of the factory had a particularly intriguing name and mission: a "Department of Provocations" dedicated to sowing fake news and social divisions in the West, according to internal company documents obtained by CNN.

    Prigozhin is one of the Kremlin's inner circle. His company is believed to be a main backer of the St. Petersburg-based "Internet Research Agency" (IRA), a secretive technology firm, according to US officials and the documents reviewed by CNN. Prigozhin was sanctioned by the US Treasury Department in December of 2016 for providing financial support for Russia's military occupation of Ukraine. Two of his companies, including his catering business, were also sanctioned by Treasury this year.

    CNN has examined scores of documents leaked from Prigozhin's companies that show further evidence of his links to the troll factory.

    One contract provided IRA with ways to monitor social media and a "system of automized promotion in search engines."

    Other documents show that the monthly budget for IRA was around $1 million in 2013 -- split between departments that included Russian-language operations and the use of social media in English. The "Department of Provocations" offers this mission: "how do we create news items to achieve our goals."

    Another document shows a 2013 contract drawn up by an employee at Concord Management and Consulting, Prigozhin's main business, based in St. Petersburg. The contract was for 20 million rubles (then $650,000) for construction work at the IRA and was signed by the director general of IRA.

    Additionally, company records reviewed by CNN show that an employee at Concord Consulting subsequently joined IRA.

    Several emails and calls from CNN to Concord Consulting went unanswered. The IRA no longer exists.

    Prigozhin is notoriously image-conscious. Last year, he filed 15 lawsuits against the Internet company Yandex, using a Russian law that obliges online search engines to remove "illegal, inaccurate, or irrelevant information." The case was subsequently dropped.

    The Internet Research Agency has long been in the crosshairs of US investigations. A declassified assessment by the US intelligence community published in January concluded that the "likely financier of the so-called Internet Research Agency of professional trolls located in Saint Petersburg is a close Putin ally with ties to Russian intelligence," though it did not name Prigozhin.

    Prigozhin has a colorful past. He spent nine years in prison in the 1980s for fraud and robbery, according to Russian media reports. After his release, he went into the catering business -- renovating a boat and opening New Island, one of a half-dozen upscale restaurants he owns in St. Petersburg. Putin turned to him to cater his birthday parties as well as dinners with visiting leaders, including President Bush and Jacques Chirac of France. A headline in The Moscow Times referred to Prigozhin as Putin's "Personal Chef."

    Prigozhin subsequently won lucrative catering contracts for schools and Russia's armed forces. He escorted Putin around his new food-processing factory in 2010. By then he was very much a Kremlin insider with a growing commercial empire.

    Origins of IRA

    The Internet Research Agency was based at 55 Savushkina Street in St. Petersburg before it officially ceased operations on December 28, 2016. But investigative journalist Andrei Zakharov, who works for the business media group RBC, says its work continues.

    "They have a lot of legal entities," Zakharov says, "and they still, I think, change it every year or every two years."

    Company registrations retrieved by CNN appear to confirm that. Another company at 55 Savushkina Street is Glavset, whose director general has the same name as the boss of IRA. The name matches that of a former regional police chief in St. Petersburg.
    CNN has also tried to reach Glavset's management without success.

    Glavset lists the "creation and use of databases and information resources" as well as the "development of computer software, advertising services and information placement services" among its activities. It was listed as a company in the Russian legal entities registry in February 2015.

    A short time later, it began advertising for staff on a headhunting site (hh.ru). One post looking for a copywriter says the job involves "writing diverse texts for the Internet and content for social networks." The posting offered a salary of 30,000 rubles a month (then a little over $500) and said experience was unnecessary. Recruits would work with a team of "young and enthusiastic colleagues" in "a comfortable and stylish office," according to the posting.

    That's not how Ludmila Savchuk remembers IRA, where she worked for two months in 2015. She told CNN a card system restricted access to other floors and employees were always under camera surveillance.

    "Employees are not really allowed to talk to each other," she said.

    Savchuk says she estimates that now "there are about 1,000 people working at Savushkina Street. And this is just one building." She believes other employees work remotely.

    Another former employee, interviewed anonymously by the independent Russian TV network RAIN this week, said: "There was a goal -- to influence opinions, to lead to a discussion. ... There was a strategy document. It was necessary to know all the main problems of the United States of America. Tax problems, the problem of gays, sexual minorities, weapons."

    The former employee said the mission was to "get into the dispute yourself to fire it up, try to rock the boat." He gave an example: "It was necessary to write that sodomy is a sin. This would always get you a couple of dozen likes."

    He said IRA made its employees watch the US TV series "House of Cards" to improve their English.

    Not unlike the fictional White House of Frank Underwood, Savchuk says, "The atmosphere there reminded me of some anti-utopian Gulag."

    Putin's 'chef,' the man behind the troll factory - CNNPolitics

  6. #31
    Thailand Expat misskit's Avatar
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    Twitter Drops Ads by Russia’s Sputnik, RT

    The social media company Twitter on Thursday announced it would block any advertising on its platform from Russia-sponsored news outlets Sputnik and RT.


    The company, in a statement on its blog, said it took the step as part of its “ongoing commitment to help protect the integrity of the user experience on Twitter.”


    Twitter cited a report produced in January by U.S. intelligence agencies that concluded the Russian government attempted to interfere in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.


    “Early this year, the U.S. intelligence community named RT and Sputnik as implementing state-sponsored Russian efforts to interfere with and disrupt the 2016 Presidential election, which is not something we want on Twitter,” the company statement read.


    In its report, the intelligence community concluded “with high confidence” that Russian President Vladimir Putin directed an influence campaign intended to “undermine public faith in the U.S. democratic process, denigrate Secretary [Hillary] Clinton, and harm her electability and potential presidency.”


    Further, the report claims “Putin and the Russian Government aspired to help President-elect [Donald] Trump’s election chances when possible by discrediting Secretary Clinton and publicly contrasting her unfavorably to him,” though it provides no direct evidence for either of these claims.


    The Russian effort to influence the election is said to have consisted of several hundred fake Twitter accounts and about $100,000 worth of Facebook ads promoting "divisive" causes like Black Lives Matter. U.S. media reports also indicate Russians purchased similar ads on Google.


    Lawyers for Twitter and Facebook will testify next month at hearings before congressional committees investigating what, if any, effect the Russian trolls may have had on the election.


    Twitter said it will still allow RT, formerly called Russia Today, and Sputnik to remain as users on the platform, but they will not be eligible to buy ads. The company also said it will take the nearly $2 million it has earned on ads from the Russian news agencies since 2011 and donate it to support “external research into the use of Twitter in civic engagement and elections.”


    https://www.voanews.com/a/twitter-bl...k/4087404.html

  7. #32
    Thailand Expat misskit's Avatar
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    The social media ads Russia wanted Americans to see


    A batch of the ads was released Wednesday by members of the House intelligence panel here...

    https://www.politico.com/story/2017/11/01/social-media-ads-russia-wanted-americans-to-see-244423

  8. #33
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    Russian troll describes work in the infamous misinformation factory


    For months, Vitaly Bespalov, 26, was one of hundreds of workers pumping out misinformation online at the Internet Research Agency, the Russian troll factory responsible for explosive content seen by 126 million Americans in the run-up to the U.S. presidential election.
    In many ways, the IRA was like a normal IT facility, Bespalov told NBC News in an exclusive broadcast interview. There were day shifts and night shifts, a cafeteria, and workers were seated at computers in a large open floor plan.
    But in the squat, four-story concrete building on Savushkina Street in St. Petersburg, secured by camouflaged guards and turnstiles, bloggers and former journalists worked around the clock to create thousands of incendiary social media posts and news articles to meet specific quotas.

    The work was all "Lies... a merry-go-round of lies," Bespalov said. "When you get on the carousel, you do not know who is behind you and neither you are aware of who is in front of you — but all of you are running around within the same circle," he said.

    Bespalov told NBC News he "absolutely" believes the agency is connected to the Kremlin — a notion backed up by the U.S. intelligence community, which noted that a "close Putin ally with ties to Russian intelligence" is the "likely financier" of the agency.

    MORE https://www.nbcnews.com/news/all/rus...actory-n821486

  9. #34
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    Russian troll describes work in the infamous misinformation factory

    For months, Vitaly Bespalov, 26, was one of hundreds of workers pumping out misinformation online at the Internet Research Agency, the Russian troll factory responsible for explosive content seen by 126 million Americans in the run-up to the U.S. presidential election.
    In many ways, the IRA was like a normal IT facility, Bespalov told NBC News in an exclusive broadcast interview. There were day shifts and night shifts, a cafeteria, and workers were seated at computers in a large open floor plan.
    But in the squat, four-story concrete building on Savushkina Street in St. Petersburg, secured by camouflaged guards and turnstiles, bloggers and former journalists worked around the clock to create thousands of incendiary social media posts and news articles to meet specific quotas.

    The work was all "Lies... a merry-go-round of lies," Bespalov said. "When you get on the carousel, you do not know who is behind you and neither you are aware of who is in front of you — but all of you are running around within the same circle," he said.

    Bespalov told NBC News he "absolutely" believes the agency is connected to the Kremlin — a notion backed up by the U.S. intelligence community, which noted that a "close Putin ally with ties to Russian intelligence" is the "likely financier" of the agency.

    MORE https://www.nbcnews.com/news/all/russian-troll-describes-work-infamous-misinformation-factory-n821486

  10. #35
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    A notorious Russian Twitter troll came back, and for a week Twitter did nothing

    Update: Twitter suspended the new "Jenna Abrams" account minutes after CNN published this article revealing its existence and Twitter's lack of action against it.

    A Kremlin-linked troll that has become infamous after having fooled thousands of Americans appears to have returned to Twitter more than a week ago. The account is proudly touting itself as a Russian troll in its Twitter bio, but Twitter has taken no action against it.



    Using the pseudonym "Jenna Abrams" and photographs of a Russian woman, the troll account in its initial incarnation posted more than 25,000 tweets using an invented persona of a conservative American woman. Before it was shut down, "Abrams" amassed a following of more than 70,000 -- including, according to a CNN analysis, former members of the Trump administration Michael Flynn and Sebastian Gorka, as well as Flynn's son Michael Flynn Jr.


    The account was on Twitter for years until the company determined it was part of a network of almost 3,000 accounts run by the Internet Research Agency, a troll army in St Petersburg, Russia, that has ties to the Kremlin, and shut it down. The House Intelligence Committee earlier this month released a list of IRA-linked accounts that Twitter had compiled and provided to the Committee; the Abrams account was among them.


    The Abrams account has become one of the most infamous of the IRA's efforts ever since its link to the group was first reported by RBC, a Russian magazine, in October. That's in part because of the success it had in coming to wider attention. Tweets from the account were featured by dozens of American and international news organizations, including CNN.

    MORE. A notorious Russian Twitter troll came back, and for a week Twitter did nothing - Nov. 17, 2017

  11. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by misskit View Post
    Using the pseudonym "Jenna Abrams" and photographs of a Russian woman, the troll account in its initial incarnation posted more than 25,000 tweets using an invented persona of a conservative American woman. Before it was shut down, "Abrams" amassed a following of more than 70,000 -- including, according to a CNN analysis, former members of the Trump administration Michael Flynn and Sebastian Gorka, as well as Flynn's son Michael Flynn Jr.
    The right takes to these trolls like lambs being led to the slaughter.

  12. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by bsnub View Post
    The right takes to these trolls like lambs being led to the slaughter.
    of course: they're designed to be sympathetic reading for folks lacking discernment...

  13. #38
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    oops dup
    Last edited by misskit; 05-02-2018 at 11:54 AM.

  14. #39
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    Still at it!

    How Twitter Bots and Trump Fans Made #ReleaseTheMemo Go Viral

    Russian bots and their American allies gamed social media to put a flawed intelligence document atop the political agenda. That should alarm us.



    On Tuesday morning—the day after the House Intelligence Committee voted along partisan lines to send Rep. Devin Nunes’ memo, alleging abuses of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, to President Donald Trump for declassification—presidential adviser Kellyanne Conway was confronted with the idea that Russian trolls were promoting the #releasethememo hashtag online. She was offended. Russian trolls, she told a television interviewer, “have nothing to do with releasing the memo—that was a vote of the intelligence committee.” But her assertion is incorrect. The vote marked the culmination of a targeted, 11-day information operation that was amplified by computational propaganda techniques and aimed to change both public perceptions and the behavior of American lawmakers.


    And it worked. By the time the memo got to the president, its release was a forgone conclusion—even before he had read it.


    This bears repeating: Computational propaganda—defined as “the use of information and communication technologies to manipulate perceptions, affect cognition, and influence behavior”—has been used, successfully, to manipulate the perceptions of the American public and the actions of elected officials.


    The analysis below, conducted by our team from the social media intelligence group New Media Frontier, shows that the #releasethememo campaign was fueled by, and likely originated from, computational propaganda. It is critical that we understand how this was done and what it means for the future of American democracy.



    ***
    In the space of a few hours on January 18, #releasethememo exploded on Twitter, evolving over the next few days from being a marker for discussion on Nunes’ memo through multiple iterations of an expanding conspiracy theory about missing FBI text messages and imaginary secret societies plotting internal coups against the president. #releasethememo provided an organizational framework for this comprehensive conspiracy theory, which, in its underpinnings, is meant to minimize and muddle concerns about Russian interference in American politics.


    The rapid appearance and amplification of this messaging campaign, flagged by the German Marshall Fund’s Hamilton68 dashboard as being promoted by accounts previously linked to Russian disinformation efforts, sparked the leading Democrats on the House and Senate Intelligence Committees to write a letter to Twitter and Facebook asking for information on whether or not this campaign was driven by Russian accounts. Another report, sourced to analysis said to be from Twitter itself, identified the hashtag as an “organic” “American” campaign linked to “Republican” accounts. Promoters of #releasethememo rapidly began mocking the idea that they are Russian bots. (There are even entirely new accounts set up to tweet that they are not Russian bots promoting #releasethememo, even though their only content is about releasing the supposed memo.)


    But this back and forth masks the real point. Whether it is Republican or Russian or “Macedonian teenagers”—it doesn't really matter. It is computational propaganda—meaning artificially amplified and targeted for a specific purpose—and it dominated political discussions in the United States for days. The #releasethememo campaign came out of nowhere. Its movement from social media to fringe/far-right media to mainstream media so swift that both the speed and the story itself became impossible to ignore. The frenzy of activity spurred lawmakers and the White House to release the Nunes memo, which critics say is a purposeful misrepresentation of classified intelligence meant to discredit the Russia probe and protect the president.


    And this, ultimately, is what everyone has been missing in the past 14 months about the use of social media to spread disinformation. Information and psychological operations being conducted on social media—often mischaracterized by the dismissive label “fake news”—are not just about information, but about changing behavior. And they can be surprisingly effective.


    The anatomy of the campaign


    On the afternoon of January 18, a group of congressmen started tweeting about the Nunes FISA abuse memo. At 3:47 p.m., Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) went on FoxBusiness and gave an interview about the supposed memo. None of them, to this point, were talking about #releasethememo—the hashtag, that is.


    The hashtag originated with Twitter user @underthemoraine at 3:52 p.m. on January 18. The tweet tags the president, @realDonaldTrump. The account for @underthemoraine, most recently named “Lois Lerner Testimony” and whose bio references the Lerner testimony and #MAGA, is currently marked as restricted by Twitter for “unusual activity.”

    Molly McKew/Contributed


    Judging from weather reports that are occasionally posted, pictures of the woods, and tweets to friends, @underthemoraine appears to be a real guy in Michigan, a battleground state (we believe we have confirmed his real name/identity, but will not use it since he does not). He has a history of tweeting about trending conservative media topics—Antifa, #BlueLivesMatter, boycotting the NFL, social media filtering out conservative views, the climate change "hoax," special counsel Robert Mueller. He engages with far-right media—Breitbart, InfoWars, Alex Jones, Drudge—and occasionally posts on astronomy and UFOs.

    Moraine has few followers (74 at last count) and is not particularly influential. However, his account is followed by several accounts that are probable bots as well as by the verified account of the Michigan Republican Party (@MIGOP, which first used #releasethememo at 5:41 a.m. on January 19), an account that likely auto-follows other accounts that engage with it.


    At 4 p.m., one of Moraine’s followers, @KARYN19138585—an account that has the 8-digit fingerprint associated with some Russian bot accounts—responds to @underthemoraine’s tweet, saying Moraine is the first one tweeting about this breaking news topic.

    Molly McKew/Contributed


    The KARYN account is an interesting example of how bots lay a groundwork of information architecture within social media. It was registered in 2012, tweeting only a handful of times between July 2012 and November 2013 (mostly against President Barack Obama and in favor of the GOP). Then the account goes dormant until June 2016—the period that was identified by former FBI Director James Comey as the beginning of the most intense phase of Russian operations to interfere in the U.S. elections. The frequency of tweets builds from a few a week to a few a day. By October 11, there are dozens of posts a day, including YouTube videos, tweets to political officials and influencers and media personalities, and lots of replies to posts by the Trump team and related journalists. The content is almost entirely political, occasionally mentioning Florida, another battleground state, and sometimes posting what appear to be personal photos (which, if checked, come from many different phones and sources and appear “borrowed”). In October 2016, KARYN is tweeting a lot about Muslims/radical Islam attacking democracy and America; how Bill Clinton had lots of affairs; alleged financial wrongdoing on Clinton’s part; and, of course, WikiLeaks.


    All of these topics were promoted by Russian disinformation campaigns. There is little content promoting Trump; it is almost entirely attacking Clinton. On November 1, for example, KARYN posted a showing “the video Hillary Clinton doesn’t want you to see”—“documenting” alleged health concerns (it got almost half a million views on YouTube). After November 9, the day after the election, KARYN’s tweet volume drops back to a couple a day. Since the revival of the account, there are more than 32,000 tweets and replies—about 66 tweets per day, plus a similar amount of likes. Based on this pattern and and the digital forensics, it’s clear KARYN is a bot—a bot that follows a random Republican guy in Michigan with 70-some followers. Why?


    Bots both gather and disseminate information—the “gathering” part is important, and rarely discussed. So, let’s say KARYN was created, abandoned (as many fake accounts often are), and then reactivated and “slaved” to an effort to smear Clinton online. Why would a bot account follow some nobody in Michigan? It would be fair to say that if you were setting up accounts to track views representative of a Trump-supporter, @underthemoraine would be a pulse to keep a finger on—the virtual Michigan “man in the diner” or “taxi driver” that journalists are forever citing as proof of conversations with real, nonpolitical humans in swing states. KARYN follows hundreds of such accounts, plus conservative media, and a lot of other bots.


    Back to the afternoon of January 18: KARYN retweets Moraine’s post, becoming the third account to use the hashtag; around this time, automation networks—groups of accounts that automatically retweet, reply to or repost identical content, sometimes using software platforms and sometimes using lists—start weighing in on the hashtag.


    The second account to tweet #releasethememo is @well_in_usa—an account opened in July 2014, now largely deleted. The account, which in 2016 was tweeting a steady stream of anti-Clinton, pro-Trump content, weighing in on topics like “Clinton enabling sexual predators” and #ArrestSoros, has been deleting its tweets since people started watching #releasethememo (as of January 25, everything after December 19, 2017, was deleted; as of January 29, only a handful of replies from 2017 remained; on February 2, retweeted content from 2016 is visible again)—but we have some of them from an archived version.

    Molly McKew/Contributed


    In addition to tweeting #releasethememo to @realdonaldtrump, Well tags @RepMattGaetz and @LizClaman of Fox News, quote-tweeting a post on the Nunes memo from the fanatically pro-Trump media personality Bill Mitchell. This was, primarily, what the Well account did—retweet and reply to accounts with hashtags included, marking them into messaging campaigns. Well is engaging and directing traffic to a specific group of accounts on specific discussions. These accounts often have short shelf lives, appearing as needed and disappearing when their usefulness has passed (or once flagged by Twitter).


    The fourth account to enter this mix is “Queen Covfefe” @clasimpmv, which tweeted #releasethememo at 4 p.m. and also retweeted the original Moraine tweet around 6:18 p.m. Though we have confirmed her identity, we will not use it here, as she does not. The twitter ID is the same as an email listed on a linked-in account for a woman in South Carolina, an early primary state, who is a nutritionist and hemp-oil promoter. The profile photo was changed from an anonymous meme to a picture of the woman with Trump at a political rally after she was accused of being a bot for promoting the hashtag. A woman with the same name was recently interviewed by a German newspaper for a profile on Trump supporters. So, this seems to be the account of a real person voluntarily and quite deliberately participating in the effort to amplify the reach of #releasethememo.


    In the 24 months since the account was established, Queen has tweeted 47,000 times—about 65 times per day, so about the same rate as the active bot. She has tweeted #releasethememo hundreds of times in a few days. She often retweets lists of other twitter handles (sometimes hundreds of names per list)—“people” that you are supposed to follow and retweet to build your own following and influence. They are often labeled with “Follow/retweet/comment for a follow back!” Two such lists, for example, were retweeted by Queen on January 19 and February 2. Each list includes at least a few bots. Some bots are amplifiers—in the simplest form, they automatically follow accounts that follow them, and retweet tweets from those accounts (sometimes, other parameters such as keywords are factored in). It is an element of automation. The rest is about network, echo chamber, fake influence and amplification.


    Popping up a little further down the line, around 6 p.m., is “Stonewall Jackson” @1776Stonewall, an anonymous account of a supposed “American history buff” who has around 50,000 followers, far more than early accounts that had been engaging in #releasethememo. It was launched in November 2016 (tweeting around 57 times/day), and some personal-seeming tweets reference New York. It is a “follow-back” account, so partially automated and positioned within an amplification network; it is followed by and follows many likely Russian bots, plus accounts with hundreds of thousands of followers that automatically retweet Stonewall’s content. It tweets once or twice a day about history—baseball, the Cold War, the Civil War, astronauts, The Dukes of Hazzard, etc.—but primarily, it is far-right U.S. political content.


    For the first few hours, only fringe accounts promote #releasethememo. But accounts like Queen (who had just under 5,000 followers) and Stonewall begin to retweet each other and push the hashtag to their followers with explicit instructions to “make it trend.”

    Molly McKew/Contributed


    These accounts are organizers and amplifiers. Technically, they both probably qualify as “cyborgs”—accounts with “human conductors” that are partly automated and linked to networks that automatically amplify content.


    But in Queen’s case, she is something interesting: essentially, a willing human bot. The organization of conservative accounts like these using “Twitter rooms” to coordinate their efforts was previously reported on by Politico. Her account automatically reposts hashtags and memes and contributes to campaigns that she and the other promoters understand are purposeful attempts to game the algorithms and “make things trend.” She and others simultaneously understand who needs to be targeted with this information—in this case, the president, right-influencers and specific members of Congress. She may be a real person with real beliefs in Trump and what he represents, but when she tweets hundreds of times over the course of a week using #releasethememo, while artificially enhancing her followers (using the “follow-back” lists, etc.) and exhorting others to amplify the hashtag, she is just as much an element of computational propaganda against the American public as a Russian bot.


    ***
    Use any basic analytical software to scroll through the early promoters of #releasethememo, and you’ll see most of the accounts meet basic criteria for bot/troll/cyborg suspicion—what the Atlantic Council’s open-source intelligence research group DFRLab describes as “activity, amplification, and anonymity.” There is also a consistent theme in the list of identities—the repetition of certain words (deplorable, Texas, mom, veteran) and certain first names; use of an American flag emoji at the end of the name; specific numbers or patterns of numerical sequences associated with bots; names changed to hashtags, or frequently shifted between trending right-media topics (Benghazi, NFL boycott, the memo, the emails); photos that aren’t faces, or not unobscured faces, or certainly not of them if they are.


    There is little chance an organic or incidental community, even of friends or acquaintances, would look this way online so holistically, tweeting together in such tight intervals. Several of the accounts involved in the initial promotion of this hashtag have subsequently been restricted or suspended by Twitter. Online data analysts said many accounts used to promote the hashtag were recently created, with more being created and disappearing after the hashtag appeared.

    Thousands still had the default profile photos. CNN’s analysis found that hundreds of accounts created after the hashtag first appeared were fueling the viral trend.


    Cross-reference this analysis and inputs from things like the Hamilton68 dashboard, and you can see #releasethememo is carried forward by automated accounts overnight after it begins to trend. It continued to do so from its appearance until the memo was released. The volume and noise matter—and so does the targeting.


    A key function of the accounts discussed above is that they tweet at key influencers with these messaging campaigns—media personalities, far-right brand names, and elected officials who might pick up the info or hashtag and legitimize it by repeating it. The accounts tweeting #releasethememo immediately began to target the president (not an unusual occurrence), but also the Trumpiest of congressmen—Republicans Steve King of Iowa, Gaetz, Lee Zeldin of New York, Trey Gowdy of South Carolina, Mark Meadows of North Carolina, Jim Jordan of Ohio, etc.—as well as alt- and far-right influencers and media personalities.

    A few active verified accounts, including @KamVTV—an account that often appears as the first verified amplifier of bot and far-right content—and @scottpresler, picked up the hashtag, and others retweeted tweets sent to them from sketchy accounts. (@saracarterDC of Fox News, for example, RTed an account that is a month old and has already tweeted 1,200 times, including posting content from (other) bots and fake profiles.)


    Molly McKew/Contributed





    Molly McKew/Contributed





    This is a basic social media information operation: Any one of these targets could see the hashtag in their mentions, replies and quoted-tweets. That’s the goal of the coordination and amplification, at least some of which is automated—and the purpose of which is to game the algorithms and “trend” a topic.



    ***
    The hashtag #releasethememo wasn’t the only attempt to dominate online discussion. Before being targeted by amplification campaigns, there were other hashtags being put around by conservative social media mobilizers that either didn’t take off—#FISAgate, #FISAmemo, #releasethedocument, #releasethefile—and others that were previously used as catch-alls for conspiracies—#DeepState, #Transparency, etc. For example, Zeldin tweeted at 4:27 p.m. on January 18 that he had just read the FISA memo and called for its public release.


    He used the hashtag #transparency. In the 4 hours after that tweet, there were more than 500 tweets targeting him with the hashtag #releasethememo. At 8:28 p.m., Zeldin tweeted #releasethememo from his verified congressional account.

    Molly McKew/Contributed


    Verified alt- or far-right personalities—@gatewaypundit, @jacobawohl, @scottpresler, among others—began using the hashtag, in particular tagging Gaetz. At 9:53 p.m., WikiLeaks tweeted #releasethememo. Before midnight, King, Meadows and Gaetz had all tweeted #releasethememo; so had Laura Ingraham, a massively influential conservative media personality with 2 million followers. Each time an influential verified account used the hashtag, it was rapidly promoted by a vast network of accounts. From its appearance until midnight, #releasethememo was used more than 670,000 times.

    Molly McKew/Contributed


    By midnight, the hashtag was being used 250,000 times per hour. At 2:53 a.m. on January 19, the pro-Trump conservative personality Bill Mitchell was posting an article from Breitbart about how #releasethememo was trending online. The hashtag had become the organizing framework for multiple stories and lanes of activity, focusing them into one column, which got a big boost from right-stream media and twitter personalities.


    Some, like Breitbart, would argue this volume is representative of the outpouring of grass-roots support for the topic. But compare this time period to other recent significant events. During a similar duration of time covering the Women’s March on January 20—when more than a million marchers were estimated to be involved in demonstrations across the country—there was a total volume of about 606,000 tweets using the #womensmarch2018 hashtag during its peak (being used at a pace of 87,000 times per hour). During the NFL playoff game the next day (#jaxvsNE), there was a volume of 253,000 tweets, with a top speed of about 75,000 tweets/hour.

    Molly McKew/Contributed



    Molly McKew/Contributed


    The pace and scale of the appearance and amplification of #releasethememo is barely even comparable. This is because the hashtag benefited from computational promotion already built into the system. It was used to target lawmakers who would play a role in releasing the memo—lawmakers who argued that there was public pressure to release the memo. Up until the time of the vote, Republican members of the House Intelligence Committee were collectively targeted with #releasethememo messages over 217,000 times. Raúl Labrador, Zeldin, King, Meadows, Jordan and Gaetz—all of whom promoted #releasethememo to the public and their colleagues—were targeted more than 550,000 times in 11 days. By the time Speaker of the House Paul Ryan spoke in favor of releasing the memo, he had been targeted with more than 225,000 messages about it.


    Trump, whom the Washington Post reported was swayed by the opinions of some of the congressmen listed above, was targeted more than a million times. Fox News personality Sean Hannity, said to speak daily with Trump, was targeted 245,000 times and became a significant promoter of the hashtag. Hannity, of course, knows exactly what he is doing, and was recently showered with praise for his propaganda skills by colleague Geraldo Rivera, who argued “Nixon never would have been forced to resign if [Hannity] existed” back in the ’70s.



    What does it all mean?


    A year after it should have become an indisputable fact that Russia launched a sophisticated, lucky, daring, aggressive campaign against the American public, we’re as exposed and vulnerable as we ever were—if not more so, because now so many tools we might have sharpened to aid us in this fight seem blunted and discarded by the very people who should be honing their edge. There is no leadership. No one is building awareness of how these automated influence campaigns are being used against us. Maybe everyone still thinks if they are the one to control it, then they win, and they’ll do it better, more ethically. For example, by using it to achieve a political goal like releasing the Nunes memo.


    Social media platforms have worked diligently to make us believe they had no idea this was happening, or that they are working to expose and correct the problem. But the algorithms work exactly as they are supposed to—in one aspect, by reinforcing your own beliefs without challenging them, and in another, by creating perceptions of popularity that are intentionally false and coercive. If the Twitter analysis referred to by the Daily Beasthas been accurately conveyed by the source, there should be many questions. How are they determining influence? Did Twitter know the origins of the #releasethememo campaign when it suspended some (apparently many) of the accounts involved? In which case, did they do so to hide some of the aspects of computational propaganda at play, choosing to say it was an issue of free speech—an “organic” “Republican” campaign flourishing on a healthy platform—rather than one of national security—the infestation of their platform with the deep machinery of manipulation, a portion of which is foreign?


    A recent analysis from DFRLab mapped out how modern Russian propaganda is highly effective because so many diverse messaging elements are so highly integrated. Far-right elements in the United States have learned to emulate this strategy, and have used it effectively with their own computational propaganda tactics—as demonstrated by the “Twitter rooms” and documented alt-right bot-nets pushing a pro-Trump narrative.


    This gets at a deeper issue: The problem with the term “fake news” is that it is completely wrong, denoting a passive intention. What is happening on social media is very real; it is not passive; and it is information warfare. There is very little argument among analytical academics about the overall impact of “political bots” that seek to influence how we think, evaluate and make decisions about the direction of our countries and who can best lead us—even if there is still difficulty in distinguishing whose disinformation is whose. Samantha Bradshaw, a researcher with Oxford University’s Computational Propaganda Research Project who has helped to document the impact of "polbot" activity, told me: “Often, it’s hard to tell where a particular story comes from. Alt-right groups and Russian disinformation campaigns are often indistinguishable since their goals often overlap. But what really matters is the tools that these groups use to achieve their goals: Computational propaganda serves to distort the political process and amplify fringe views in ways that no previous communication technology could.”


    This machinery of information warfare remains within social media’s architecture. The challenge we still have in unraveling what happened in 2016 is how hard it is to pry the Russian components apart from those built by the far- and alt-right—they flex and fight together, and that alone should tell us something. As should the fact that there is a lesser far-left architecture that is coming into its own as part of this machine. And they all play into the same destructive narrative against the American mind.



    ***
    So what are the lessons of #releasethememo? Regardless of how much of the campaign was American and how much was Russian, it’s clear there was a massive effort to game social media and put the Nunes memo squarely on the national agenda—and it worked to an astonishing degree. The bottom line is that the goals of the two overlapped, so the origin—human, machine or otherwise—doesn’t actually matter. What matters is that someone is trying to manipulate us, tech companies are proving hopelessly unable or unwilling to police the bad actors manipulating their platforms, and politicians are either clueless about what to do about computational propaganda or—in the case of #releasethememo—are using it to achieve their goals. Americans are on their own.


    And, yes, that also reinforces the narrative the Russians have been pushing since 2015: You’re on your own; be angry, and burn things down. Would that a leader would step into this breech, and challenge the advancing victory of the bots and the cynical people behind them.

    https://www.politico.com/magazine/st...16935?lo=ap_b1

  15. #40
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    Do I have to read it all just once or twice?

  16. #41
    back to work SKkin's Avatar
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    russian bots influenced me to post this:




  17. #42
    Thailand Expat misskit's Avatar
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    Deep State! Deep State!


    Russia pushes more “deep state” hashtags

    Following the success of #ReleaseTheMemo, Russian-influenced Twitter accounts seek to rile up Trump supporters with new messages, analysts say.


    After the success of the viral #ReleaseTheMemo campaign, Russian-influenced Twitter accounts are test-running other hashtags designed to stoke anger, particularly among supporters of President Donald Trump, against “deep state” forces, according to analysts at Hamilton 68, a website that tracks Russian influenced Twitter accounts.


    Last weekend, a host of new hashtags trended in the network of accounts monitored by Hamilton 68, including #fisagate, #obamadeepstate, #wethepeopledemandjustice, #thememorevealsthecoup and even #obamaslegacyisobamagate.




    None of those have taken hold, but the flurry of new efforts indicated to Bret Schafer, an analyst for the Alliance for Security Democracy, which runs Hamilton 68, that the Russians would continue to push issues related to the “deep state.”

    MORE https://www.politico.com/story/2018/...p-state-395928

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    At least our legislators are looking into banning anonymous political ads.


    On heels of Russia indictment, lawmakers call for online ad rules

    Among the charges brought upon by special counsel Robert Mueller against 13 Russians accused of meddling in the 2016 election, was the act of illegally purchasing political advertisements on social media made to appear as an American source. Now, two democratic legislators are renewing their push to ban anonymous online political ads.


    What they're saying: Rep. Derek Kilmer (D-WA) and Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA) released statements on Friday trying to rekindle interest in the Honest Ads Act, which would require online political ads to follow the same rules as television or print ads. "There is now a crystal clear account of Russians buying ads to sew discontent," Kilmer told Axios. "It's time to do something about it."



    Where they left off: Sen. Kilmer introduced the bill with Sen. Coffman (R-CO) in October while a similar Senate bill was introduced by Sen. Warner, Sen. Klobuchar (D-MN) and Sen. McCain (R-AZ.) At the time, Facebook had recently announced to the House and Senate Intelligence Committees as well as the Senate Judiciary Committee that it ran more than 3,000 Russia-linked advertisements. Neither saw a vote.


    "There's not a constituent I've spoken to who believes this shouldn't pass. I have heard no concerns from any member of Congress...Frankly, the biggest challenge is not in this legislation, it's a congress that isn't exactly a legislative juggernaut."
    — Rep. Kilmer to Axios

    https://www.axios.com/senators-call-...source=sidebar

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    My Russian influence used to be comrade Stolychnaya

    Are we saying that Americans are so dumb that they were more easily influenced by Russian propaganda than the many ads , opinion pieces speeches of their own parties candidates and opinion formers.

    When I lived in a democracy I recall voters were generally swayed by domestic issued that needed little explanation

    Money, people know without stats economist if they are in secure well paid work with ok conditions relative to others in their situation qualifications

    Health in states where healthcare is free the measure is queues waiting times which every family can judge

    Housing whether own colleagues neighbours are ok , most succesful economies people can buy via loan /build own unit and generally superior to their parents at comparable ages.

    Tenure has been skewed in last decade.Again the housing cost crisis in places like NYC London or Sydney is a reflection of boom and how many folks prefer to live their than much cheaper places just hours away like Troyupper new york state , Stoke Staffs or Forbes NSW

    Education Parents Employers and Teachers have clear insight without reading propaganda, Crumbling understaffed schools with low grades are overt, to be fair to Thailand my first school was no worse than here with Irish priests pushing their propaganda, however my European and US universities was far superior to here in terms of teaching and equipment not my achievements but critical thinking was key.

    The more remote topics defence foreign policy, aid agriculture science seldom sway elections.

    There are uniqe issues that come and go War Brexit , Immigration,Gay Marriage but folks tend to vote on tribal lines often related to tradition.
    While i have many friends who support Fine Gael Labour etc all of our tribe were FF not really based on modern circs but which side of the table you were in 1921 much like North South sentiments in US or UK
    Last edited by david44; 17-02-2018 at 11:35 AM.
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  20. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by david44 View Post
    Are we saying that Americans are so dumb that they were more easily influenced by Russian propaganda than the many ads , opinion pieces speeches of their own parties candidates and opinion formers.
    ...alas...

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    Some just cut and paste 1,000 words and believe people get past the first 50. Day after day ........

    They actually believe quantity is superior to quality.

    The average voter barely continues reading past the headline. One or two sentances reinforcing it, the eyes glaze over, brain shutdown and zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.
    Last edited by OhOh; 18-02-2018 at 12:20 AM.
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  22. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by SKkin View Post
    russian bots influenced me to post this:



    hilarious

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    Quote Originally Posted by OhOh View Post
    Some
    Quote Originally Posted by OhOh View Post
    They
    Quote Originally Posted by OhOh View Post
    The average voter
    ...I wonder how many you actually know...

  24. #49
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    Must look to see if #deepstate got binned.

    Twitter purges accounts, and conservatives cry foul

    The move comes as the company, stung by criticism since the 2016 election, says it is taking steps to curb 'spammy behavior.'


    Twitter has pruned more suspected trolls and fake accounts from its platform, prompting several of its most outspoken conservative users to complain Wednesday that they had lost thousands of followers overnight.


    Conservatives quickly decried what they called the "#twitterlockout," adding it to their list of grievances against what they see as an ideologically liberal tech industry. The topic also got heavy promotion among Twitter accounts that some researchers have linked to Russia's online influence campaigns.


    Twitter's move came just days after the federal indictments of 13 Russians connected with a St. Petersburg-based "troll farm" heightened the pressure on social media companies to clamp down on the plague of fake accounts that marred the 2016 presidential election.


    Twitter said Wednesday that it was simply cleansing its platform of objectively “spammy behavior,” an effort it had announced late last year. “As part of our ongoing work in safety, we identify suspicious account behaviors that indicate automated activity or violations of our policies around having multiple accounts, or abuse,” a spokesperson told POLITICO.


    Users complaining about the move included political provocateur James O’Keefe, who's best known for exploits like trying and failing to get The Washington Post to publish fake sexual abuse allegations against former Republican Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore. His group Project Veritas also released a compilation video last month that it claimed showed Twitter employees, filmed without their awareness, admitting to silencing conservative voices.


    “Looks like thousands of Twitter users committed the thought crime of tweeting about ‘God,’ ‘the American flag,’ and ‘guns,’ and were taken off the platform,” O’Keefe tweeted Wednesday.


    According to data pulled from the social analytics tool CrowdTangle, O’Keefe lost about 2,400 followers between Tuesday and Wednesday, a drop of just more than half a percent after weeks of constant growth. That still left him with about 385,500 followers — and by early Wednesday evening, he had regained all his losses.


    Dan Bongino, a former Secret Service agent who appears as a frequent commentator on Fox News and elsewhere, tweeted a similar complaint: "@Twitter is discriminating against conservative voices & banned me,& many others,from posting ads while wiping out 1000s of followers.”


    Michael Flynn Jr., the son of former Trump administration national security adviser Michael Flynn, likewise questioned Twitter's motives.


    "I’d give them benefit of doubt but they’ve been caught too many times censoring conservative accounts #TwitterLockOut," tweeted Flynn, whose follower count in the CrowdTangle analysis had dropped a little more than 2 percent overnight.


    The Twitter spokesperson said the company's tools are “apolitical” and the platform's rules are enforced “without political bias.” The person added that with problematic accounts, the company takes steps to determine whether “a human is behind it,” such as by attempting to verify a valid phone number.


    “That’s why some people may be experiencing suspensions or locks. This is part of our ongoing, comprehensive efforts to make Twitter safer and healthierfor everyone,” said the spokesperson.


    At least one group of experts sees Russian help in making the "#twitterlockout" hashtag go viral.


    The "Hamilton 68" website, created by the organization Alliance for Securing Democracy and affiliated with the German Marshall Fund of the United States, listed "twitterlockout" Wednesday afternoon as the most-used and fastest-spreading hashtag "promoted by Russia-linked influence networks on Twitter" during the past 48 hours.


    That network includes Twitter accounts "likely controlled by Russian government influence operation," those that "amplify themes promoted by Russian government media" and "users who have been influenced by the first two groups," the alliance says in its explanation of its methodology.


    The skirmish is yet another example of the blowback that Twitter and other social media companies have taken since the 2016 election, especially after congressional investigators and special counsel Robert Mueller's office laid out the details of how they say Russian forces leveraged the companies' platforms to meddle in American politics.


    In December, Twitter announced that it would begin taking steps to more aggressively enforce its rules against “hateful conduct and abusive behavior.” That provoked the first objections from some on the right who called the steps a "#twitterpurge."


    The company conceded at the time that “we may make some mistakes and are working on a robust appeals process.”


    Conservatives have escalated their criticisms of Twitter and other social media companies in recent months, accusing them of wielding the power granted by their enormous user bases to silence conservative voices. Liberals, meanwhile, have accused Twitter of allowing fake and abusive accounts to fester in order to maintain a high user count, an important stat for investors.


    Twitter does not disclose precisely how many users it has, but analysts looking at company information have estimated the number at around 330 million active users a month.



    https://www.politico.com/story/2018/...vatives-357028

  25. #50
    Thailand Expat misskit's Avatar
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    Had a look. The site isn't gone but many of the posters there yesterday are not there today.

    Now we know the TRUTH about twitter...

    .�� Red Pill‏ @IWillRedPillYou 19h19 hours ago
    #TwitterLockOut#TwitterPurgeTwitter is controlled by CIA

    A lot of clowns on here

    It's impossible to determine who is & is not a botsince anyone can run a script from their account

    They're not targeting bots

    They're silencing #MAGA accountsTwitter = #DeepState tool#QAnon

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