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Bot Accounts - Disinformation and the removal of centre ground

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  • 22-10-2018 3:18pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 33,919 ✭✭✭✭


    I dont think i have ever really seen a thread on this so i thought i would open the discussion after bumping into numerous twitter bots on Twitter (obviously)

    It can often be a handle that is thrown out, but sometimes other twitter users can open your eyes to it.

    i read a thread earlier which was an article by RTE about a democrat senator race. and there was a classic out of hand comment about RTE being a democrat propaganda machine for the past 40 years.

    So confused i read some of the comments below and then further into the details of that Twitter account noted that the account was 'joined April 2010' but i could not locate a single tweet it is history until Dec 2017 when it became superbly active.

    How active ? it has over 90,000 Tweets to its name in less than a year.
    The account dressed up as and Irish psuedonym from boggy somewhere or other. Started off lightly making non consistent comments on other peoples tweets and various articles. But eventually if you read the content it started grabbing articles and retweeting them. Articles from completely polarising viewpoints on very topical issues of the time. Global Warming / HPV Vacine / Vacines in general / Brexit race / Daesh / Terrorism / Robinson.

    It would actually retweet extreme views from either side of the subject matter never sticking to one side or the other. Which led me to believe. This type of account is designed to Polarise. Its sole purpose is to remove middle ground. It wants to create a void of compromise on issues.

    Who created it ?
    Its clearly not Irish despite its profile.

    It was created in 2010. So this shows me that this campaign was conceived over 8 years ago.

    I think these are serious issues, that conventional politics still doesnt grasp the scale of. I dont think we have yet learned how to spot these, how to tackle them. And i believe Twitter is not robust enough either


    Sure you can report them. But there is no followup, There is also no where to tell twitter why you think its a bot.

    I would have assumed automation detecting dormant accounts that have been dormant for years and suddenly spring into 90,000 tweets in 10 months would be fairly easy for twitter to automate against.

    But.... do they care ?


    Anyway, i thought i would open this discussion up to discuss the implications of this information war. And has anyone else had similar experiences.


«13

Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 36,327 ✭✭✭✭LuckyLloyd


    Or the account was once a legitimate account since hacked or bought or handed over.

    But I think there's obvious undeniable merit to your core point here.


  • Registered Users Posts: 28,395 ✭✭✭✭looksee


    Is it my imagination - am I falling for a kind of conspiracy theory notion - that since the internet has opened up everything to everybody we have situations like Trump, Brexit and now our Presidential race? Both Trump and Brexit were protest votes of a sort. Whether they went 'wrong' depends on your point of view, but it was an upheaval of a result. Now we have numerous people on Boards saying that they will vote for someone, pretty much admitting that it is a protest vote. The fact that we could end up with a relatively unsuitable person for President doesn't seem to matter. The whole thing doesn't matter a great deal, the Presidential role is ceremonial, but it would be good to be represented with dignity. Maybe Casey could do that, but his method doesn't inspire confidence.

    I am trying to recall what influenced people before the internet, and the answer has to be the newspapers, television, pub talk and that was about it. And then it was mostly reaction to something raised 'officially', not an upsurge of interest from below about something unexpected. That was the time when students did a good deal of shouting about things that concerned them, the student protest had died down considerably around and just before the time of the internet, certainly before social media.

    I think it has to be argued that public awareness is a good thing, at what stage does social media become a political tool with, as the op said, bots and people sharing rabble rousing arguments just because they can? Its a bit disturbing that the likes of Margaret Cash and Donald Trump can rant about things that do not even make any simple literal sense, much less have sound thinking behind them, and other people will agree and get on the same band wagon. I think we should indeed be concerned.


  • Registered Users Posts: 33,518 ✭✭✭✭dudara


    LuckyLloyd wrote: »
    Or the account was once a legitimate account since hacked or bought or handed over.

    But I think there's obvious undeniable merit to your core point here.

    This, it’s far more likely it was a dormant account that was hacked or bought. But other than that I don’t disagree.

    I do believe that internat trolls or deliberate dispruption is a thing. What’s even worse though is the huge swathes of people who willingly drink the kool-aid. There’s something disturbing about our willingness to be polarised.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 16,015 ✭✭✭✭James Brown


    These comments are designed to stir, so designing them to draw up the views of a particular minority by telling them they are 'the silent majority' or ' the PC media won't tell you about that/is covering up' is their bread and butter. Using these things to distract from policy or relevance is their point. We can only judge these organisations/people based on their record.
    The internet and social media are tools. It's like everyone now has a newpaper/flyer. You pick sources you trust with a good track record and unlike the President of the USA, don't take every tweet somebody puts out there as 'news', (or claim to if it suits your agenda).

    There is no doubt that there are people trying to sway public opinion, there always was and will be, but it's up to us to make informed choices and decisions, it's not like we've no access to information.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 7,070 ✭✭✭Franz Von Peppercorn


    The idea that Russian trolls are spending any energy on Ireland is crazed nonsense.

    (But then I would say that, wouldn’t I).


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  • Registered Users Posts: 33,919 ✭✭✭✭listermint


    The idea that Russian trolls are spending any energy on Ireland is crazed nonsense.

    (But then I would say that, wouldn’t I).

    Ireland is a significant part of the EU and also the brexit debacle.

    The idea that Ireland and its population are not legitimate targets for Russia propaganda is frankly laughable.

    Note I never actually mentioned Russia in my opening post however.

    So take from that what you will.


    The core argument here is that the middle ground is being eroded. Loud right and left is now taken as the new norm and everyone else in the middle is being confused by information and as attempted to be pulled to either extreme.

    Was this always the case ? For me no as we didn't have a propaganda spreader constantly in our hands or pockets 24 7. Technology and this point in time is a nexus for this type of information distribution. Frankly I don't blame people for not being able to make informed decisions people aren't to know that their perceptions are under attack . Constant attack.


    Good idea on account purchase but more likely hacked and stolen .


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 320 ✭✭VonZan


    These are serious issues but the reality is that nothing will change unless people stop consuming politics like it's Hollywood media. How effective are these misinformation campaigns? If they are effective you're just admitting that some people are gullible morons and that's the crux of the issue. The media competing with social media for clicks just brings the content further towards the bottom of the barrel.

    Also, politics in most western societies is dictated by the story of the day and not the long term issues we are facing.


  • Registered Users Posts: 27,810 ✭✭✭✭blanch152


    looksee wrote: »
    Is it my imagination - am I falling for a kind of conspiracy theory notion - that since the internet has opened up everything to everybody we have situations like Trump, Brexit and now our Presidential race? Both Trump and Brexit were protest votes of a sort. Whether they went 'wrong' depends on your point of view, but it was an upheaval of a result. Now we have numerous people on Boards saying that they will vote for someone, pretty much admitting that it is a protest vote. The fact that we could end up with a relatively unsuitable person for President doesn't seem to matter. The whole thing doesn't matter a great deal, the Presidential role is ceremonial, but it would be good to be represented with dignity. Maybe Casey could do that, but his method doesn't inspire confidence.

    I am trying to recall what influenced people before the internet, and the answer has to be the newspapers, television, pub talk and that was about it. And then it was mostly reaction to something raised 'officially', not an upsurge of interest from below about something unexpected. That was the time when students did a good deal of shouting about things that concerned them, the student protest had died down considerably around and just before the time of the internet, certainly before social media.

    I think it has to be argued that public awareness is a good thing, at what stage does social media become a political tool with, as the op said, bots and people sharing rabble rousing arguments just because they can? Its a bit disturbing that the likes of Margaret Cash and Donald Trump can rant about things that do not even make any simple literal sense, much less have sound thinking behind them, and other people will agree and get on the same band wagon. I think we should indeed be concerned.


    There were media revolutions in the past.

    Did the invention of the printing press help the Reformation revolutionise Christianity?

    Did the newspaper revolution change American politics?

    What role did tabloids play in the Wall Street Crash?

    Did the popularity of TV influence the rise of telegenic Presidents like Kennedy?

    Did the internet gives us Trump, Brexit and the splintering of Irish political parties?


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,974 ✭✭✭Chris_Heilong


    The whole Russian bot thing is just a fairy-tale, it is shocking the amount of people who buy into this.


  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Entertainment Moderators Posts: 36,420 CMod ✭✭✭✭pixelburp


    I can't think of a single entity that has both simultaneously empowered and poisoned political engagement at the same time, than Twitter. Social Media in general has to be applauded for its role in engaging & liberating otherwise limited demographics to reach out to the wider world, spreading a message or goal, while avoiding any attempts by governments to stymie discussion - or even dissent.

    Yet on the other hand political discourse is now reduced to frequent bite-size grenades, complex issues boiled down to hyperbole - increasingly wrapped up in lies and pejoratives. All made worse by that addictive feedback loop (Like a post! Retweet! Watch those Likes tick up) that rewards volume and noise over quantity, echo chambers acting as enablers to the worst demons.

    I mean we know all this, not even sure for whose benefit I'm sharing the thoughts, I just don't know how we change or break the cycle: and with the presence of bots and shills - not to mention a US President acting as the god emperor of Twitter's ID - the validity of debate becomes even more redundant.

    Suffice to say, I don't have a Twitter account.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 148 ✭✭goalscoringhero


    What others have observed also is that with eroding the middle ground, it is becoming more difficult to practice empathy for perceptions or opinions of the 'other side'.

    Discussions about current affairs have almost become a mirror of someone's social media filter bubble.

    How can you practice empathy for a group that you don't even perceive to exist?
    And what is more dehumanising than non-existence?

    When we do this long enough, and forget that there are actually humans on the other side, it is easy to resort to ridicule, which creates more division, conflict and anxiety.


  • Registered Users Posts: 78,379 ✭✭✭✭Victor


    listermint wrote: »
    It was created in 2010. So this shows me that this campaign was conceived over 8 years ago.
    Not quite. A use was conceived 8 years ago. That use was only defined recently, if at all.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 7,070 ✭✭✭Franz Von Peppercorn


    listermint wrote: »
    Ireland is a significant part of the EU and also the brexit debacle.

    The idea that Ireland and its population are not legitimate targets for Russia propaganda is frankly laughable.

    Note I never actually mentioned Russia in my opening post however.

    So take from that what you will.


    The core argument here is that the middle ground is being eroded. Loud right and left is now taken as the new norm and everyone else in the middle is being confused by information and as attempted to be pulled to either extreme.

    Was this always the case ? For me no as we didn't have a propaganda spreader constantly in our hands or pockets 24 7. Technology and this point in time is a nexus for this type of information distribution. Frankly I don't blame people for not being able to make informed decisions people aren't to know that their perceptions are under attack . Constant attack.


    Good idea on account purchase but more likely hacked and stolen .

    The middle ground is being eroded because it wasn’t that middle to begin with. It’s a bit odd that Russia gets blamed for influencing cultural wars that originate in the west, and mostly in the universities of the US.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 7,070 ✭✭✭Franz Von Peppercorn


    Victor wrote: »
    Not quite. A use was conceived 8 years ago. That use was only defined recently, if at all.

    Or, just perhaps - a user signed up 8 years ago and didn’t post until last year. I mean why would signing up early help bots anyway. You can sign up at any time.

    Also the influence of this platform is zero. Boards doesn’t matter. We’d have a whole different politics if the real world were influenced by AH.


  • Registered Users Posts: 21,569 ✭✭✭✭Tell me how


    Also the influence of this platform is zero. Boards doesn’t matter. We’d have a whole different politics if the real world were influenced by AH.

    I think slightly differently.

    Everything matters. To varying degrees. It's easy when you see someone you disagree with flat out challenge your view but what I think is being attempted (as with Cambridge Analytica) is the subtle flooding of conversation with a consistent view or theme.

    Where this is dangerous is when the target (you or me) thinks they're in a space where there is free and open discussion and news reporting but a significant amount of the views they are hearing are manipulated.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 482 ✭✭badtoro


    They may be old genuine accounts. I've got a social media account on a platform I don't really use - a friend asked me to join to see photos of something. Got email this week about an unauthorised access attempt from .... Moscow! and to change my passwords.


  • Registered Users Posts: 21,569 ✭✭✭✭Tell me how


    badtoro wrote:
    I've got a social media account on a platform I don't really use - a friend asked me to join to see photos of something. Got email this week about an unauthorised access attempt from .... Moscow! and to change my passwords.

    Hope it didn't ask you to enter your password to confirm it was you???


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 482 ✭✭badtoro


    badtoro wrote:
    I've got a social media account on a platform I don't really use - a friend asked me to join to see photos of something. Got email this week about an unauthorised access attempt from .... Moscow! and to change my passwords.

    Hope it didn't ask you to enter your password to confirm it was you???

    Can't recall now, but they'd need to do a bit better than that to nab me.


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,236 ✭✭✭mcmoustache


    The whole Russian bot thing is just a fairy-tale, it is shocking the amount of people who buy into this.

    I suppose that the earth is flat and you're shocked that people could think that it's round?

    To anyone keeping up with international news, these bots have been shown to exist. Many of their accounts have been exposed by private individuals as well as the social media companies themselves. Thanks to FBI indictments and Press releases by the Dutch intelligence services, we know which buildings they operated from, who was at the keyboards and who's in charge. There's even a money trail in rubles. European countries bordering Russia have been dealing with this for much longer than this became a big deal in the west.

    If you think that Russian bots are just a fairly tale, you should be able to back that up - because the amount of evidence that these troll farms exist is overwhelming at this point.


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,974 ✭✭✭Chris_Heilong


    I suppose that the earth is flat and you're shocked that people could think that it's round?

    To anyone keeping up with international news, these bots have been shown to exist. Many of their accounts have been exposed by private individuals as well as the social media companies themselves. Thanks to FBI indictments and Press releases by the Dutch intelligence services, we know which buildings they operated from, who was at the keyboards and who's in charge. There's even a money trail in rubles. European countries bordering Russia have been dealing with this for much longer than this became a big deal in the west.

    If you think that Russian bots are just a fairly tale, you should be able to back that up - because the amount of evidence that these troll farms exist is overwhelming at this point.

    When I hear the term 'Russian Bots' I do think of the flat Earth peeps as you are both as deluded as one another.
    Just because the "news" says something does not make it truth, in fact a lot of people have seen news outlets create their own narratives for years, If they had proof of these things happening it would be reason enough to go to war with Russia but that is not happening because I do not think this has anything to do with Russia at all, maybe home grown activists making political memes and such but that is as far as it goes.


    More likely it is an easy excuse when thing dont lean politically ones way for example: Trump(must be Russian bots), Brexit(must be Russian bots), the Last Jedi poor audience score on Rotten Tomatoes(must be Russian bots):rolleyes:


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  • Registered Users Posts: 3,009 ✭✭✭Tangatagamadda Chaddabinga Bonga Bungo


    There are most definitely online bots and internet users with an agenda behind them. That goes for Russians, Shinners, FF, FG, the NSA (who have over 40,000 employees and they are not all looking for terrorists or playing solitaire), right wing Christians, left wing Antifa types, Conspiracy folks, even big corporations like McDonalds or Burger King ect. ect. ect. There are bound to be a certain percentage of internet users at all times being paid to push a certain narrative. And this percentage in both bots and paid shills is likely to grow strongly into the future.

    Having said that, I think people blaming Russianbot farms for Trump and Brexit are idiots quite frankly. Trump got wall to wall media attention from the get go. From that comedy roast speech that Obama did about him, to his Twitter account, to every news outlet leading with his every utterance for the entire electoral cycle. And going back to even well before the Apprentice. He's been a media darling and creation for decades.
    Then with Brexit you had Robert Murdoch selling made up anti EU stories in his rag papers for decades before that vote came to pass. And all the 'glorious empire' crap that Brits are thought all through school and how they civilised the world has a knock on affect that is too often ignored.

    I think banning Alex Jones and other far left and far right people from social media platforms is a massive back step in all of this. There are laws in place that prevent absolute hate speech, and you can get in trouble for it already. When you ban Alex Jones where does it stop? Would men's activist groups be next? Would far right Christian groups get the chop? Will whatever is not the flavour of the time get shut down next?

    When it seems like at least a sizeable minority of people dismiss WikiLeaks as nothing more than a Kremlin mouthpiece at this stage I found it a little confusing. I don't care if he only released DNC emails. They have only ever released factual documents (not one was ever proven to be false). Which is a better record than every other newslet out there!

    The thing is that everyone has an agenda of some kind. Hearing the BBC and SkyNews talk about the Irish 'issue' feels at least like there is some bias there. They go straight to a Brexiteer to waffle on about terrorists or how there is no problem with a technological border or that the Irish Fine Gael government are only using this to get their United Ireland agenda pushed forward.

    I see that the Alternative for Germany (it is a reincarnation of the Nazi Party in all but name) is up to 94 seats in the Bundestag in 2017, from 0 in 2013. If I see it being blamed on Russianbot farms or WikiLeaks or online troll farms I will despair.

    If people can try stick to the facts and not be an ideologue on issues than the centre ground can maintain I hope.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,182 ✭✭✭demfad


    To understand how disinformation can work here is the Technological Propaganda Machine behind Trump, Brexit and other RW Campaigns in Europe.


    https://medium.com/join-scout/the-rise-of-the-weaponized-ai-propaganda-machine-86dac61668b
    Albright, an assistant professor and data scientist at Elon University, started digging into fake news sites after Donald Trump was elected president. Through extensive research and interviews with Albright and other key experts in the field, including Samuel Woolley, Head of Research at Oxford University’s Computational Propaganda Project, and Martin Moore, Director of the Centre for the Study of Media, Communication and Power at Kings College, it became clear to Scout that this phenomenon was about much more than just a few fake news stories. It was a piece of a much bigger and darker puzzle — a Weaponized AI Propaganda Machine being used to manipulate our opinions and behavior to advance specific political agendas.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 7,070 ✭✭✭Franz Von Peppercorn


    I suppose that the earth is flat and you're shocked that people could think that it's round?

    To anyone keeping up with international news, these bots have been shown to exist. Many of their accounts have been exposed by private individuals as well as the social media companies themselves. Thanks to FBI indictments and Press releases by the Dutch intelligence services, we know which buildings they operated from, who was at the keyboards and who's in charge. There's even a money trail in rubles. European countries bordering Russia have been dealing with this for much longer than this became a big deal in the west.

    If you think that Russian bots are just a fairly tale, you should be able to back that up - because the amount of evidence that these troll farms exist is overwhelming at this point.

    Troll farms are a pretty dumb way to influence anything. Saudi Arabia and other countries do it directly, by buying off politicians, journalists or other forms of direct influence.

    So they might exist. Just another way of influencing a form of media with no obvious huge benefit.

    Other countries also do this of course.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,182 ✭✭✭demfad


    There are most definitely online bots and internet users with an agenda behind them. That goes for Russians, Shinners, FF, FG, the NSA (who have over 40,000 employees and they are not all looking for terrorists or playing solitaire), right wing Christians, left wing Antifa types, Conspiracy folks, even big corporations like McDonalds or Burger King ect. ect. ect. There are bound to be a certain percentage of internet users at all times being paid to push a certain narrative. And this percentage in both bots and paid shills is likely to grow strongly into the future.

    Having said that, I think people blaming Russianbot farms for Trump and Brexit are idiots quite frankly. Trump got wall to wall media attention from the get go. From that comedy roast speech that Obama did about him, to his Twitter account, to every news outlet leading with his every utterance for the entire electoral cycle. And going back to even well before the Apprentice. He's been a media darling and creation for decades.
    Then with Brexit you had Robert Murdoch selling made up anti EU stories in his rag papers for decades before that vote came to pass. And all the 'glorious empire' crap that Brits are thought all through school and how they civilised the world has a knock on affect that is too often ignored.

    I think banning Alex Jones and other far left and far right people from social media platforms is a massive back step in all of this. There are laws in place that prevent absolute hate speech, and you can get in trouble for it already. When you ban Alex Jones where does it stop? Would men's activist groups be next? Would far right Christian groups get the chop? Will whatever is not the flavour of the time get shut down next?

    When it seems like at least a sizeable minority of people dismiss WikiLeaks as nothing more than a Kremlin mouthpiece at this stage I found it a little confusing. I don't care if he only released DNC emails. They have only ever released factual documents (not one was ever proven to be false). Which is a better record than every other newslet out there!

    The thing is that everyone has an agenda of some kind. Hearing the BBC and SkyNews talk about the Irish 'issue' feels at least like there is some bias there. They go straight to a Brexiteer to waffle on about terrorists or how there is no problem with a technological border or that the Irish Fine Gael government are only using this to get their United Ireland agenda pushed forward.

    I see that the Alternative for Germany (it is a reincarnation of the Nazi Party in all but name) is up to 94 seats in the Bundestag in 2017, from 0 in 2013. If I see it being blamed on Russianbot farms or WikiLeaks or online troll farms I will despair.

    If people can try stick to the facts and not be an ideologue on issues than the centre ground can maintain I hope.

    Can you give us some facts to back your assertions here?

    For example the troll farm in St Petersburg has been exposed and it's operators indicted in the Mueller investigation FOR interference in the US election?
    Nobody is saying that this issue alone was responsible for Brexit or Trump but propaganda works and works especially well on Social media.
    You aim to exonorate Wikileaks but remember BOTH RNC server and DNC server were hacked. The DNC hack was used to win the election. If you look at the timing of the dumps you can see this couldn't be clearer. E.g 45 mins after the 'Access Holywood' tape was released they dumped a massive load of Podesta emails.
    If you do an NSLookup on the wikileaks website (wouldnt advise it) you will see the IP is hosted in the Russian Federation. Also all agencies of US intelligence regard Wikileaks as a front for Russia. The facts seem to be against you.
    If you then consider that Trump invoked Wikileaks about 140-150 times in rallies and the media in the month before the election you can see how Trump used Russian operations to further boost himself.
    THe icing on the cake though happenend before this when Russian disinformation fooled James Comey into declaring Clinton acted 'very negligently' when Comey closed the first Investigation. He commented on it becuase he thought Loretta Lynch could not. This was because he had being convinced she had spoken to a Democrat about 'going easy' on Hillary.
    Infact A Loretta Lynch had spoken with a Democrat not THE Loreatta Lynch who was AG then.
    THis is where the 'lock her up' cries came from and packed the dynamite when teh second investigation opened.
    Considering that Clinton's lead dropped from 6% down to 1.5% due to this reopening and considering that a combined win of 80,000 over 3 states won it for Trump......At the very least there must be great doubt.

    That's not including the propaganda machine in my post above (which is under investigation by Mueller) which used Russian bots also.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 16,015 ✭✭✭✭James Brown


    The idea that Russian trolls are spending any energy on Ireland is crazed nonsense.

    (But then I would say that, wouldn’t I).

    Lots of Russian oil money, (connected to Putin too) gets washed in Ireland, mind the state is aware and okay with that so I wouldn't see a need.

    https://www.independent.ie/business/irish/russian-bank-collapse-shines-light-into-shadowy-corners-of-irish-finance-34482531.html

    https://russiabusinesstoday.com/economy/russian-state-owned-leasing-company-establish-irish-financing-arm/

    https://www.irishmirror.ie/news/irish-news/russian-backed-companies-moved-more-12126329


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,009 ✭✭✭Tangatagamadda Chaddabinga Bonga Bungo


    demfad wrote: »
    Can you give us some facts to back your assertions here?

    For example the troll farm in St Petersburg has been exposed and it's operators indicted in the Mueller investigation FOR interference in the US election?
    Nobody is saying that this issue alone was responsible for Brexit or Trump but propaganda works and works especially well on Social media.
    You aim to exonorate Wikileaks but remember BOTH RNC server and DNC server were hacked. The DNC hack was used to win the election. If you look at the timing of the dumps you can see this couldn't be clearer. E.g 45 mins after the 'Access Holywood' tape was released they dumped a massive load of Podesta emails.
    If you do an NSLookup on the wikileaks website (wouldnt advise it) you will see the IP is hosted in the Russian Federation. Also all agencies of US intelligence regard Wikileaks as a front for Russia. The facts seem to be against you.
    If you then consider that Trump invoked Wikileaks about 140-150 times in rallies and the media in the month before the election you can see how Trump used Russian operations to further boost himself.
    THe icing on the cake though happenend before this when Russian disinformation fooled James Comey into declaring Clinton acted 'very negligently' when Comey closed the first Investigation. He commented on it becuase he thought Loretta Lynch could not. This was because he had being convinced she had spoken to a Democrat about 'going easy' on Hillary.
    Infact A Loretta Lynch had spoken with a Democrat not THE Loreatta Lynch who was AG then.
    THis is where the 'lock her up' cries came from and packed the dynamite when teh second investigation opened.
    Considering that Clinton's lead dropped from 6% down to 1.5% due to this reopening and considering that a combined win of 80,000 over 3 states won it for Trump......At the very least there must be great doubt.

    That's not including the propaganda machine in my post above (which is under investigation by Mueller) which used Russian bots also.

    There's already a long thread dedicated to Trump. In the grand scheme of things, Trump and Russianbot farms are a small piece of the puzzle when it comes to disinformation and propaganda.

    Trump and Clinton were both terrible candidates who should have never gotten to where they are.

    The Mueller investigation has nothing to do with this thread in my opinion.


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,236 ✭✭✭mcmoustache


    Troll farms are a pretty dumb way to influence anything. Saudi Arabia and other countries do it directly, by buying off politicians, journalists or other forms of direct influence.

    So they might exist. Just another way of influencing a form of media with no obvious huge benefit.

    Other countries also do this of course.

    They're cheap and shilling has been around longer than the internet. I can understand scepticism regarding their effectiveness but not regarding their existence.


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,236 ✭✭✭mcmoustache


    The Mueller investigation has nothing to do with this thread in my opinion.

    The Mueller investigation has indicted and identified the organisation responsible, the building in which they do their shilling, the people running it, their accountant, the botnets and samples of the tweets. The indictments also describe in detail how this worked and how it was paid for. It's a literal A to Z of Russian state-sponsored trolling. It has a lot to do with this thread.


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,236 ✭✭✭mcmoustache


    When I hear the term 'Russian Bots' I do think of the flat Earth peeps as you are both as deluded as one another.
    Just because the "news" says something does not make it truth, in fact a lot of people have seen news outlets create their own narratives for years, If they had proof of these things happening it would be reason enough to go to war with Russia but that is not happening because I do not think this has anything to do with Russia at all, maybe home grown activists making political memes and such but that is as far as it goes.


    More likely it is an easy excuse when thing dont lean politically ones way for example: Trump(must be Russian bots), Brexit(must be Russian bots), the Last Jedi poor audience score on Rotten Tomatoes(must be Russian bots):rolleyes:

    There's a lot wrong here but the most I'll do to help you is suggest that you try to understand what Project Veritas and James O Keefe are about. You should always be suspicious of organisations with "Truth" in their name, even if they hide it from you by using the latin version.

    Also, you don't go to war with a nuclear power over information warfare. You impose sanctions. That actually happened.


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 16,015 ✭✭✭✭James Brown


    Troll farms are a pretty dumb way to influence anything. Saudi Arabia and other countries do it directly, by buying off politicians, journalists or other forms of direct influence.

    So they might exist. Just another way of influencing a form of media with no obvious huge benefit.

    Other countries also do this of course.

    It's swaying public opinion that gets you the politicians you want.
    The old Journalism trick, 'Now I'm an impartial observer, but it seems to me....'


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