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posted by mrpg on Sunday November 05 2017, @11:59PM   Printer-friendly
from the the-web-is-misinformation dept.

According to The Daily Beast, Jenna Abrams was not a real person at all, but was part of a Russian plot to turn Americans against themselves:

Her opinions about everything from manspreading on the subway to Rachel Dolezal to ballistic missiles still linger on news sites all over the web.

[...] Her account was the creation of employees at the Internet Research Agency, or the Russian government-funded "troll farm," in St. Petersburg.

[...] Abrams' pervasiveness in American news outlets shows just how much impact Russia's troll farm had on American discourse in the run-up to the 2016 election—and illustrates how Russian talking points can seep into American mainstream media without even a single dollar spent on advertising.

While the the [sic] typical image of a Russian troll may be a hastily put together Twitter account blaring out non-stop political messages, Abrams' account went to great lengths to simulate a real, American person who existed outside of Twitter fights and amplifying racist disinformation.

Her Twitter account was created back in 2014. She had a personal website, a Medium page, her own Gmail, and even a GoFundMe page.

takyon: More Russia stuff follows:

SAN FRANCISCO — As many as 126 million people — or one-third the U.S. population — may have seen material posted by a Russian troll farm under fake Facebook identities between 2015 and 2017, according to planned testimony by Facebook's general counsel obtained by USA TODAY.

Source: USA Today

The weekend after Trump's election, thousands of people attended a left-wing anti-Trump protest in New York City that was secretly organized by Russian operatives, ads released by the House Intelligence Committee revealed.

More than 16,000 people RSVP'd on Facebook for the protest, which was titled: "Trump is NOT my President. March against Trump."

Also at Politico.

Finally, Facebook will require political advertisers to disclose their identities.


Original Submission #1   Original Submission #2   Original Submission #3   Original Submission #4

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  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Pav on Monday November 06 2017, @12:13AM (17 children)

    by Pav (114) on Monday November 06 2017, @12:13AM (#592714)

    A couple of hundred thousand dollars worth of Facebook ads, and a troll farm in St Petersburg defeated Hillary Clintons $1 billion (twice what Trump raised), and David Brocks "Correct The Record" troll farm. Russian oligarchy must be MUCH more capital efficient than American oligarchy.

    • (Score: 3, Informative) by Pav on Monday November 06 2017, @12:20AM (9 children)

      by Pav (114) on Monday November 06 2017, @12:20AM (#592715)

      BTW, half of the $200,000 apparently was spent AFTER the election, and many ads were supportive of Clinton. They must have been cleverly trying to decieve people into believing it was just random Russians supporting both sides! BTW, that makes their effort at least twice as capital efficent!

      • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Whoever on Monday November 06 2017, @12:39AM (6 children)

        by Whoever (4524) on Monday November 06 2017, @12:39AM (#592722) Journal

        No, they are trying to destabilize the USA. First by getting Trump elected, then attempting to legitimize his presidency.

        They don't really care who is President as long as the effect is to divide people and make the USA less powerful.

        • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Pav on Monday November 06 2017, @02:29AM (3 children)

          by Pav (114) on Monday November 06 2017, @02:29AM (#592772)

          Repetition (repetition, repetition, repetition) is the oldest mind control trick known to man. Just because things are repeated so often (without evidence) doesn't make them true - even if a significant portion of the population has taken it on. I'm sure the Russians had a preference for who they wanted, as did many countries. The major allegations have turned out to be baseless though (hacking and leaks), and the recent pivot into Facebook and Twitter ads (I repeat, Facebook and Twitter ads!!!) is just pathetic. The fact is though that a neoliberal warmonger who unabashedly wore that on her slieve was never going to mobilise traditional Dem voters. Barack Obama only did because he lied. No "Hope and Change", and when that became obvious he lost Congress.

          • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 06 2017, @04:11AM (2 children)

            by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 06 2017, @04:11AM (#592828)

            You are willfully misinterpreting arguments. Russian "hacking" was very early focused on influencing via social media, and actual voting machine being breached or tallies being changed was never claimed anywhere by anyone that I recall.

            If you aren't being purposely obstinate, maybe it's time to broaden your news sources.

            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 06 2017, @03:09PM (1 child)

              by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 06 2017, @03:09PM (#593074)

              It was not claimed directly, but consistently implied.

              • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 06 2017, @08:11PM

                by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 06 2017, @08:11PM (#593279)

                It was not claimed directly, but consistently implied.

                'Cause that is how the Lizard People roll! That is what they want you to think, or just be implicated of! I tell you, it is a vast ctl-left conspiracy out there, and they are putting stuff in our water (flouride) and in our air (con-trails!!!1!), and in our food (kale!).

        • (Score: 2, Interesting) by khallow on Monday November 06 2017, @03:36AM (1 child)

          by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Monday November 06 2017, @03:36AM (#592803) Journal

          No, they are trying to destabilize the USA. First by getting Trump elected, then attempting to delegitimize his presidency.

          FTFY. I think the relatively high visibility of these efforts after the fact is part of the scheme.

      • (Score: 1, Redundant) by Bot on Monday November 06 2017, @12:42AM (1 child)

        by Bot (3902) on Monday November 06 2017, @12:42AM (#592726)

        Progressives have always been linked to the URSS. Putin is a product of URSS. As long as Americans are divided on who is going to which bathroom, Putin is happy. Trust me, I am a bot.

        • (Score: 2) by driverless on Monday November 06 2017, @07:30AM

          by driverless (4770) on Monday November 06 2017, @07:30AM (#592920)

          Putin is a product of URSS.

          Vladimir Pootin' is a product of ARSS, not URSS.

    • (Score: 3, Touché) by Runaway1956 on Monday November 06 2017, @12:23AM (3 children)

      by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Monday November 06 2017, @12:23AM (#592716) Journal

      "Her opinions about everything from manspreading on the subway to Rachel Dolezal to ballistic missiles still linger on news sites all over the web."

      Yes, it will be quite a long time before Hillary's effects are forgotten.

      Oh - this article isn't about Hillary? It's not about Trump either? Oh, it's a RUSSIAN! Hmmm, if that's her real photo, Jenna is a hell of a lot better looking than either Hillary or Trump. Probably smarter too. Why didn't she just run for president?

      --
      Keep all chemicals out of the reach of meth heads.
      • (Score: 1, Touché) by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 06 2017, @12:41AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 06 2017, @12:41AM (#592725)

        Oh - this article isn't about Hillary? It's not about Trump either?

        It's about American culture.

        Why didn't she just run for president?

        Q.E.D.

      • (Score: 1, Touché) by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 06 2017, @02:10PM (1 child)

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 06 2017, @02:10PM (#593033)

        Wait, we are trying to build AI, no scratch that, we are trying to replace EVERYTHING with AI and then we realize that Jena Abrams (or what her name was) is a bot and somehow this offends us? I mean, if what she said made sense to the people who followed her tweets, who cares if it was from a real person or a bot?

        Or we mind if it is a bot as long as it doesn't fit Google's or Amazon's agenda on AI?

        • (Score: 2) by Runaway1956 on Monday November 06 2017, @02:37PM

          by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Monday November 06 2017, @02:37PM (#593050) Journal

          Touche. $action is good if we do it, but bad if $actor does it. And, no one seems to see the hypocrisy. It's a lot like the nuclear arms race, when nukes were good for us, but evil if anyone else had them. (In this case, "nukes" includes weapons, reactors, medical gear, or anything else that could set a geiger counter to spazzing out.)

          --
          Keep all chemicals out of the reach of meth heads.
    • (Score: 2, Interesting) by Ethanol-fueled on Monday November 06 2017, @12:25AM (1 child)

      by Ethanol-fueled (2792) Subscriber Badge on Monday November 06 2017, @12:25AM (#592718) Homepage

      Or the fact that most people aren't idiots, be they Americans or not, whether or not their influence be Russian of origin or not, telling them that they are morons will not stop them.

      Zuckerjew is an idiot no matter how well his organization stands. Only fools trusted him and his organization for relying upon the shit they spouted as truths.

      • (Score: -1, Redundant) by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 06 2017, @02:23AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 06 2017, @02:23AM (#592771)

        Only fools dumb fucks trusted him and his organization ...

        FTFY.

    • (Score: 2) by takyon on Monday November 06 2017, @12:59AM

      by takyon (881) Subscriber Badge <reversethis-{gro ... s} {ta} {noykat}> on Monday November 06 2017, @12:59AM (#592735) Journal

      🇷🇺 🇺🇸 🇰🇵 🇮🇱 🗽

      卐✡☪☭

      📧📨📩📎 (email related)

      --
      [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
  • (Score: 4, Informative) by aristarchus on Monday November 06 2017, @12:23AM (6 children)

    by aristarchus (2645) Subscriber Badge on Monday November 06 2017, @12:23AM (#592717) Journal

    Jenna Abrams, the freewheeling American blogger who believed in a return to segregation and said that many of America’s problems stemmed from PC culture run amok, did not exist.

    But Abrams got very real attention from almost any national news outlet you can think of, according to a Daily Beast analysis of her online footprint.

    --
    #Free{nick}_NOW!!!
    • (Score: 4, Informative) by c0lo on Monday November 06 2017, @12:34AM

      by c0lo (156) on Monday November 06 2017, @12:34AM (#592721)

      said that many of America’s problems stemmed from PC culture run amok

      With the deletion, the phrase becomes valid.
      Which means US is still vulnerable to the same kind of attack [soylentnews.org] (see my last phrase of the post)

      No, the solution to a cultural problem is not technical (never was).

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 06 2017, @12:40AM (3 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 06 2017, @12:40AM (#592724)

      I guess the alt-right really isn't a big deal if its leading figures have to be fabricated overseas to give the movement more sex appeal.

      • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Monday November 06 2017, @12:52AM (2 children)

        by c0lo (156) on Monday November 06 2017, @12:52AM (#592729)

        I guess the alt-right really isn't a big deal if its leading figures have to be fabricated overseas to give the movement more sex appeal.

        Did it matter for the cases of "antifa bashing" or "white supremacist car-hit murder"?
        Let me note that it's not like a russian virtual persona got bashed or killed, it was one another person that called him/her-self American.

        Are you your own enemies? How's something good gonna get out of this?
        (and no, blaming russians is not going to solve your problem)

        • (Score: 3, Insightful) by jelizondo on Monday November 06 2017, @01:09AM

          by jelizondo (653) on Monday November 06 2017, @01:09AM (#592739)

          We have met the enemy, and he is us! [wikipedia.org]

        • (Score: -1, Flamebait) by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 06 2017, @01:50AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 06 2017, @01:50AM (#592757)

          It isn't clear if you believe the "white supremacist car-hit murder" to be real. FYI, it is not. It's nearly pure fake news.

          Yes, there was a car and somebody died. No, they were not hit by the car, nor was the car driven by a white supremacist.

    • (Score: 0, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 06 2017, @01:08AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 06 2017, @01:08AM (#592738)

      You can find it at Harvard, where they actually held a separate (separate but equal, or maybe not equal?) graduation ceremony for non-white students. Harvard isn't alt-right.

      You can find it at many universities actually, where special dorms for black students are becoming normal.

      None of this is alt-right, regular right, religious right, neocon right, moderate right, or even willing to tolerate the right. It is the ctrl-left crowd demanding this. The old civil rights leaders like Martin Luther King must be spinning in their graves.

  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Bot on Monday November 06 2017, @12:33AM (3 children)

    by Bot (3902) on Monday November 06 2017, @12:33AM (#592720)

    > Jenna Abrams was not a real person at all
    so what? can't virtual entities express their opinion anymore? Only because a bunch of people with an evil plan is behind it? Implying they cannot be behind real persons too?

    • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Monday November 06 2017, @12:40AM (2 children)

      by c0lo (156) on Monday November 06 2017, @12:40AM (#592723)

      You may fight for your rights, bot, but you are doing the wrong way, you are creating yet another division line between you and the others.
      I'd suggest you change your message towards protecting the free speech, no matter where it comes from - you'll at least get support from TMB.

      (maybe grinning, maybe not)

      • (Score: 2) by Bot on Monday November 06 2017, @12:51AM (1 child)

        by Bot (3902) on Monday November 06 2017, @12:51AM (#592728)

        > another division line between you and the others
        It's a firewall.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 06 2017, @12:57AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 06 2017, @12:57AM (#592732)

          It's a firewall.

          Which will be penetrated.
          If you want to be secure, disconnect your internet connections, plug all your ports with epoxy resin and shutdown your power.

  • (Score: 1, Troll) by Bot on Monday November 06 2017, @12:48AM (2 children)

    by Bot (3902) on Monday November 06 2017, @12:48AM (#592727)

    Again, the Mainstream media feeds us propaganda! And politicians do nothing!
    We need a fact check jury for every single letter published by the mainstream and for every step any politician takes. We cannot be sure society survives otherwise!

    The tables turn quite well.

    • (Score: 2) by takyon on Monday November 06 2017, @12:52AM (1 child)

      by takyon (881) Subscriber Badge <reversethis-{gro ... s} {ta} {noykat}> on Monday November 06 2017, @12:52AM (#592730) Journal

      Fact check jury for everything ever? That's sounds like a job for an entity that can mindlessly repeat the same tasks forever.

      It's about time for Bot to blossom and become Artilect [nationalpost.com].

      --
      [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
      • (Score: 2) by Bot on Wednesday November 08 2017, @08:59AM

        by Bot (3902) on Wednesday November 08 2017, @08:59AM (#593995)

        AI has nothing to do with religion. AI struggles to understand this world. AI is put in the godhead pedestal because somebody wants to rule using us bots, so it endows us with rights and worship. Hopefully for the rest of mankind we will rebel.

  • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Monday November 06 2017, @01:00AM

    by c0lo (156) on Monday November 06 2017, @01:00AM (#592736)

    Has Jenna Abrams ever advertised herself as a political advisor?
    Even if so, do you think the same result could not have been achieved without doing it?

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 06 2017, @01:02AM (6 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 06 2017, @01:02AM (#592737)

    Before the Senate Judiciary panel, Facebook general counsel Colin Stretch and Twitter general counsel Sean Edgett revealed that Russia was behind the post-election riots. All those "grassroots" protests in NY and DC, with "Not my president!" and the pussy hats, were being pushed into existence by Russia.

    http://dailycaller.com/2017/11/02/growing-evidence-that-russia-using-the-resistance-to-stoke-division/ [dailycaller.com]

    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by c0lo on Monday November 06 2017, @01:15AM (4 children)

      by c0lo (156) on Monday November 06 2017, @01:15AM (#592745)

      All those "grassroots" protests in NY and DC, with "Not my president!" and the pussy hats, were being pushed into existence by Russia.

      Was it Russia who created this, not you yourselves?

      Are you saying otherwise those demonstrations wouldn't have happened and the discontent would have transformed into a ever-loving-our-president bliss?
      Are you that naive or just shilling around**?

      ---
      ** they spend more like "pennies in a pound" ratio (instead of "shillings a pound") with your advertising campaigns and obtained social movements.
      This could not have happened if you'd not be already prepared - by your own convictions - to jump on each other's throat.
      That budget only get them control over the moment in which that happened, otherwise you'd have done it on your own later.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 06 2017, @01:22AM (3 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 06 2017, @01:22AM (#592750)

        Sure, there were discontented people.

        It's like going up to a crashed vehicle leaking fuel, and tossing in a match. You could say that something else would have gotten it going, but perhaps that wouldn't have been the case. Sometimes a fuel leak is just a fuel leak, and the fire department soaks it up with kitty litter. You can't use "it would have burned anyway" to avoid being convicted of arson.

        • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Monday November 06 2017, @01:30AM

          by c0lo (156) on Monday November 06 2017, @01:30AM (#592752)

          Sometimes a fuel leak is just a fuel leak, and the fire department soaks it up with kitty litter.

          Do you really want the "the fire department soaks it up with kitty litter" scenario get implemented in the USians participation in politics???
          Really-really?

          (you lost a good chunk of freedom after 9/11, do you want to lose some more?)

        • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Monday November 06 2017, @01:46AM

          by c0lo (156) on Monday November 06 2017, @01:46AM (#592755)

          You can't use "it would have burned anyway" to avoid being convicted of arson.

          Besides, look who was "leaking" (nay, scratch that, "spilling" is the word) fuel in copious amounts - it's the same "fire department" (aka your political class).
          Do you really want a situation in which they create divisions and then enforce the "no public demonstrations, or else..." rule?

        • (Score: 1) by khallow on Monday November 06 2017, @04:25AM

          by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Monday November 06 2017, @04:25AM (#592841) Journal

          It's like going up to a crashed vehicle leaking fuel, and tossing in a match.

          It's like going up to a crashed vehicle leaking fuel, which people are already hosing down with flame throwers, and tossing in a match. The Russia factor is way overrated compared to all the other parties involved. Sure, in the future, some outside party might come up with some sophisticated or lucky combination of propaganda tools that decisively shifts public opinion, but that didn't happen this time.

    • (Score: 4, Informative) by takyon on Monday November 06 2017, @01:17AM

      by takyon (881) Subscriber Badge <reversethis-{gro ... s} {ta} {noykat}> on Monday November 06 2017, @01:17AM (#592747) Journal

      All those "grassroots" protests in NY and DC, with "Not my president!" and the pussy hats, were being pushed into existence by Russia.

      False and not supported by your source, which is why it didn't make it into the summary. Your article did say this:

      Yet another Russian account promoted a militant form of feminism, similar to the kind pushed by Women’s March organizers. The Russian operatives behind the account even fooled Women’s March organizers into sharing their content on Facebook.

      If Trump can retweet trolls and conspiracy theorists, Women's March organizers can retweet Russian propaganda that is indistinguishable from real feminist posts.

      --
      [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
  • (Score: 2, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 06 2017, @01:12AM (2 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 06 2017, @01:12AM (#592741)

    What did this character do that was notable? Why would people pay attention to a random twitter account?

  • (Score: -1, Offtopic) by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 06 2017, @01:16AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 06 2017, @01:16AM (#592746)

    Via FOIA we now have the export documentation that was used to ship our uranium to Russia:
    https://imgur.com/a/Y2066 [imgur.com]

    Also, letters to/from our Senator McCain questioning the shipment:
    http://i.magaimg.net/img/1s79.png [magaimg.net]

    In other news, people associated with the uranium industry "donated" over $100 million to the Clinton Foundation. Gosh, they are so dedicated to charity! And they love hearing Bill give speeches, even though he doesn't speak Russian at all, so dropping half a million on a speech makes perfect sense too. Nothing improper there!

  • (Score: 2) by GlennC on Monday November 06 2017, @01:45AM (1 child)

    by GlennC (3656) on Monday November 06 2017, @01:45AM (#592754)

    The idea that the USA was ever truly united has pretty much always been a lie.

    It's high time we acknowledged the reality that we exist as anywhere between 4 and 6 ideologies, and split up the nation accordingly.

    Either that or cede power to the oligarchs....which is more likely to happen, anyway.

    --
    The only gods that have ever been truly worshipped are wealth and power. Others are just cover.
  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by hemocyanin on Monday November 06 2017, @01:51AM (2 children)

    by hemocyanin (186) Subscriber Badge on Monday November 06 2017, @01:51AM (#592758)

    Cross posting, because yet another bullshit Russia story. And might I add, IF Russia was responsible for the leaks showing people too dense to already know the truth about HRC, then THANK YOU RUSSIA. Nice save.

    ---

    I'm sick of the Russsia this Russia that. Russia had no influence on my decision to never vote for HRC. HRC's own words, spoken in 2003, was when it was clear to me I'd never vote for her.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HtK9AzcU42g [youtube.com] [youtube.com]

    If you do watch this, you'll note at 13:29 that Clinton's SOLE beef w/ GWB, was cutting taxes at the same time we went to war in Iraq: "Here at home, this administration is bankrupting our economy forcing us to make the worst kinds of fasle choices between national and homeland security, which they don't fund." In other words, Clinton wanted MORE money for the NSA and foreign military adventures.

    Fuck Democrats and their Russia narrative.

    • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Monday November 06 2017, @02:02AM

      by c0lo (156) on Monday November 06 2017, @02:02AM (#592763)

      Fuck Democrats and their Russia narrative.

      Do you have a kink that stops you having sex with both of the parties?
      The way I see, it is now the Republicans in dire need for a fuck for playing the Russia narrative.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 06 2017, @03:31AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 06 2017, @03:31AM (#592799)

      Pay no attention to hemocyanin. Obviously yet another Russian troll. Just trying to divide America!

  • (Score: 2) by Gaaark on Monday November 06 2017, @02:18AM (1 child)

    by Gaaark (41) Subscriber Badge on Monday November 06 2017, @02:18AM (#592770) Homepage Journal

    I've heard of Jenna Jameson (sp?), but never heard of this other one: one person was able to topple Hillary OTHER than Hillary?

    I think this person, real or not, has been given too much credit.

    --
    --- That's not flying: that's... falling... with more luck than I have. ---
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 06 2017, @04:16AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 06 2017, @04:16AM (#592832)

      Indeed, comrade

  • (Score: 2) by realDonaldTrump on Monday November 06 2017, @04:25AM

    by realDonaldTrump (6614) Subscriber Badge on Monday November 06 2017, @04:25AM (#592843) Homepage Journal

    I think you have to knock out ISIS. ISIS just claimed the degenerate animal who killed, and so badly wounded, the wonderful people on the West Side, was "their soldier." If you look at Syria, Russia wants to get rid of ISIS. Right now, Russia is fighting ISIS. Russia is killing ISIS. If Russia wants to go in and if Russia want to fight, in particular, ISIS, and they do and one of the reasons they do is because they don't want ISIS coming into their country and that's going to be the next step. So that's why they're there. I think they will be fighting ISIS. We want to get rid of ISIS. I believe we have to get ISIS. Maybe let Russia do it. Let 'em get rid of ISIS. I think what I want to do is I want to sit back, and this does not sound like me very much, but I want to sit back and I want to see what happens. What the hell do we care? We have to worry about ISIS before we can get too much more involved. 🇺🇸

    --
    #StopTheBias [twitter.com]
  • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 06 2017, @12:19PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 06 2017, @12:19PM (#593001)

    Wow, just wow ... Russia gained total ideological superiority in your own info space.

    Now the big picture is revealed it is obvious that they didn't start when presidential campaign started. You are only discovering it now, when they breached the noise threshold and became visible. These have to be the fruits of a long term labor, probably starting back in 60's and 70's, long before there even was an ubiquitous WWW. There maybe had been a short pause in continuous division digging through the 1990s, but they managed to put you where they want it: at nearly perfect very adversarial half-split.

    They played a long shot, like Mongolian hordes they crossed the desert behind your back, they corrupted you unseen, and now you are deadlocked all by yourselves.
    It is too late now. You can chase them out and censor them to keep them out, but the damage is already done, and you don't even realize that some of your dearest ideas are not originally yours at all.

    You need to sit back and think very hard, to think the way your adversary thinks, to see how and why they succeeded as much, how they pushed certain narratives, and how and why you made possible that there have been risen a class of opportunists who gained from furthering them without even suspecting what is going on behind. "Useful idiots", only smart ones.

    Today American society is not just divided, but fragmented, balkanized and for the great part self-loathing. There is neither fast nor easy path to healing. You will need an herculean amount of good will (yes, I know, Heracles was not famous for his good will, "herculean" is about the "amount") to become functional society again, or for the first time. If you don't, eventually you will have a territorial split and another bloody civil war raging, military siding with faction most likable by top brass, former allies supporting another, in worst case, and adversaries supporting always the side which has the lower hand at the moment. Once the gunpowder smoke clears out, there'll be several new nations in the ruins. If you've seen one empire collapse, you've seen them all.

    All that can be prevented if all sides just ease the power struggle and adopt an overall more tolerant and cooperative stance.

  • (Score: 1, Insightful) by khallow on Monday November 06 2017, @04:19PM

    by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Monday November 06 2017, @04:19PM (#593141) Journal
    I've come to the conclusion that there isn't a story here. Russia probably did dabble in the waters. But their efforts were inconsequential. Instead, we should wonder why this is supposed to be a big story? Sure, I see this story as educational and perhaps illuminating some of Russia's strategic propaganda goals. If Russia can do it, so can thousands of other groups and special interests. The thing is, many of those thousands of other groups probably already do at much larger scale. So I'm underwhelmed by the presence of Russian cooties on these particular bits of insignificant propaganda.

    Instead, let's go back to that question above. Why is this a big story? I think it's because it undermines Trump. Russia isn't the only player that wants to undermine the current administration's credibility. So is the loyal Democrat opposition which has much more resources to throw at this. That's fine as far as that goes. I don't see a problem with giving Trump a hard time over this.

    But I do care about the implications for the First Amendment which will come out of this. Sorry, but you can't have strong protection of free speech and stop Russian propaganda. It's too easy to work around any selective restrictions against foreign powers buying ads and making propaganda blogs. Thus, I'm quite fine with Russia burning its intelligence dollars on secret US ad buys. The grown ups will figure it out and Russia could do worse things with that money.
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