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posted by mrpg on Monday October 30 2017, @12:12PM   Printer-friendly
from the Вы-говори́те-по-ру́сски? dept.

After RT published excerpts from Twitter's "limited offer" to spend millions on US election marketing, the company abruptly banned all advertising from the news network. This makes full disclosure and transparency imperative, so here goes.

On Thursday, the micro-blogging platform announced a policy decision to ban ads from RT and Sputnik, citing alleged meddling in the 2016 US election.

It followed Twitter's report implying that RT was trying to influence US public opinion, crucially without providing context that virtually all news media organizations spend money on advertising their news coverage.
...
RT was thereby forced to reveal some details of the 2016 negotiations during which Twitter representatives made an exclusive multi-million dollar advertising proposal to spend big during the US presidential election, which was turned down.

Having since been banned, and in order to set the record straight, we are publishing Twitter's presentation and details of the offer in full.

Lenin said it: "The Capitalists will sell us the rope with which we will hang them."


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  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Runaway1956 on Monday October 30 2017, @12:26PM (12 children)

    by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Monday October 30 2017, @12:26PM (#589412) Journal

    Of course Twitter knew about Russia interfering with the election - because they were trying to sell the advertising?

    But, Russia didn't buy, Twitter got upset, and told the public about Russia's supposed attempts to influence us. Kinda like a bitter ex, I guess. You dumped her, so she has to take you to court to make you look bad. Amazing.

    So, the real question seems to be, just how much real Russian interference was there? The impression I've had all this time was, Russia did in fact purchase some advertising, just to see how well it would work. They want some kind of a metric by which to judge the results of meddling. But, they only ever invest a few hundred thousand dollars into the whole thing. Basic research. "If we were to take Twitter's offer, how much of an impact would it have? How does it scale? Is it cost effective? Looks like a big waste of time and money to me. Tell them we're not interested."

    --
    #eatyourliver #WalkAway #CTRLLeft
    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by c0lo on Monday October 30 2017, @12:49PM (4 children)

      by c0lo (156) on Monday October 30 2017, @12:49PM (#589417)

      But, Russia didn't buy, Twitter got upset, and told the public about Russia's supposed attempts to influence us. Kinda like a bitter ex, I guess.

      This is to show the russians aren't that stupid. If they had accepted the offer, Twitter would have had them now with "revenge porn" material. As it is now. it's more like "he said, she said".

      In any case, if russians want to try screwing public opinion (election time or not), they are quite capable of doing in spite of the ban - just use blogging proxies, buy followers to retweet [google.com] and create hype [coincrack.com]. No need for an RT brand, many tabloids will pick "fake news" on the fly if they think it makes for good headlines and sales.

      • (Score: 5, Insightful) by crafoo on Monday October 30 2017, @01:53PM (3 children)

        by crafoo (6639) Subscriber Badge on Monday October 30 2017, @01:53PM (#589432)

        All this concern about the evil russians influencing the campaign. What about Twitter and the people that work there? They are quite heavy handed in forming "consensus" and selecting What's Hot on their system, then peddling that as some crowd-sourced opinion direct from the masses.

        • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 30 2017, @02:32PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 30 2017, @02:32PM (#589446)

          What about it? its terrible. it ministry of truth - and it ties right into the article from yesterday about how and why sites like this, too small to get paid trolls, are sites that some would like to see shut down entirely. can't have small enterprises compete with the state-sponsored machinations so they misrepresent to cause a chilling effect while accusing others of what they do themselves! its a bummer how much air-time these people and their liars get. stupid social shaping. stupid starry eyed 20yos.

        • (Score: 2, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 30 2017, @03:46PM (1 child)

          by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 30 2017, @03:46PM (#589480)

          Yup, it is bad, but the constitution doesn't ban Americans from meddling in the election, only foreign influence.

    • (Score: 1) by kurenai.tsubasa on Monday October 30 2017, @01:35PM

      by kurenai.tsubasa (5227) on Monday October 30 2017, @01:35PM (#589429) Journal

      So, the real question seems to be, just how much real Russian interference was there?

      If I had to hazard a guess, probably not much outside of “dank memes” and other crap that shows up on 4chan's /pol/ board. The DNC was Trump's biggest ally last year, and I see no signs they've even done sufficient introspection to scratch the surface of why that might be.

      In general, I am so filled with not-surprise that SJWs turn out to be two-faced jerks. We already know that white knights tend to be people who view women as nothing more than sex objects and have no particular compunctions against the home team committing date rape and sex fraud. It's only a problem when “they” (assigned males who are not white knights, particularly assigned males who are attracted to men and not women) engage in those things. Such hypocrisy. Wow!

      However, I am making sure I am adequately prepared for the level of not-surprise I may experience if it turns out that SJWs are responsible for the crap that happens on /pol/ as well.

      (If one really wants to find somebody who embodies the traits that “misogynerds” supposedly have, no need to look much further afield than the loudest SJWs.)

    • (Score: 5, Interesting) by frojack on Monday October 30 2017, @03:42PM (3 children)

      by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Monday October 30 2017, @03:42PM (#589477) Journal

      So, the real question seems to be, just how much real Russian interference was there? The impression I've had all this time was, Russia did in fact purchase some advertising,

      As did just about every other country. Canada, Mexico, the UK, you name it. None of them have clean hands.
      And neither does the US. Our government influences election all over the world, often in support of parties and people who stand in direct contradiction to our alleged national values.

      When I read RT I know what I'm getting. Same for the BBC, or the Times of India. Even sites from tiny places like Switzerland. Its why I read them, to get a different point of view.

      Every news outlet these days seem to think that including a string of tweets constitutes actual reporting, and this is twitter's only source of revenue.
      I refuse to read them, I've got my ublock tuned to dump them.

      --
      No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
      • (Score: 2) by DeathMonkey on Monday October 30 2017, @05:49PM (2 children)

        by DeathMonkey (1380) on Monday October 30 2017, @05:49PM (#589553) Journal

        As did just about every other country. Canada, Mexico, the UK, you name it. None of them have clean hands.

        [CITATION NEEDED]

        It's illegal for foreign organizations to purchase ads in US elections.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 31 2017, @03:51AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 31 2017, @03:51AM (#589850)

          Illegal where? Over in not-the-usa? Why would anyone believe that not-the-usa should care about usa law?

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 31 2017, @09:38AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 31 2017, @09:38AM (#589934)

          Funny, I don't remember seeing any ads during the actual poll for the last election I *hrk* cast a vote in.

          Maybe you need to clarify your terms, or provide citations of your own, lest you accuse basically every large corporation in existence of criminal activity. Okay, okay, criminal activity specifically relating to "purchasing ads in US elections", which of course has some sort of undefined nebulous meaning.

    • (Score: 3, Informative) by NewNic on Monday October 30 2017, @06:24PM (1 child)

      by NewNic (6420) on Monday October 30 2017, @06:24PM (#589577) Journal

      Why are we not talking about the indictments against Manafort and Gates? There is already a submission.

      --
      lib·er·tar·i·an·ism ˌlibərˈterēənizəm/ noun: Magical thinking that useful idiots mistake for serious political theory
  • (Score: 5, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 30 2017, @12:39PM (12 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 30 2017, @12:39PM (#589416)

    Just look at Trump's twitter account. There are some "prominent" accounts supporting his delusions there that say they are "Truth Seeker" and "Living in midwest", yet, somehow, they seem to post shit all night and go to sleep for few hours when people in Moscow go to sleep...

    These "social media" sites are really fucked up. And the sheeple believe "news" on those platforms. Fucking worse than idiocracy.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 30 2017, @01:35PM (4 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 30 2017, @01:35PM (#589428)

      You've got my curiosity now...What are the specific Twitter names you're talking about?

      • (Score: 3, Informative) by JNCF on Monday October 30 2017, @02:07PM

        by JNCF (4317) on Monday October 30 2017, @02:07PM (#589434) Journal

        As if Russian operatives wouldn't be smart enough to shitpost at night, and midwestern Americans never have odd sleeping habits. I'm not ruling out Russian Twitter accounts posing as Americans (I suspect the "great" powers of our time all play this game), but a handful of examples that match GP's criteria would be thoroughly unconvincing to me.

      • (Score: 2, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 30 2017, @02:34PM (1 child)

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 30 2017, @02:34PM (#589447)

        it would be far simpler to answer you if you'd asked for people who seem sane and sincere. but you knew that, right?

        • (Score: 1, Touché) by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 30 2017, @03:32PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 30 2017, @03:32PM (#589472)

          Well, you said there were some prominent accounts with some very specific properties, and I'm curious to see them for myself. I'm not saying they don't exist, but if you make a claim, you should be able to back it up when asked. Otherwise you should have no problem with all the people who claim things about, e.g. God and religion.

      • (Score: 2) by DeathMonkey on Monday October 30 2017, @06:21PM

        by DeathMonkey (1380) on Monday October 30 2017, @06:21PM (#589574) Journal

        You've got my curiosity now...What are the specific Twitter names you're talking about?

        Oops, forgot to turn off Location Services! [reddit.com]

    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 30 2017, @02:17PM (6 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 30 2017, @02:17PM (#589442)

      Conservatives in the midwest have trouble posting during daytime hours. They mostly have jobs.

      Antifa can post all day every day.

      • (Score: 3, Touché) by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 30 2017, @04:32PM (5 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 30 2017, @04:32PM (#589508)

        Then how do you explain TMB, Khallow, Runaway, Jmorris, Frojack, etc? Oh right, they're Antifree and are probably given a bonus for shit posting here :D

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 30 2017, @04:41PM (1 child)

          by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 30 2017, @04:41PM (#589514)

          Seriously . . . I see a lot more posts in this very article from conservatives than from liberals, most of whom are from the U.S. or at least talk like they are, when it is morning/noon in the U.S.

          • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 30 2017, @06:08PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 30 2017, @06:08PM (#589565)

            Tech workers. They get paid to sit on their asses in front of a screen and pretend they're working.

        • (Score: 3, Funny) by The Mighty Buzzard on Monday October 30 2017, @07:09PM (2 children)

          Yup. The Russians pay me five times what SN does.

          --
          "Buzzy, you're probably the dumbest person I've ever encountered. Well, there is aristarchus, so make it 2nd dumbest."
          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 30 2017, @07:57PM (1 child)

            by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 30 2017, @07:57PM (#589622)

            Russia? Lol, nono you are obviously getting your kickbacks from Anthony Weiner, but he has Gary Johnson deliver them.

  • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 30 2017, @02:12PM (9 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 30 2017, @02:12PM (#589436)

    The campaign was about $2 billion, with 2/3 of that spent for Hillary and 1/3 of that spent by Trump. (heh... financial responsibility)

    Russian ads were about $100 thousand.

    So, it matters because 100 is bigger than 2 maybe? No. That isn't how numbers work.

    2,000,000,000 vs. 100,000

    That is a 20000:1 ratio. I wish this were easier to explain to somebody who has trouble with numbers. Look, suppose you are buying a new car, and the dealer offers a doughnut to sweeten the offer. IT DOES NOT MATTER.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 30 2017, @02:37PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 30 2017, @02:37PM (#589448)

      Mmm, donuts! [youtube.com]

    • (Score: 0, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 30 2017, @02:42PM (2 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 30 2017, @02:42PM (#589451)

      yet it is a convenient point to harp on in order misdirect 'the public' attention.
      the rule is: always always project what you are doing in secret on your opponent.

      hillary is/was one of the masters of this. also, the fact that reasoning skills are not encultured, while snap emotional reactions are entrained via all media is what's meaningful here.. glad that you noticed that it the topic has no rational merit. go figure out why thats a thing!

      • (Score: 2) by DeathMonkey on Monday October 30 2017, @06:16PM (1 child)

        by DeathMonkey (1380) on Monday October 30 2017, @06:16PM (#589570) Journal

        the rule is: always always project what you are doing in secret on your opponent.

        Which is exactly what you are doing right now.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 31 2017, @09:41AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 31 2017, @09:41AM (#589936)

          Did you just post the equivalent of "I know you are, but what am I?"

    • (Score: -1, Flamebait) by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 30 2017, @03:57PM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 30 2017, @03:57PM (#589484)

      Unfortunately, as part cost saving measure, part humanitarian reason, all mental health institutions were closed int his country. The people who would be sent there, not the best or the brightest of us (although some can be bright) now live among us. We couldn't really employ them, because crazy people do not do a damn thing that is productive, so we sent them all to colleges. Now the problem has festered for too long, and we are feeling the long-term effects. These people are exiting after 10+ years in "Higher Education" with their shinny diplomas in Gender Studies, and the likes, and the outcome is fucking horrendous on the society.

      • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 30 2017, @08:01PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 30 2017, @08:01PM (#589624)

        It started out like it might have a real point, because indeed Reagan closed down all the mental health institutions. The rest is just stupid trolling.

        I would much rather have a hare brained liberal arts major than the bigoted rednecks that actually kill people and cause real problems. But that is just me.

    • (Score: 2) by bob_super on Monday October 30 2017, @05:02PM (1 child)

      by bob_super (1357) on Monday October 30 2017, @05:02PM (#589531)

      I've been amazed in the past at various reports of corruption where the dollar numbers were unexpectedly low (people making 6-7 figures taking 4-5 figures bribes for end-of-career moves). I've always wondered if it's because that's all that could be proven, or people are just that greedy.
      In the case of twitter, it's interesting that RT, for that $1.5M Twitter wanted, could have easily hired over a hundred people to post day and night...

      • (Score: 3, Informative) by NewNic on Monday October 30 2017, @06:29PM

        by NewNic (6420) on Monday October 30 2017, @06:29PM (#589580) Journal

        It shows that one of the following is true:

        1. There are a lot more bribes that could not be found or proven
        2. It does not require intelligence to rise to a position where one can earn large amounts.
        3. Greed dominates everything for some people.
        4. Some people with large incomes live paycheck to paycheck, and the small bribes still have a significant impact to their personal feelings of wealth (this is really a subset of 2. above).

        --
        lib·er·tar·i·an·ism ˌlibərˈterēənizəm/ noun: Magical thinking that useful idiots mistake for serious political theory
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 30 2017, @05:22PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 30 2017, @05:22PM (#589546)

      So the noise was only 43 decibels below the signal. That's got to make a difference!

  • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 30 2017, @03:45PM (2 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 30 2017, @03:45PM (#589478)

    I still don't get it about the supposed Russian meddling, if all they did was buy some adds, that's perfectly legal? Scotus even declared campaign contributions are perfectly fine for corporations, RT is a company, so again, its all legal?
    Now if someone can point me to blackmailing, special agent operations on US soil, assassinations of political rivals, or sabotaging the voting itself ...

    • (Score: 4, Informative) by DeathMonkey on Monday October 30 2017, @06:08PM (1 child)

      by DeathMonkey (1380) on Monday October 30 2017, @06:08PM (#589567) Journal

      Since you're asking I'll answer:

      Russian meddling, if all they did was buy some adds, that's perfectly legal? --Nope, illegal.

      Scotus even declared campaign contributions are perfectly fine for corporations, --American corporations.

      RT is a company, so again, its all legal? --Nope, illegal.

      Foreign Contributions to U.S. Elections [uky.edu]

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 31 2017, @09:53AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 31 2017, @09:53AM (#589937)

        What you obviously miss is that "contributions", as a legal term, are prohibited for foreign entities to provide for a US political candidate. Such activity is also illegal on BOTH ENDS of the transaction. What this means is two-fold:

        1. If there is no "contribution to" a candidate, the law does not apply. Ads that simply might be taken as damaging to a political opponent do not fit this definition of "contribution".

        2. The real reason I suspect this is being pitched is that the fakestream news wants these hilariously inaccurate accusations to stick in the court of public opinion, since both parties are criminally culpable in foreign contributions to political candidates, which explains the mouth-frothing fervor in pursuit of this fakenews as a weapon against Trump.

  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Hartree on Monday October 30 2017, @04:14PM

    by Hartree (195) on Monday October 30 2017, @04:14PM (#589498)

    Is anyone else reminded of the 1950s and the Red Scares? We seem to be using "they were helping the Russians" as a general accusation and excuse for poor performance.

    Were the Russians seeking to influence the US and undermine trust in the election? Sure. They're a nation state with competing interests and a leader who is still ticked at what he saw (rightly or wrongly) as similar meddling by the US in a Russian election.

    Did the Russians try to fan up racial divides over Ferguson and other police shootings, etc? Sure. But they were trying to influence something that had much deeper roots in our society, and that can't be dismissed as just outside meddling.

    Did they have a major impact? Probably not. It's a great excuse for the way the election turned out, but it was much more that there were a large number of voters disaffected from the usual mainstream. They went to Trump and Sanders in large numbers. Clinton's campaign failed to understand the importance of this and didn't put enough effort into several battleground states.

    BLM didn't just show up on the scene randomly. It was due to real events and forces within the US itself. The tension between the black community and many police organizations had been an ongoing theme at least for decades (actually, centuries)

    But, admitting that might put the usual political advisors/pundits who utterly missed the trends in a bad light. So, instead it's much better to blame the Russians.

    There's an old saying: The most effective lies incorporate a large measure of truth.

    Here, the truth is that outside influences were interfering in the election. Of course they were. Russian spends lots of money on the FSB and its paid/allied hackers/PR people.

    I can't prove that it's a "lie", but I strongly suspect that the possibility that it swung the election or magically gave rise to the BLM movement is being greatly exaggerated for face saving.

  • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 30 2017, @04:24PM (2 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 30 2017, @04:24PM (#589505)

    these social media companies are disgusting. so is the mainstream media. so russia was buying ads on facebook. so fucking what?! we're such dependant slaves we can't think for ourselves? we need the gov to fuck with slavebook/twatter so that they can have armies of censors controlling our perception of our masters? fuck you! big corporations in this country are disgusting whores(no offense to actual prostitutes who i hold in much higher regard that these sell out bootlickers).

    • (Score: 3, Funny) by The Mighty Buzzard on Monday October 30 2017, @04:37PM (1 child)

      Indeed. whores++;

      --
      "Buzzy, you're probably the dumbest person I've ever encountered. Well, there is aristarchus, so make it 2nd dumbest."
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 30 2017, @07:08PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 30 2017, @07:08PM (#589603)

        Whores at least tell you up front what sort of fucking you'll get for your money.

        Whereas the government sees how much fucking it can do with you for your money, then keeps cleaning out your wallet on a yearly basis.

        It's like marriage if your SO was big dicked/strapon wearing top with a penchant for abusive language, passing you around amongst their friends, and ruining your out of lifestyle life, just because they can!

        Go government! The abusive top most people don't realize they have!

  • (Score: 2) by Wootery on Monday October 30 2017, @05:09PM

    by Wootery (2341) on Monday October 30 2017, @05:09PM (#589536)

    in FULL? Please let's write like adults, not tabloids.

  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Thexalon on Monday October 30 2017, @06:54PM (5 children)

    by Thexalon (636) on Monday October 30 2017, @06:54PM (#589599) Homepage

    The US meddles in every foreign election we can manage. Why would the Russians not be trying to do the same thing? Especially consider that Hillary Clinton had successfully removed a Russian ally in Ukraine, and was trying to do the same thing in Syria: How would the US be reacting had the Russians, say, ousted Shinzo Abe of Japan in a military coup?

    Also, one idea that is core to the "Russian propaganda is why Trump won" line of thinking is that it presumes that the American people are a bunch of morons. Which I admit, lends the claim a certain amount of credibility, but in this case I think misses the mark: There's substantial evidence that the Clinton campaign were even more moronic than average Americans, and all the consultants who worked on that campaign have been pulling out all the stops to try to make us not notice that fact. This isn't surprising, because their salaries depend on Clinton and a few other rich people believing that they lost because of some clever schemes by a vast right-wing conspiracy (now international in scope!), rather than their being idiotic strategists who couldn't even be bothered to seriously campaign in Michigan and Wisconsin.

    --
    A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of bad gravy.
    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by DeathMonkey on Monday October 30 2017, @08:06PM (4 children)

      by DeathMonkey (1380) on Monday October 30 2017, @08:06PM (#589630) Journal

      So we should just roll over and let Russia interfere in our election based on an unproven allegation that the US maybe meddled in a Russian election at some point?

      • (Score: 2) by Thexalon on Monday October 30 2017, @08:24PM (2 children)

        by Thexalon (636) on Monday October 30 2017, @08:24PM (#589644) Homepage

        No, I'm just saying that all the hue-and-cry about it is largely unwarranted, and drummed up for a very specific reason that has nothing to do with national security.

        What we should do about it is what we should do regardless of the Russians:
        1. Properly secure our voting systems. Using physical media such as pieces of paper that are actually checked before the results are announced.
        2. Teach US citizens all about propaganda techniques and how to avoid succumbing to them. The main reason there isn't a push in this direction is that the US government doesn't want citizens to have an easy time of detecting and avoiding propaganda coming from the US government.

        --
        A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of bad gravy.
        • (Score: 2) by DeathMonkey on Monday October 30 2017, @08:27PM (1 child)

          by DeathMonkey (1380) on Monday October 30 2017, @08:27PM (#589648) Journal

          3. Lock the US traitors up. A good start! [soylentnews.org]

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 31 2017, @09:58AM

            by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 31 2017, @09:58AM (#589941)

            Do you actually realize how high the bar is for a US treason conviction?

            Do you realize that your behaviour (screaming "TREASON!" at people you don't like) is exactly the reason for said high bar?

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 31 2017, @02:13PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 31 2017, @02:13PM (#590014)

        No. BUT the real issue is as long as the DNC keeps blaming others for their mistakes they're less likely to improve.

        They even blamed the racists and the electoral college BUT the fact is a BLACK guy won TWICE.

        The DNC actually wanted Trump as their opponent and elevated him. They probably figured Clinton had a better chance vs Trump.

        They even claim the Russians hacked the election but there's no evidence that the votes or vote counts were changed by the Russians.

        The voters may have been illegally influenced by the Russians but the many of those voters were the ones Clinton and the DNC didn't really care much about anyway.

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