More questions about the Covington/Phillips video

Last night JK, a frequent commenter on my blog, and I tossed a bunch of ideas back and forth about the Covington boy/Phillips video situation. I woke up this morning thinking more about all of these loose threads.  Our comment exchange is located on my previous blog post. Twitter cover-up?

A few random thoughts here, first is that with the internet & computer technology, the professionals have many computer programming languages & technology specific terminology, which leaves non-tech people (like me and most other people) not only clueless, but also defenseless against the tech industry, in general. We are hooked on their products, but we rely completely on them or on the one or two techie people we know, or on our equally clueless non-tech family members and friends – to navigate and understand just about everything having to do with computer technology and systems.

We are at the mercy of the tech professionals to understand their tech world.  The tech experts & the industry as a whole can tell the non-tech public just about anything wrapped up in some computer terms and it’s like Sanskrit to most of us, non-tech morons (like me),… all rather complicated and alien.

The one thing I have gleaned is the technology medium of exchange is data, making acquiring data, storing data, and exchanging data top priority.  CNN Business  & NBC put out the reports quoting Twitter, basically putting a “nothing to see here” end to this viral story.  I suspect Twitter has that account info cached.  I suspect Twitter knows who was responsible for that account.

I suspect the data of that account is cached by numerous sites that deal in broad sweep data collection and analysis. Finding it is the challenge, because I don’t believe, Twitter,  who displays bias against right-wingers frequently in their rule enforcement and is run by liberals, would ever admit they gave a free pass to a professional, sophisticated, Dem SPIN repetitive messaging operation that resulted in kids receiving death threats.

That account stuck out because its messaging was indicative of a hostile foreign misinformation campaign with “highly polarized and yet inconsistent political messaging”, so if that type of messaging wasn’t a foreign operator and Twitter says its “appears to be” a schoolteacher in CA, well, that messaging was still “highly polarized and yet inconsistent political messaging”.

This made me think of the recent news reports of the Dems social media operations during the Moore campaign.

Both NBC and CNN Business report that anonymous account had a lot of other online activity on other sites.  This Twitter video was reported to have been originally posted on Instagram by someone who was at the event.  This account, @2020fight,  pulled that video from Instagram,  “but it was @2020fight’s caption that helped frame the news cycle”. 

So, the account holder(s), @2020fight,  added a provocative caption and launched it on Twitter.

I still have plenty of questions about these  Twitter investigators and their investigation, that’s for sure.

In the CNN Business report, information warfare researcher, Molly McKew, mentions, “she later realized that a network of anonymous accounts were working to amplify the video.”… after she retweeted to help amplify it

In the comments on my previous post, JK, offered the opinion”

“Sorry LB I’ve been, as I mentioned in a “rabbithole” – Anyway, without “assets” it would have been impossible for her to “realize a network.”

I suppose Miss McKew may have a side job with the NSA and is especially “screwed in” but, given our nation’s AG situation, it’s simply too incredible (dictionary meaning) that she managed to get it cleared for public dissemination.”

I’ve been wondering how on earth she realized there was a network of anonymous accounts working to amplify that video,  from her personal PC or cellphone?  Does she have access to some sophisticated content monitoring capability?   Does she work for someone or is she involved in monitoring or running networks of anonymous accounts, who engage in political messaging to be disbursed through amplification (anonymous accounts launching SPIN attacks) on social media  How on earth did she realize it was a network of anonymous accounts?

She should be asked how she knew there was a network and how on earth she identified that network of anonymous accounts from her Twitter feed. I can see when the pool of liberal media guppies and pundits engage in a Dem retweet feeding frenzy , but I have no way to scan Twitter and identify a network of anonymous accounts who initiated an orchestrated  (network, as McKew described it) SPIN messaging attack.

SPIN is information warfare, whether it’s foreign or domestic – it is an attack to flood media with political messaging to incite people (agitation propaganda).  SPIN information warfare has several components, but the SPIN messaging component is repetitive messaging operations across all media platforms in America, particularly the news media venues.  Since 1998, when I mentioned this on The Excite message boards, I believe SPIN repetitive messaging operates using the military tactic of swarming.  Information warfare employs military strategy and tactics, while disguising it in benign PR terminology. It is ruthless mass media brainwashing operations more at home in totalitarian countries, designed to control public opinion in America and drown out and marginalize dissenting viewpoints.

Two different hives swarm on social media – the professional info operators waging orchestrated spin attacks and the pond of partisans – retweeting whatever the professional info operators feed them. Dems/media are used to being the Dem SPIN guppies for the Left’s professional SPIN political operatives. They have decades of experience dutifully reciting their talking points, sent from on high – no questions asked.

On my Twitter feed, I assume my feed is based on some algorithm Twitter has to fill my feed with content, based on my tweeting and who I follow.  I follow 900+ journalists and pundit peeps, so I can follow the swarming Dem SPIN attacks launching by the Dem SPIN guppies.  I have no way to identify the Dem SPIN professional operators manufacturing the Dem SPIN ammo or orchestrating the Dem SPIN swarming “networks of anonymous accounts”.  McKew apparently has access to information on the professional operations, who orchestrate these Dem SPIN swarming attacks on social media.

I’ve got a lot of questions in my mind about this anonymous account holder(s),@2020fight, in the Covington/Phillips video. @2020fight had tweeted on average 130 times per day since the beginning of this year (per CNN) story.  The NBC article refers to @2020fight’s activity as being an online influencer.  Was @2020fight working with a political group or organization as an “influencer”?

There’s a difference between political free speech and waging orchestrated mass media smear campaigns, particularly using a photo of kids and smearing them based on a facial expression and a red hat.  That video was propelled onto Twitter to incite an online rage mob against some kids.  We need to know if this was just one “influencer” or a network, as McKew explained it.  If it was orchestrated by a group of political operatives, it recklessly endangered children, all to incite hate against President Trump and a group of kids.   That is different than one “influencer” unintentionally posted a video that went viral, imo.  Was there a network of anonymous accounts, launched to amplify that video?  If so, was that network of anonymous accounts manufactured by political operatives?  I hope many concerned citizens continue to search for answers and investigate this attack on innocent kids.

Added Thought, January 26, 2019:

In my mind one online “influencer” schoolteacher very actively promoting her political views is very different than political operatives orchestrating an online mob action, deploying numerous anonymous accounts, to amplify  “highly polarized and yet inconsistent political messaging”.

The targets of this messaging were a bunch of kids on a school trip waiting for their bus.

Another Added Thought, January 26,2019, 8:06 pm:

Last night, bouncing ideas back and forth with JK, in comments on my previous post,  I wrote:

“JK, this Rob McDonagh works for Storyful – one google search – Storyful is headquartered in Ireland, parent organization is News. Corp, (Murdoch). So, following the CNN & NBC stories, Storyful alerted Twitter, headquarters in San Francisco, about the suspicious account.

Assuredly, if this suspicious account is in the San Francisco Bay area, their investigators wouldn’t have had to travel far to talk to this account holder, who claims to be a school teacher. It isn’t like an account in a foreign country, for crying out loud. And if it was an innocent school teacher in the bay area, seems like she might have been calling Twitter in her hometown or going there to talk to someone quickly to resolve the matter. Something just seems so sketchy about all of it.”

JK offered some very interesting thoughts too.  I might be incorrect about Storyful contacting Twitter.  The CNN report says, McDonagh, at Storyful was, “was monitoring Twitter activity on Saturday morning”.  Rereading the NBC report, it says:

“Questions soon emerged about the account. Following an inquiry by CNN about the fake profile photo, Twitter suspended @2020fight on Monday for violating its policy on fake accounts.”

My  main issue is what does Twitter know about this anonymous account holder(s) and any other anonymous accounts involved in suspicious, high volume retweets of this video?   Have Twitter investigators been in communication, online or in person, with the account holder(s)?   In the NBC report, the 2nd paragraph, bothered me and it still bothers me:

“But it appears that the account, @2020fight, was run not by a foreign operative trying to fan America’s political divisions but rather by a woman who described herself as a San Francisco Bay Area teacher and advocated liberal causes — and, to all appearances, did not expect to find herself at the center of a media firestorm.”

Why was NBC framing this account holder as  a victim:

“to all appearances, did not expect to find herself at the center of a media firestorm.”

Huh??? She was using a photo pulled from a Brazilian blogger, high rate of tweets and  and she was engaged in behavior that was ““highly polarized and yet inconsistent political messaging”,

She assuredly was at the center of an aggressive political messaging operation though, whether for her own political motive or as part of a network, is not clear.  It would be very interesting to know who she followed and who was following her and who her large crowd of retweets were.  This could be important to know if it’s an orchestrated network .. along with knowing if there was a network of other anonymous accounts amplifying this video.

If it is a network, It would help lead back the big fish Dem SPIN political operatives, running this operation and it would help flesh out some of the Dem SPIN guppies on Twitter (although anyone following politics on Twitter can give you a lonnnnng list, lol of the Dem SPIN guppies).  All networks have various links, so unraveling the links might lead higher up the Dem SPIN orchestrated smear campaign food chain.

Twitter’s own rules ban malicious conduct, so assuredly an orchestrated smear campaign targeting children should be against the rules. PERIOD.  Why isn’t Twitter releasing more details? And why did the NBC report try to paint this account holder(s) as the victim???


Filed under General Interest, Information War, Politics, The Media

17 responses to “More questions about the Covington/Phillips video

  1. JK

    Evening LB,

    “Thanks” to you I’ve found a largish part of my day occupied with something as recently as this time last week I coulda swore “Me look into that stuff? No. Not ever!” Good thing tomorrow’s temperature forecast purports to be as warm as today’s because otherwise, my whole weekend would have been down the toilet.

    Anyway, in sumpin after the fashion of the unknown Tweeterer of Recently I seem to’ve stumbled over another such case – paragraph 18+/- a paragraph depending – I’d prefer being able to assure you this article’s author and me “bumping into the other” was pure coincidence. Doubt I could get away with that though:

    Some useful information on that – some unuseful too I think. As to the latter characterized I can’t recall which paragraph nor, can I recall precisely, how the assertion was framed – went sumpin’ like,”While the Right’s weaponization of SOM is advanced, the Left’s on the other hand is in its infancy.”

    That paraphrased assertion sparked one of my memory-neurons to fire off reminding me our friend Malcolm posted what I imagine, were he to be following what the two of us been doing over the last 24 hours or so, would frame as “a fundamental disagreement.”

    My local weather lady danged better read her teleprompter right!

    • The Left always projects, JK. I have been following the SPIN info war since it started in ’92, with the Clinton war room. It spread to the entire Dem/Left. Had my own run in in ’98 with writing about the specific components of SPIN info war on the Excite message boards, during impeachment, and countering their spin attacks (just like I am doing on Twitter, btw). The Right never managed effective spin until Trump hobbled together his personal Twitter account, FOX and some online venues, while the Dems/Left own the entire media messaging in America from news, TV shows to Hollywood. That’s why they are determined to destroy him – he is an existential threat to their lock on controlling SPIN messaging (public opinion) in America.

    • McKew is a “narrative architect” too JK, OMG, this is too rich…

      • JK

        I kinda figured that’d jump out to you lol …

        On another (sort of) front I may well have been somewhat in error with my analytical opinion of McKew’s “realizing” it being a network … but just maybe. Happen to notice her third paragraph opener?

        “In the space of a few hours on January 18, #releasethememo exploded on Twitter …”

        January 18, 2018 is pretty damn close to being the anniversary of the January 19, 2019 Teen&Veteran exploding on likewise.

        Anniversaries tend to play on minds sometimes though its been my experience (mostly for the worse) that the females of the species are demonstrably better at remembering It’s An Anniversary Dumbass!

  2. “Computational propaganda”… got that JK… It’s their SPIN information warfare – that I have dissected since the 90s. JK this article McKew wrote is total disinformation – projecting it onto the Right, when the Right sucks at SPIN war. Even Trump’s spin efforts with FOX are clunky and awkward. He uses his Twitter or podium to spread some mean tweets and his Twitter Commandos charge into headlong attacks on Twitter to browbeat the liberal journalists, pundits, and especially remnant NeverTrumpers. There are no effective sophisticated operations on the right, that I have detected, other than Russian trolling activities on Disqus, facebook and Twitter. Don’t use Instagram or Snapchat. The sophisticated attacks are all on the Left, who have refined their “computational propaganda” techniques for decades, while on the Right they are still looking around trying to figure out how it really works.

    I’ve thought that Hamilton68 site seems like a disinformation tool, that the Left put out – why on earth would you start putting out lists of suspected Russian front activities, when the way to monitor them is to QUIETLY track their activities and develop more intel on how they operate, their networks, etc? You would NOT go posting lists online of dozens upon dozens of suspected Russian fronts and accounts in public. That is nuts. All it does is create the Trump/Red Scare atmosphere they want – to fuel their endless Trump/Russian Collusion hysteria.

    And feeding their agitation propaganda is what it’s all about. Massive, sophisticated information warfare operations on the Left.
    The thing McKew’s long, endless techno-mumbo jumbo comes off sounding important, but it’s a bunch of disinformation, that no one can even follow her rambling trails of “evidence”. She’s clueless on military strategy and tactics, which is what this information warfare is – just a different battlefield. But hey, she’s a “narrative architect”… Lord help us all…

    What is happening on the Right and in white blue collar America is a backlash to the culture war the Left has been waging through the media for decades. They were willing to get behind just about anyone who would fight back – hence, Trump.

    Bottomline is neither side will win in this domestic SPIN information war, because hostile foreign actors are heavily involved (way longer than 2015 as McKew states – boy she is clueless) and the hostile foreign actors and some of the far-Left have been working toward collapsing the system for decades.

    That’s my opinion, me LB, the nobody homemaker.

    • JK

      Well as you yourself note above LB, the lady is asserted to be a “narrative architect” … and as just my ‘so far opinion’ goes where in all the variety of things she’s described as being “expert” in, that’s the one thing I’d agree to.

  3. JK, I read the post at Malcolm’s blog and he sums it up exactly right:

    “Defend your people, always. Attack the enemy with whatever comes to hand, always.”

    Long ramble here, JK. Intend to do more reading about “computational propaganda” is the term “experts” use in recent year, I guess, but the Clinton political operatives were developing a lot of these techniques in the 90s. It’s not something that just burst onto the scene in recent years. Their firepower dramatically increased as technology advanced, because of the sophisticated ways in which they can harness data and manipulate it into good old-fashioned agitation propaganda. “Computational propaganda” messaging uses high-tech means to exploit data to the fullest potential, but the messaging and deceptive ways it’s used to incite, divide and constantly manipulate the masses via the use of media looks very similar to the Soviet propaganda trajectory – as mass media technology developed, so did their exploitation of the medium’s use for their relentless propaganda efforts. It all still boils to down to the same old divide and conquer strategies to incite factional distrust and divides, confuse, manipulate, and distort public perceptions.

    The way McKew gives herself the title of “narrative architect” says it all…

    After 20 years studying the Left’s SPIN info war crap, in hopes of someday exposing the abuse of power, that led to me being attacked in my home during impeachment, I’m sick to death of all their lying, The Excite message boards was the only place online I posted anything political. I was very new to the internet, because I kept telling my husband we didn’t need a PC, so in ’97 my husband bought one. I just couldn’t see how people would use a computer in their home – thinking of computers as a tool for scientists, researchers, etc. (see how clueless I was, lol),

    I wrote comments much the same as the counter-spin tweeting I’ve done on Twitter – dismantling their SPIN and defending basic foundational constitutional principles, which they were deliberately corrupting with their spin during impeachment. They were selling lying under oath didn’t matter, because everyone lies about sex. I kept pointing out the case in question was a sexual harassment lawsuit, so the case centered on sexual conduct. I never advocated anything subversive or violent in any way. I was tracked down and a retired general, who hates my guts, was fed lies and recruited to silence me. That is the only reason he could ever have been here in GA, attacking me. I can never prove anything, because my credibility and character were destroyed, when I was handcuffed and carted off to a mental health facility – just a crazy right-wing nutjob now… a nobody homemaker.

    They corrupted the military chain of command and fed totally false information to a retired general, who attacked an Army wife… My husband was still on active duty. If they could do that to me, they could attack any other American too, but I am determined to work as long as I can, in hopes of eventually being able to expose the corruption of the chain of command. THAT corruption is way larger a threat to America and keeps me committed to this, even though, every morning, I get up and would rather walk away from the SPIN crap.

    I know that retired general must have believed he was receiving reliable intel. I was a law-abiding homemaker writing about “no one is above the law” and “lying under oath matters”… I am scared of guns, always have been. I never in my life advocated breaking the law, not then and not now. And of course, I suspect, my snarky attitude incited a lot of rage, too, lol

    I got over being angry years ago and now, I keep fighting on against the SPIN, because they are attacking The Constitution and I take that oath seriously, but I also know from what happened to me, that the Dem SPIN warriors will do anything to win. Anything, even target some kids in a SPIN attack…

    Trump borrowed their SPIN war ethos and he’s given Bill and Hillary a run for their money when it comes to mendacity. The bottomline remains this scorched earth SPIN war, after over 2 years, shows no signs of either side being able to launch an offensive, that can change the static trench war of words.

    Trump is not going to go down quietly if the Dems manage to impeach him.

    And with this latest attack, where even kids were deliberately targeted in an orchestrated SPIN attack, it bodes poorly for where America is headed in this SPIN war.

    Anyway, I am still determined to fight against their wholesale public corruption and their amoral “any means necessary” SPIN war, in whatever small ways I can… with my 54 Twitter followers, most of whom are fake accounts, I suspect, and my blog with a little over 100 followers, lol.

    I had to come up with a totally different messaging strategy than the one they use, that’s for sure. There’s no way I will ever become a computer whiz with the technical mumbo-jumbo stuff and I assuredly ruffle feathers with my opinions, so becoming “popular”, to “amplify” my message, as McKew, the “narrative architect” constantly repeats, ain’t happening either. I focused on developing my own messaging strategy, with only myself as the messenger of it on Twitter and my blog…

    Sorry for venting again, JK.

    • JK

      “If they could do that to me, they could attack any other American too.”

      I think here LB, it might be appropriate to recall and bear in mind where “the rule of law” and such other things as “each is entitled to their day in court” and, in judging whether which of the terms, unconstitutional or extra-constitutional is the more accurate to use in a given scenario; it might be recalled that “fellow-traveller” President Obama was the first [and to this point, only] to rain down destruction on the head of a US citizen. [Anwar al Awlaki – in Yemen]

      Nutshell conveying by that example is, the Demish-leaning do so far seem to be the more willing in deed rather than in Trumpian-like word.

      I guess an easier to grasp way to illustrate my point would be to pose a question: Which would be the more definitive, a tweet rained down on one’s head or a Hellfire missile?

      • Truly, a point.

        In my Penzu journals, where I jot my ideas on how it might be possible to expose what happened to me and such, I expressed this point, “Please, don’t let them drone strike my home.” No joke, intended, JK, I assure you.

      • I’m sure you recall, JK, how fashionable it was in the 90s for the Left & media to see “right-wing militias”… everywhere.

        Kind of like they see “alt-right” in every Trump supporter today… even some school kids wearing MAGA hats…

      • “President Obama was the first [and to this point, only] to rain down destruction on the head of a US citizen. [Anwar al Awlaki – in Yemen]”

        “Al-Awlaki was killed by a Hellfire missile in September 2011, more than a year after then-Acting Assistant Attorney General David Barron submitted the July 16, 2010, memo to Attorney General Eric Holder.”

        Al Awlaki’s 16 year-old son, an American citizen, was killed in a drone strike, a month later.

        … yes, the good old memories of Eric Holder at the reins of the DOJ…

  4. JK

    “… bottomline remains this scorched earth SPIN war, after over 2 years, shows no signs of either side being able to launch an offensive …”

    I beg to somewhat differ – but merely by way of a word substitution – ‘neither being able to sustain’ Thank God.

  5. JK

    “… they see “alt-right” in every Trump supporter today… even some school kids wearing MAGA hats…”

    Funny you put it that very way – and dammit, I got to get stuff outside done now my Sunday shows are over – Anyway, funny about “the hats” thing because as I was refreshing my memory of the difference between the two terms above …

    “For example, American constitutions have nothing to say about whether you must or must not wear a hat. … An extra-constitutional action may be legal or illegal under the law of the prevailing government (“positive law”). Deciding whether to wear a hat is both extra-constitutional and legal.”

  6. JK

    Might enjoy LB, this piece from 2017. Now I’ll get to your current piece. hope all is well for you and your’s. We’re fine here.

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