This post is just some random thoughts on the SPIN info war mess.
Lots of people dismiss social media as trivial, but Twitter is where the American journalists and pundits hang-out and where most of the Dem SPIN attacks and Trump’s counter-attacks launch. It’s the current epicenter of the scorched earth SPIN information war.
I know I mentioned this repeatedly, on my blog, during the 2015-2016 GOP Insurgency primary phase, that I encountered gang-up attacks on Disqus comment sections, at several right-wing sites, when I posted comments explaining why I thought Trump was a faux Republican and unfit to be president. I kept saying these gang-up attacks were eerily reminiscent of what happened in 1998 on the Excite message boards, where groups of new commenters descended on the Clinton impeachment boards at Excite, to bully and try to harass the Republican and conservative posters into silence.
About the time this happened on Disqus, the hoopla started about Russian bot trolling activities on social media. I spent a good bit of time trying to, in my amateurish way, sift through follower and following lists of the groups that showed up attacking any person who posted an anti-Trump post. I know I mentioned a lot of details .
As the election moved on, the hoopla started in the media about the dangerous “alt-right” and then it was “Russian collusion”. This alt-right hysteria propelled by the Left and mainstream media seemed to me, again, eerily reminiscent of the 90s, with the Clinton/Dem/media hysteria about “right-wing militias” after Ruby Ridge in ’92, Waco in ’93 and then OKC in ’95.
On those Excite message boards, there were some posters, who expressed some opinions that sounded like the stuff spouted by some militia groups I’d seen in news reports on TV and read about in the news. I engaged in conversation a few times with a few of the less radical ones, expressing that everyone needs to follow the law. I tried to engage in friendly debate with far-left peeps too on those Excite message boards. There was never anything remotely like friendly political debate in online political forums, that I saw. Even on those Excite message boards, I suspect many of the commenters were professional political pundits, activists and people involved in the news media – similar to the current Twitter crowd of flamethrowers and spinners.
In December 2018, the NY Times ran a story exposing an internal report they obtained, about Dem operatives created fake Russian bots during the Moore campaign.
Well, the Dems SPIN ops in the 90s were imitating Russian tactics too. SPIN info war operates in a way that strikes me as antithetical to American free speech principles – repetitive messaging to control the news media messaging. The SPIN effort includes hyping (spinning) polling which is manufactured information cascades, which result from the flooding of repetitive political messaging attacks. The spinning of polling is intended to marginalize dissenting views and casting them as being “out of the mainstream”. And of course there are the aggressive orchestrated high-tech media lynch mobs, engaged in vicious character assassinations.
About this Dem op in the Moore campaign:
“The secret project, which had a budget of just $100,000 and was carried out on Facebook and Twitter, was revealed after the New York Times obtained an internal report detailing the efforts.
“We orchestrated an elaborate ‘false flag’ operation that planted the idea that the Moore campaign was amplified on social media by a Russian botnet,” the internal report said. It also took credit for “radicalizing Democrats with a Russian bot scandal” after experimenting “with many of the tactics now understood to have influenced the 2016 elections.””
Here’s the most amazing part of this report, it states Dem political operatives were launching bots that looked like Russian bots, so they could spin it (amplify to use McKew’s fav phrase) that Russians were helping the Moore campaign:
“One participant in the project reportedly was Jonathon Morgan, the chief executive of New Knowledge, a firm that wrote a report – released by the Senate Intelligence Committee earlier this week – about Russia’s social media operations in the 2016 election and its efforts to hurt Hillary Clinton and help Donald Trump.”
“The Alabama project was funded by liberal billionaire and LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman who gave $100,000 to the cause, according to the Times. Hoffman is one of Silicon Valley’s top donors to the Democrats, donating $7 million to various groups and campaigns in the last election cycle.
The money trickled down through American Engagement Technologies, a firm run by Mikey Dickerson who was appointed by former President Barack Obama to lead the newly-created United States Digital Service.”
Sorry for relying on this FOX report, but I do not have a NY Times subscription and have read my free articles for the month.
“Billionaire Reid Hoffman apologized Wednesday for funding a group linked to a “highly disturbing” effort that spread disinformation during last year’s Alabama special election for U.S. Senate, but he said he was not aware that his money was being used for this purpose.”
“Hoffman’s statement is his first acknowledgement of his ties to a campaign that adopted tactics similar to those deployed by Russian operatives during the 2016 presidential election. In Alabama, the Hoffman-funded group allegedly used Facebook and Twitter to undermine support for Republican Roy Moore and boost Democrat Doug Jones, who narrowly won the race. Hoffman, an early Facebook investor and the co-founder of LinkedIn, expressed support for a federal investigation into what happened, echoing Jones’ position from last week.”
“But the statement left key facts unaddressed, including a full accounting of everyone who crafted and executed the campaign. The effort was the subject of a presentation in September to a group of progressive technology experts who met in downtown Washington to discuss electoral tactics, according to documents from that meeting obtained by The Washington Post and one of the attendees.”
Bold-face highlights are mine
Seems like some of the “experts” the Dems and mainstream news media put forth to report on SPIN information warfare (computational propaganda is the term the experts use) have a lot of disturbing connections to Dem operatives engaged in, umm, aggressive, Dem computational propaganda efforts …
Computational propaganda is the same SPIN info war the Dems have been waging in the media since the 1990s. PERIOD. The Republicans, until 2016, were light years behind the Dem political SPIN operations. Silicon Valley is liberal Dem territory in America, so the tech “experts” in that industry, whom our government and media rely on for expertise on the problem, are um, liberal Dems with a lot of connections to big Dem political operatives.
There needs to be a thorough investigation into the entire “computational propaganda” business run by both Dems and Republicans, but I am pretty sure investigating the Dems vast, high-tech smear operations and decades old lock on SPIN information war in America, would require a massive crawl through the corrupt big money peeps in the Democratic upper-echelon and high-level Dem political figures – a vast RICO type investigation, for sure.
We have Dem foxes guarding our digital chicken coop and then when anyone catches them devouring a chicken, the Dem foxes are entrusted to “investigate” and provide the “experts” to explain it in the news media… “nothing to see here”…”dangerous, right-wing extremists”… “Russian bots everywhere”…”ack.. Trump the Authoritarian”…
Beam me up Scottie, there’s no intelligent life left here…
Added Thought, January 28, 2019:
The crawl through the “computational propaganda” business, especially with Dems, would have to encompass delving into illegal leaking of classified information to the media, especially by former Obama administration officials… paging John Brennan, Comey, and Clapper, anyone…
Adam Schiff, where are you???
Added Thought, January 28, 2019: Googled this New Knowledge company quoted above: : Jonathon Morgan, the chief executive of New Knowledge, a firm that wrote a report – released by the Senate Intelligence Committee earlier this week – about Russia’s social media operations in the 2016 election and its efforts to hurt Hillary Clinton and help Donald Trump.
New Knowledge claims to be an “information integrity company”… I quote from their site:
“Founded In 2015
Headquartered in Austin, TX. We were the first organization outside the U.S. intelligence community to identify Russia’s campaign to influence the 2016 presidential election. Our leadership has testified before Congress, advised the State Department and the NSA, and worked in counter-terrorism. As the information war escalates, we believe more than ever that our responsibility is to provide an advanced, reliable disinformation solution to national security agencies, responsible leaders, and trusted brands.”
What the heck, the chief executive of the company the Senate Intelligence Committee entrusted to write a report on Russian social media operations in 2016, is involved in a domestic disinformation social media operation, launching fake Russian bots promoting Moore and then a media campaign claiming Russian bots are trying to help Moore’s campaign… That’s the truth, folks.
Added Thought, January 29, 2019:
Since 1999, I have been trying to unravel the Dem political operative SPIN networks (computational propaganda). I’ve gotten pretty good at identifying their spin messaging and when new spin messaging or one of their new smear campaigns is launching, but I have never had any means to unravel the networks back to the top – who are the political operatives behind it – the politicians, big money Dems and operatives running the show.
What happened to me in 1998, had to come from the highest levels of the Clinton administration, because there is no way on earth that retired general, who hates me, would have been involved in an attack like that, unless he believed he was receiving legitimate intelligence that I had done something wrong. I don’t have so much as a speeding ticket and I was (and still am) a law-abiding homemaker, Army wife. I never belonged to any political organizations, have never owned a firearm and my group affiliations have been things like being a Red Cross volunteer and belonging to my local quilt guild. There’s likely never going to be a way to prove what happened to me in 1998.
Trust me, I can empathize with Brett Kavanaugh finding himself in the middle of an orchestrated smear campaign and helpless to defend against the Dem’s media spinners, who aid and abet the Dem’s computational propaganda efforts constantly. The media won’t even admit they display “bias”, so unless these networks are exposed, they assuredly would deny corrupt media collusion participating in vicious smear campaigns.
There was reporting during the Moore smear campaign, meant to bolster the smear campaign’s credibility, that the Washington Post sent over 30 reporters to Alabama to search for “victims” and to trash Moore as a chasing after young teen girls perv. Those reporters were digging for anyone who would trash Moore, to add to their SPIN smear ammo. Gloria Allred, longtime Dem. insider and feminist activist lawyer, descended on Alabama too… to represent “victims” (this was the same scenario used after the Access Hollywood leak orchestrated Dem/media smear campaign). #Resist is an orchestrated smear campaign to take down Trump, by any means necessary – that’s the truth.
The Moore/Dem fakeRussian bots case and especially this Covington/Phillips case are recent and unraveling the Dem’s computational propaganda (SPIN) networks involved in these two cases could be a way to start dismantling the wholesale public corruption within the Dem’s SPIN info war network – their vast computational propaganda operation, that has been operating since the 1990s.