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  1. #1
    Thailand Expat tomcat's Avatar
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    A Bother of Bots

    ...now we know where Earl, Longway et al. find their favorite memes, epithets, etc.:

    Pro-Russian Bots Sharpen Online Attacks for 2018 U.S. Vote
    By Nafeesa Syeed

    After violent protests rocked Charlottesville, Virginia last month, Republican Senator John McCain took to Twitter to condemn hatred and bigotry and urge President Donald Trump to speak out more forcefully.

    Then pro-Russian bots got activated on social media.

    Within hours, an online campaign attacking McCain -- a frequent Trump critic -- began circulating, amplified with the help of automated and human-coordinated networks known as bots and cyborgs linking to blogs on “Traitor McCain” and the hashtag #ExplainMcCain.

    After the 2016 U.S. presidential race was subject to Russian cyber meddling, analysts say the ferocity of more recent assaults is a preview of what could be coming in the 2018 elections, when Republicans will be defending their control of both chambers of Congress.

    “They haven’t stood still since 2016,” said Ben Nimmo, a senior fellow in information defense at the Digital Forensic Research Lab at the Atlantic Council in Washington, which tracked the activity. “People have woken up to the idea that bots equal influence and lots of people will be wanting to be influencing the midterms.”

    While special counsel and former FBI chief Robert Mueller keeps investigating the 2016 race, Nimmo’s work is among a number of initiatives cropping up at think tanks, startups, and even the Pentagon seeking to grasp how bots and influence operations are rapidly evolving. Blamed for steering political debate last year, bots used for Russian propaganda and other causes are only becoming more emboldened, researchers say.

    They’re preparing “and sowing seeds of discord” and “potentially laying the groundwork for what they’re going to do in 2018 or 2020,” said Laura Rosenberger, senior fellow and director of the Alliance for Securing Democracy at the German Marshall Fund.

    The alliance last month unveiled Hamilton 68, an online dashboard designed to track Russian influence operations on Twitter with the hope of better highlighting sources of information.

    The site culls real-time data from 600 Twitter users, analyzing trending hashtags, topics and links. The dashboard’s developers say the accounts they selected cover those likely controlled by Russian government influence operations. Other accounts are pro-Russia users that may be loosely connected to the government and some are people influenced by the first two groups and who are active in bolstering Russian media themes. Some are bot accounts.

    “Our view is that exposure is a really important element of beginning to push back on some of these efforts,” said Rosenberger, who served at the National Security Council and the State Department in the Obama administration.

    Cyborgs Versus Bots

    Short for “robot,” internet bots come in a couple of forms. There are automated versions in which software pumps out posts from social media accounts, often at rates that a human couldn’t conceivably do. Others are dubbed cyborgs -- some of their content is automatically spit out, but a person also takes over posting at times. They can also be human-run accounts that are hacked or taken over by a robot.

    Not all bots are nefarious. Although researchers say pro-Russian operatives exploiting social media have made headlines lately, the use of bots is broadening as they prove they can be influential in moving narratives from niche circles and the fringes of the internet to a wider audience by spreading links to blogs and news sites, as well as popularizing memes and hashtags. That will make them a potentially potent tool for competing interests trying to influence U.S. political debate in 2018 and beyond.

    It’s hard to determine from where bots originate. Analysts are able to monitor the messaging that bots latch on to, such as advocating for Russian and alt-right narratives or anti-NATO stances. Nation-states or groups helping political campaigns might look to employ bots given their power to shift debates.

    And while many online campaigns are clearly fake, bots are also used in more sophisticated efforts that start from a basis in truth.

    Ukraine Unrest

    A top theme users boosted the week after the Charlottesville clashes was “alt-right alarmism” about the left-wing anti-fascist movement, known as Antifa, according to the dashboard findings. The most-tweeted link in the Russian-linked network followed by the researchers was a petition to declare Antifa a terrorist group.

    On Twitter, pro-Russian bots and cyborgs helped promote accusations that McCain allied with neo-Nazis in the past, such as during Ukraine’s civil unrest in 2013. At the time, the Arizona Republican, who is known for his tough stance against Russian meddling in Ukraine, met with and appeared on a stage with nationalist leader Oleh Tyahnybok, whose group has neo-Nazi roots.

    McCain’s office didn’t respond to repeated requests for comment on his appearance with Tyahnybok.

    One Twitter account tracked by Nimmo’s lab, @TeamTrumpRussia, is what the researchers call a “pro-Kremlin cyborg site.” It averages a rate of more than 220 tweets a day, including memes about McCain in the week after the Charlottesville unrest, which left one person dead.

    In a series of Twitter posts Friday, @TeamTrumpRussia rejected accusations that it is a “cyborg site,” saying “I am just a Russian. Deal with it.”

    Putin’s Rejection

    Top Russian officials, including President Vladimir Putin, have repeatedly rejected accusations the country meddled in the U.S. election, a finding at odds with the conclusions of the U.S. intelligence community. In January, the nation’s top intelligence agencies agreed that Russia interfered in the election to discredit Hillary Clinton and boost Trump, who has often appeared reluctant to embrace the findings. Trump’s intelligence chiefs, including CIA Director Mike Pompeo and Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats, have agreed with the conclusions.

    Putin told NBC News in June that there’s “no proof” of any involvement by Russia at the “state level.” But he did say that “patriotically minded” Russians could have been behind intrusions into Clinton’s campaign.

    The drumbeat of news about Russia’s role in the election have only helped push relations with the U.S. to post-Cold War lows. Nonetheless, analysts say Russia’s longer-term goal is less focused on Trump than on helping disrupt or undermine U.S. democratic institutions -- an effort that has been under way for decades but which now has a more technological edge.

    Researchers say Twitter isn’t the only domain for bots. They’re increasingly expanding to other platforms like YouTube, Instagram and LinkedIn. They even operate interactive “chatbots” on mobile applications available on Facebook, said Nitin Agarwal, an information science professor at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.

    Mimicking Human Behavior

    “The level of sophistication among these bots is increasing and becoming more and more advanced to try to evade bot detection and suspension from Twitter and other platforms,” said Agarwal, who’s spent a decade studying the use of social media for influence operations. They’re also trying to “mimic human behavior so that they can gain your trust and they can influence your behaviors,” he said.

    Because the use of bots is still new, trying to understand how they operate has become a cutting-edge field. It’s even caught the attention of the Pentagon’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, known as DARPA.

    In May, the agency awarded Agarwal and Intelligent Automation Inc., a Rockville, Maryland-based technology company, a contract of up to $1.5 million over three years -- if research milestones are met -- to study the classification of “social bots,” what their intent is and how they’re applied on social media.

    For researchers, Twitter is a data gold mine because users’ accounts are usually publicly available. It’s harder to access private content on Facebook.

    ‘Powerful Antidote’

    When asked how it was responding to growing sophistication by bots, a Twitter spokeswoman referred to a June 14 blog post by Colin Crowell, the company’s vice president of public policy, government and corporate philanthropy. Crowell outlined how Twitter is curbing “bots and other networks of manipulation,” including growing its team and resources and working “hard to detect spammy behaviors.”

    “Twitter’s open and real-time nature is a powerful antidote to the spreading of all types of false information,” Crowell wrote. “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.”


    Since the election, Twitter and Facebook have taken steps to counter false news and kill off fake accounts. In August, Facebook said it created a software algorithm to flag stories that may be suspicious and send them to third-party fact checkers. But bots are also getting savvier at dodging detection. That poses a challenge to social media companies trying to crack down on fake accounts -- and fake news.

    And with bot activity accelerating as the U.S. heads into another election season in 2018, social media companies could face further risks from these networks.

    A challenge for social media companies is “how good their algorithms are at weeding out bot strikes,” Nimmo said. “That’s something that they need to be thinking of.”

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/artic...-2018-u-s-vote
    Majestically enthroned amid the vulgar herd

  2. #2
    Thailand Expat
    bsnub's Avatar
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    The lemmings swallow it without question. This really should have been posted in SC though.

  3. #3
    Thailand Expat tomcat's Avatar
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    ...attention mods! To SC with this post and make it snappy! ...please...

  4. #4
    disturbance in the Turnip baldrick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tomcat
    Twitter
    and a billion retards with a billion times 128 characters could well write https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Li...ndy,_Gentleman

  5. #5
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    Do you nutters realise that if the stories about the bots are true, you are the ones being manipulated into imagining the usa has been taken over by hordes of nazis that you have to fight off by means of a terrorist organisation like antifa?

    no of course you dont.

    everything is just ever so sane in lalaland.

  6. #6
    peckerwood SKkin's Avatar
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    Never fear tomcat...We got this!




    There's no way these "russian bots" could have any connection to this:

    Revealed: US spy operation that manipulates social media
    Military's 'sock puppet' software creates fake online identities to spread pro-American propaganda
    https://www.theguardian.com/technolo...ocial-networks

    US military creates fake online personas - Telegraph

    U.S. Military Launches Spy Operation Using Fake Online Identities | HuffPost


    right?

  7. #7
    Thailand Expat misskit's Avatar
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    ^ Centcom spokesman Commander Bill Speaks told The Guardian that the software “supports classified blogging activities on foreign-language websites to enable Centcom to counter violent extremist and enemy propaganda outside the US.

    Six years old news.

  8. #8
    Thailand Expat misskit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by longway View Post
    Do you nutters realise that if the stories about the bots are true, you are the ones being manipulated into imagining the usa has been taken over by hordes of nazis that you have to fight off by means of a terrorist organisation like antifa?

    no of course you dont.

    everything is just ever so sane in lalaland.
    Can you post anything that doesn't include the word Nazi?

  9. #9
    peckerwood SKkin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by misskit
    Six years old news.
    So what? You think they're not using those capabilities 6 years later?

    Quote Originally Posted by misskit
    Centcom spokesman Commander Bill Speaks told The Guardian that the software “supports classified blogging activities on foreign-language websites to enable Centcom to counter violent extremist and enemy propaganda outside the US.
    They'd never use it domestically. Get real MissVOA.

  10. #10
    Thailand Expat misskit's Avatar
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    ^ The news you posted doesn't indicate they use it in the US, SKParanoid.

  11. #11
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    Plaudits for the creation of the collective noun, "a bother of bots".
    Well done Tom.

  12. #12
    Thailand Expat tomcat's Avatar
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    *bow*...thanks...

  13. #13
    Thailand Expat misskit's Avatar
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    How Facebook Changed the Spy Game

    I fought foreign propaganda for the FBI. But the tools we had won’t work anymore.

    By ASHA RANGAPPA September 08, 2017


    Any doubt that Russia has been running a strategically targeted disinformation campaign in the United States was erased on Wednesday, when Facebook revealed that it had deleted 470 “inauthentic” accounts that were based in Russia and had paid $100,000 to promote divisive ads during the 2016 presidential election.

    Senator Mark Warner of Virginia called Facebook’s report the “tip of the iceberg,” and he’s right. As a former FBI counterintelligence agent who investigated foreign propaganda cases, I’ve seen firsthand how foreign intelligence services leverage American freedoms—and the constitutional limitations on the FBI’s investigative power—to their advantage. The rise of social media platforms makes the pervasiveness and impact of these operations today exponentially greater. And it leaves the FBI without the legal tools to stop it.


    The vast majority of counterintelligence cases I worked in the FBI involved a foreign intelligence service (FIS) conducting what we called “perception management campaigns.” Perception management, broadly defined, includes any activity that is designed to shape American opinion and policy in ways favorable to the FIS home country. Some perception management operations can involve aggressive tactics like infiltrating and spying on dissident groups (and even intimidating them), or trying to directly influence U.S. policy by targeting politicians under the guise of a legitimate lobbying group. But perception management operations also include more passive tactics like using media to spread government propaganda—and these are the most difficult for the FBI to investigate.

    My experience investigating foreign propaganda operations predated the proliferation of social media platforms. But understanding how investigations worked before the information explosion is critical to understanding the magnitude of the Russian threat today. In the “old days” (i.e., 10-15 years ago), a disinformation operation typically involved an FIS tasking one of its agents to recruit a journalist and become his or her source. In this way, the FIS could essentially make the journalist an unwitting mouthpiece for foreign government interests.

    The FBI has few options in this kind of situation. There’s no law preventing a journalist from publishing whatever they want. The most the bureau can do is warn the journalist they are being targeted by foreign intelligence, in the hopes that their professional standards will at least cause them to account for their source’s bias in their reporting. Frankly, though, the FBI is wary of getting too close to a reporter’s free speech rights: Since the Church Hearings, the FBI and the First Amendment are two great tastes that don’t go great together, and approaching a journalist in a counterintelligence investigation has all the ingredients of a PR disaster. Given the extensive internal authorizations and bureaucratic paperwork required merely to talk to a journalist, most FBI agents are loath to go down this path. I did it only once.

    Still, the FBI has a legal duty to stop, or “neutralize,” foreign intelligence operations occurring on U.S. soil. In the case of propaganda operations, one effective way to do this while avoiding First Amendment land mines is to approach the FIS agent directly. There isn’t exactly a law that prevents an agent from being a “source” for a journalist. But there is a law called the Foreign Agent Registration Act (FARA) that requires any individual acting on behalf of foreign interests to register as a foreign agent with the State Department. In fact, FARA was passed in 1938 to counter Germany’s dissemination of Nazi propaganda in the United States; DOJ notes that the purpose of the law is “to insure that the U.S. Government and the people of the United States are informed of the source of information (propaganda) and the identity of persons attempting to influence U.S. public opinion, policy, and laws.” Violating FARA is a felony, punishable by up to five years in prison. Though FARA rarely results in a criminal prosecution, in my experience, forcing a FIS agent to out themselves as a spy with the State Department under the threat of criminal charges was usually enough to get them to drop their efforts and go scurrying back into the shadows.

    But that was then. Today, the expansion of social media platforms has drastically skewed the already unequal balance of power between the FBI and its adversaries. For one thing, the FBI is no longer dealing with individual journalists or media outlets: The bureau is now faced with huge private companies, like Facebook and Twitter, which are ostensibly neutral and have no professional or ethical obligation to vet the material they distribute. Further, FIS propaganda agents are no longer human operatives on American soil—they are invisible “trolls,” often operating from a foreign country and behind social media accounts that make them impossible for the FBI approach directly. Or, in the case of so-called bots—software programs designed to simulate humans—they might not even be people at all.

    As the internet renders useless the FBI’s normal methods to counter foreign propaganda, the reach of these operations has increased a thousandfold. In the past, a failure to neutralize a perception management operation would at least be limited by the reach of “traditional,” i.e., paper, media which are practically constrained to a region or paying customers. But social media platforms can reach an almost limitless audience, often within days or hours, more or less for free: Russia’s Facebook ads alone reached between 23 million and 70 million viewers. Without any direct way to investigate and identify the source of the private accounts that generate this “fake news,” there’s literally nothing the FBI can do to stop a propaganda operation that can occur on such a massive scale.

    This fact is not lost on the Russians. Like any country with sophisticated intelligence services, Russia has long been a careful student of U.S. freedoms, laws and the constraints of its main nemesis in the U.S., the FBI. They have always known how to exploit our “constitutional loopholes”: The difference now is that technology has transformed the legal crevice in which they used to operate into a canyon. The irony, of course, is that the rights that Americans most cherish—those of speech and press—and are now weaponized against us are the same ones Russia despises and clamps down on in its own country.

    So where does that leave our counterintelligence efforts? Short of allowing the FBI to unilaterally access and police social media accounts—which would make us start to look a lot like Russia—we need to think creatively about ways to bridge the legal gaps that now benefit our adversaries. Currently, platforms like Facebook and Twitter have little incentive to help counterintelligence beyond their own goodwill. But Congress could pass legislation that requires social media companies to cooperate with counterintelligence in the same ways they do with law enforcement. For example, the Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act (CALEA) requires telecommunications companies to design their digital networks in such a way that would permit wiretaps for criminal cases. Similarly, requiring social media platforms to develop ways to vet and authenticate foreign users and proactively report potential bots to the FBI would enable the FBI to identify perception management operations as they are occurring. In addition to monitoring these specific FIS-based accounts, the FBI could publicly expose the source of particular accounts, ads or news, creating the same kind of transparency that FARA originally sought to do with traditional propaganda.

    Another option is to borrow from the counterterrorism toolbox and designate entities known to be acting on behalf of foreign intelligence—like Russia’s “troll farm,” the Internet Research Agency—as nonstate intelligence services, the same way we now designate some nonstate actors as foreign terrorist organizations. This would drop some of the First Amendment barriers on counterintelligence operations against the individuals who knowingly assist and facilitate these entities, since they would become “agents of a foreign power” and fair game for traditional counterintelligence techniques like FISA surveillance orders.

    Any solution that we create will require a balance between national security interests and constitutional rights. But at this point, we have no choice: It’s clear that our current counterintelligence strategy hasn’t caught up to the age of asymmetrical information warfare. Until it does, we’ll be silently allowing our freedoms to be manipulated to Make Russia Great Again.

    How Facebook Changed the Spy Game - POLITICO Magazine

  14. #14
    Thailand Expat tomcat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by misskit
    But at this point, we have no choice: It’s clear that our current counterintelligence strategy hasn’t caught up to the age of asymmetrical information warfare. Until it does, we’ll be silently allowing our freedoms to be manipulated to Make Russia Great Again.
    our local rusbots (looking at you, Longway and Earl) will undoubtedly belch out the usual blah-blah-libtard harangue to insist that there's no evidence of Russian interference anywhere, anytime...evah!...

  15. #15
    Thailand Expat misskit's Avatar
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    ^ Yeah. Pretty lame. I noted on the Twitter page for Rep. Adam Skiff was exactly the same name calling longway and Earl pump out. The script is written for them.

  16. #16
    Thailand Expat tomcat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by misskit
    The rusbot script is pre-written for them
    edited for greater accuracy...

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by bsnub View Post
    The lemmings swallow it without question. This really should have been posted in SC though.
    Irony meter to the roof

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by SKkin
    Military's 'sock puppet' software creates fake online identities to spread pro-American propaganda
    is it bsnub, humbert or misskittie

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dragonfly
    Irony meter to the roof
    There is no irony in my post you stupid nihilist troll. derp...

    You can not even figure out how to use Windows 10. You are just a retard buttplug...

  20. #20
    Thailand Expat tomcat's Avatar
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    ...more bother from rusbots:

    The surprising new strategy of pro-Russia bots
    By BBC Trending
    12 September 2017

    Co-ordinated groups of Twitter bots pushing pro-Russian propaganda have developed an odd but occasionally effective strategy - retweeting messages that the bot-makers disagree with and flooding their enemies with followers.
    Brian Krebs is an investigative journalist with a big social media following. But even he was surprised when one of his tweets was retweeted thousands of times:

    "I woke up the next morning and found about 12,000 retweets... I also found I had about the same number of new followers," he told BBC Trending radio. "Part of me wanted this to be true [and all the followers to be real]."
    Krebs, who wrote about the experience on his blog, immediately suspected he'd been on the receiving end of a bot attack.

    Bots - automated or semi-automated accounts which tweet or retweet automatically - have been at the centre of allegations of Russian interference in Western elections. US intelligence agencies claim that bots spread false news stories and misinformation during the 2016 presidential election campaign. And networks of bots were also involved in spreading memes, gifs and misinformation in the run-up to the French presidential election in spring 2017.

    The Russian government denies that they operate or fund bot networks. And there's no definitive evidence connecting botnets, even if they do push pro-Russia stories, to the Kremlin. The pro-Russian bots could be operated, as President Vladimir Putin once put it, by "patriotic" Russian citizens acting independently.
    But why would pro-Russia accounts retweet a message like Krebs' tweet, which runs contrary to their views?

    Experts say the bots could be trying to clog up accounts with mentions, or even get their enemies suspended from the social network. When Joseph Cox, a journalist for the liberal news site The Daily Beast, posted about a story he wrote about pro-Russian bots, he was hit with a similar flood of retweets. His account was briefly suspended.

    Twitter prohibits bots and told Trending it is expanding its efforts dedicated to fighting the automated accounts. At the same time the company says it can't get specific about the tools it uses to detect bots, because that would allow bot makers to find a way around them.

    Another researcher who has been targeted by the automated accounts is Ben Nimmo, research fellow at the Digital Forensic Research Lab - part of the Atlantic Council, an American think tank.

    After the violence around a far-right rally and counterprotests in Charlottesville, Virginia in August, Nimmo published a report comparing far-right commentators in the US with pro-Kremlin commentators who wrote about the war in Ukraine.
    The report was picked up by investigative website ProPublica, and a Twitter account with a tiny following sent out a message accusing ProPublica of being an "altleft hate group". The message was retweeted thousands of times.
    "This was a classic obvious bot operation where the first account to do so had only posted 12 times in its entire life, it was only following six accounts and yet suddenly after this original tweet it got 23,000 retweets," Nimmo says. "There's no way that's a natural pattern of behaviour."

    Nimmo says there's several motivations behind a bot attack.

    "Partly it's a simple intimidation technique," Nimmo says. "The other thing is that it makes it very hard for you to use your Twitter notifications because they're just getting overwhelmed."
    And the bots weren't done. After Nimmo published his findings about ProPublica, he was targeted by several accounts - one of which faked his death with a message which read: "Our beloved friend and colleague Ben Nimmo passed away this morning."
    "Now that didn't really upset me - I knew I was alive," he told Trending. "But it certainly startled a number of my friends and that was a much more sinister development. Again that tweet was retweeted something like 23,000 times by the same botnet."

    Nimmo also noticed that the bots seemed to be triggered by some key words, so he put several of the triggers in a tweet along with the user name of the Twitter support team.
    Tens of thousands of the bots retweeted the message, exposing themselves to Twitter support. In less than two days, more than 70,000 appeared to have been taken offline. However, Nimmo and other experts say there could be millions of automated accounts still operating on the social network.

    Reporting by Will Yates (BBC)

    The surprising new strategy of pro-Russia bots - BBC News

  21. #21
    Thailand Expat misskit's Avatar
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    Twitter a growing focus of Senate Russia probe

    Of particular interest is the prominence of bots on Twitter, and what role they may have played in making misleading campaign season tweets go viral.





    The Senate's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election is about to turn its sights on Twitter.


    The company has agreed to meet with the Intelligence Committee’s staff investigators in Washington on a specific date before mid-October, according to a source close to the investigation. Twitter will discuss the role its platform played in the distribution of Russian disinformation during the presidential campaign, the source said.




    While Facebook — and its giant user base — has garnered much of the early attention in the Senate's investigation, Twitter is also emerging as an area of interest. Twitter has a much smaller user base than Facebook, but its ability to inject information into the U.S. media ecosystem has become a focus of investigators.


    Of particular interest is the prominence of bots — or automated accounts used to post and amplify information — on Twitter, and what role they may have played in making misleading campaign season tweets go viral. Investigators are also looking at how stories and memes distributed by Russian actors on Twitter found their way onto U.S. news sites, particularly conservative-leaning outlets.


    In addition, investigators are exploring whether the popularity of Russian-linked posts promoting "fake news" stories boosted those stories' ranking in Google search results. They are also probing whether Russians might have used Twitter to quietly pass along damaging information to collaborators — similar to the way the site has been used by political action committees to share information with political campaigns with which they’re legally prohibited from coordinating.


    A Twitter spokesperson declined to comment.


    Both Facebook and Twitter are expected to be invited to an open committee hearing Senate investigators are planning, though no date has been set. Given the timing of Twitter’s staff-level debriefing, the hearing with the social media companies may well slip to November. Longtime Trump attorney Michael Cohen is set to appear before the panel on Oct. 25, and since the committee normally holds open hearings on Wednesdays, the social media testimony may get pushed to the next month.


    According to some current and former national security officials, Russian influence on Twitter is much more difficult to trace because at issue are tweets rather than business transactions, as was the case with Facebook ad purchases.


    "Twitter is a big area of concern here, and they and other platforms that are emerging need to figure out a way to prevent the manipulation of their platform,” said one former senior U.S. cybersecurity official, who recently left for the private sector. Twitter, said the official, is so “uncontrolled, unregulated” that it has become an easy target for people seeking clandestine influence on a broad scale.


    Facebook attracted early attention in the Senate investigation both because of its size — 2 billion monthly active users worldwide compared with Twitter’s 328 million — and because its intimate structure, where users generally befriend people they know offline, is seen as a particular threat to the trust relationships between Americans. In the case of Twitter, users often follow people they do not know and who might be posting under pseudonyms.


    One line of investigation the committee is pursuing with Facebook: whether ads planted by Russian actors were used to push users to pages promoting offline events, such as pro-Trump rallies, the source close to the investigation said.


    Twitter co-founder Ev Williams, who now leads the publishing platform Medium, recently said that the challenge of nefarious information being widely disseminated by bad actors really came to the attention of social media companies like Twitter and Facebook only in the past year.


    That said, said Williams, “the thing that we should acknowledge is that these ad-driven platforms are benefiting from the fake information, misinformation, these campaigns — from people generating attention at pretty much any cost.”

    Twitter a growing focus of Senate Russia probe - POLITICO

  22. #22
    Thailand Expat misskit's Avatar
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    Top Facebook Exec Sheryl Sandberg Just Apologized for Racist Ad Targeting

    Sheryl Sandberg, the chief operating officer of Facebook, said Wednesday that last week’s revelations that terms such as “Jew Hater” or “how to burn Jews” could be used as targeting criteria for advertising on the site made her “disgusted and disappointed,” and that the social media titan would make some changes to prevent it from happening again.


    “Hate has no place on Facebook — and as a Jew, as a mother, and as a human being, I know the damage that can come from hate,” Sandberg wrote in a statement posted to her Facebook page. The fact that hateful terms were even offered as options was totally inappropriate and a fail on our part. We removed them and when that was not totally effective, we disabled that targeting section in our ad systems.”


    Sandberg’s statement comes in the wake of a ProPublica report revealing that a variety of anti-Semitic categories could be used as targeting terms by people paying for advertising on the website. The advertising system allowed for ad buyers to target Facebook users based on entries in categories such as education and employer. “People wrote those deeply offensive terms into the education and employer write-in fields and because these terms were used so infrequently, we did not discover this until ProPublica brought to our attention. We never intended or anticipated this functionality being used this way—and that is on us. And we did not find it ourselves—and that is also on us,” Sandberg said.





    more Top Facebook Exec Sheryl Sandberg Just Apologized for Racist Ad Targeting ? Mother Jones

  23. #23
    RUSH HER TODAY
    david44's Avatar
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    Oh the irony

    Longer leashes bigger cages the hairy beary neaderthals out themselves to Xenu

  24. #24
    Thailand Expat misskit's Avatar
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    Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg on Russian-backed political ads



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    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 @EliotHigginsEnd of Twitter post by @EliotHiggins



    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 the 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".
    Last edited by tomcat; 22-09-2017 at 07:11 AM.

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