Category Archives: Information War

Yes, the Russian threat is serious

The day kind of got away from me, so it’s after midnight and I’m finally trying to write a blog post.  I ran to my local Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market for some groceries this afternoon, did some laundry, then made some homemade beef stew for supper.  After cleaning up the supper dishes, I intended to sit down and write, but then I got the idea that I needed to make PA Dutch Pickled Beet Eggs (you can find plenty of recipes on YouTube).  Of course, I have several types of vinegar, but I forgot to buy more plain old apple cider vinegar this afternoon, and which I used the last of about a week ago.   So that meant another trip to Wal-Mart.  I have a glass gallon jar with a lid, specifically for my pickled beet eggs, because I make them fairly often.  Since my husband doesn’t eat them, I only made a dozen eggs, which will last me a while.

I use hard-boiled eggs, 2 cans of sliced pickled beets, 1 small sliced onion (optional)  I add a couple of bay leaves, a cinnamon stick, and a few whole cloves, but many people don’t add these.

I put 1/2 c. to 2/3 c/ of sugar and 1 cup of apple cider vinegar into a medium saucepan, heat on medium.  Pour the juice from both cans of pickled beets into the pan.  Add the bay leaves, cinnamon, cloves.  Stir until the sugar is dissolved.  Remove from heat and let cool.

Place the shelled hard-boiled eggs, beets and sliced onion in a clean gallon glass jar.  Onions are completely optional – I like them pickled and use them on salads, along with the beets and sliced pickled eggs.   Pour the cooled liquid into the jar.  Place the lid on tightly and gently shake the jar a bit to make sure the eggs are completely covered with the pickling liquid.  Refrigerate.  Every day gently shake the jar.  The eggs will be well pickled in a couple of days.  After a week or so, you can remove the cinnamon stick, bay leaves and cloves, if the  flavor is getting too spicy.

It’s fine to add more hard-boiled eggs to this pickling juice a couple of times before making up a fresh batch.

Now, onto politics.  I wanted to clarify something, in case anyone doubts that I take the Russian information warfare threat seriously.  I take it very seriously. What I don’t take seriously is how the Dems and mainstream media are using the “Trump/Russian collusion” and the “Russian bots everywhere” hysteria to incite fear and to create another one of their pathetic, partisan narratives for their SPIN information war.

No one in the mainstream media, American politics, even our national security officials even view the “SPIN war” as a real domestic information war, dedicated to fueling partisan divides and spewing 24/7 agitation propaganda at the American people.  THAT is the larger problem with trying to deal with hostile foreign information warfare directed at America.  Our domestic SPIN war creates a wide-open media space for hostile foreign info war operators to flourish.  Heck, they just need to “amplify” domestic SPIN war messaging at respective domestic partisans and they blend right in here.

I think our national security people fully grasp the cyber/technology aspects of hostile foreign information warfare activities and work very hard to try to counter those threats.  Things like protecting networks, protecting our electrical grid, preventing cyber attacks, cyber theft, the endless hacking assuredly are easier to grasp than information operations geared toward manipulating the American people (mass media agitprop efforts, psychological operations, etc.).

After decades of the Left’s very real culture war in America and the advances of political correctness, replete with morally bankrupt terms and ideology, America no longer has a coherent sense of American values and principles and finding any firm common ground, for Americans to rally around anything presents a real challenge.  Americans unifying around anything usually lasts less than 24 hours before the partisan rancor shatters the calm.

For a few years now,  thought pieces occur fairly regularly at online political commentary sites, asserting American is already in a state of  “civil war” and I’m willing to concede the extreme partisan divides in America have deepened and definitely corrode hopes of national unity on almost anything, but I remain optimistic.  The challenge with dealing with aggressive hostile information warfare geared toward deepening partisan divides among partisans, who are likewise working to deepen partisan divides, is, well, obviously we are making it easy for our enemies to “divide and conquer” us.  This point, I’ve stated many times already – we are our own worst enemy and unless and until our rabid partisans stop our domestic SPIN information warfare, there’s no hope of countering hostile foreign messaging operations.

The best defense against hostile foreign information messaging operations is an informed citizenry, who are united by some common values and principles, so working toward that seems more important than all sorts of hysterical, knee-jerk censorship efforts.  Just trying to get Americans, who have different political views, to embrace my “let’s go have pizza” solution, which I wrote about back in 2015, might be a good start.   I’ll repost it.

 

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Filed under Culture Wars, General Interest, Information War, Politics

Russian bots everywhere…

Lately, if you listen to mainstream media news, pundits and Democrats, we all are seeing Russia from our browser window…  here a Russian bot, there a Russian bot.  All roads lead to the Kremlin in this new Dem Red Scare environment.

JK posted a comment the other day, mentioning two links, one to a 2016 article at The Root , about Hillary Clinton’s use of the superpredator term as being racist, the other, a February 13, 2019 article, BLACK CRITICS OF KAMALA HARRIS AND CORY BOOKER PUSH BACK AGAINST CLAIMS THAT THEY’RE RUSSIAN “BOTS”, at The Intercept, which deals with the hashtag, #ADOS (American Descendants of Slaves) falling under a cloud of suspicion as being a Russian bot operation.  This recent article also alleges that the 2016 attacks against Hillary/superpredator issue were also a foreign bot generated operation.  A CNN commentator made the charge:

“Angela Rye, a CNN political commentator and board member of the Congressional Black Caucus PAC, has said she believes that some ADOS arguments are not organic, but were “paid for by Russia.” She added that she’s “not saying everyone who uses the hashtag is a Russian bot,” but she does believe “it originated from Russian bots.” Rye went on to argue that the same is true of critiques relating to “some of the stuff around the crime bill” circa 2016 — presumably referring to critics of Hillary Clinton who questioned her support of the bill now widely understood to have caused overwhelming harm to black Americans.”

https://theintercept.com/2019/02/13/ados-kamala-harris-cory-booker-russian-bots/

Rye is a lawyer and Seattle native, liberal activist, not an intelligence analyst.

The actual creator of the #ADOS hashtag, Antonio Moore, takes issue with the Russian bot allegation:

“THE CREATORS OF the hashtag — Antonio Moore, an attorney in California, and Yvette Carnell, a political commentator — are neither Russian nor bots and are demanding an apology.

Carnell told The Intercept that she thinks calling out ADOS is an effort to delegitimize the grassroots movement they’ve worked to cultivate and to “undermine a real debate that we have about Kamala Harris within the black community.” For years, Moore and Carnell have been doing regular YouTube and radio shows together where they discuss issues like reparations and the racial wealth divide under the lens of “native descendants of American slaves.””

https://theintercept.com/2019/02/13/ados-kamala-harris-cory-booker-russian-bots/

Alleging “Russian influence operations” has become part of the Left’s SPIN messaging now, so I expect a lot more of this and also more of the corrupt Dem false flag operation, like the one they pulled in 2017 during the Moore campaign … fielding fake Russian bots.  In this corrupt political media environment, it’s impossible to know which are real Russian bots and which might be fake Russian bots, or even some other hostile country’s bots (there’s a subject for another blog post – foreign threats besides only Russia).  Russia isn’t the only foreign country waging online influence operations in American media, but it’s the only one the Dems and mainstream media want to talk about.

You don’t have to look far to find Dems and Leftists seeing Russian collusion and influence operations everywhere in American political SPIN messaging activities these days.  The political pressure on social media giants to be more aggressive at dealing with Russian influence operations ramped up and just today CNN  reported:

“Three online video channels designed to appeal to millennials have collected tens of millions of views on Facebook since September. But the pages pushing the videos do not disclose that they are backed by the Russian government.

The pages are run by Maffick Media, a company whose majority stakeholder is Ruptly, a subsidiary of RT, which is funded by the Russian government. Although Maffick Media has hired contractors and freelancers in Los Angeles in recent months, the company is not registered in the US, it is registered in Germany.
Facebook suspended the pages on Friday, saying it would reach out to the people running them to ask that they disclose where the pages are run from and their affiliation with their parent company in order to get back on the platform.
The move was an unusual one for Facebook. The company does not require users to provide information about parent companies, but it is rolling out ways to try to increase transparency about who runs popular Facebook pages, and it has been taking aggressive steps to tackle covert government-backed information operations on its service. In 2016, a Kremlin-linked troll group ran a network of pages designed to look like they were operated by real American activists.”
Here’s a CNN Business report from today, How the Russians did it, by Donnie Sullivan, who is the same CNN reporter, who reported on the Covington/Phillips video and the anonymous @2020fight, cited as the main Twitter account that amplified that video.  Sullivan writes:
“A federal indictment against 13 Russian nationals made public on Friday provides new insight into how the Internet Research Agency, a Kremlin-linked Russian troll group, set up a vast network of fake American activist groups and used the stolen identities of real Americans in an attempt to wreak havoc on the U.S. political system.
According to the indictment, the group, which is based in St. Petersburg, Russia, began monitoring the social media pages of real American activist organizations in 2014, before setting up fake pages and personas that became, the indictment says, “leaders of public opinion.”

The pages were designed to look like they were run by real Americans. They focused on a number of divisive issues in American life, including race relations, religion, immigration, and the 2016 presidential election.On Facebook alone, an estimated 126 million Americans may have been exposed to material the group produced, the social media company told Congress last fall. The indictment provides a fuller picture of how the Internet Research Agency worked. It details a sophisticated operation that allowed the group to achieve such wide reach. The agency had a budget of over $1.25 million by September 2016 — big enough to include money for bonuses.

“To measure the impact of their online social media operations, Defendants and their co-conspirators tracked the performance of content they posted over social media,” it says. “They tracked the size of the online U.S. audiences reached through posts, different types of engagement with the posts … changes in audience size, and other metrics. Defendants and their co-conspirators received and maintained metrics reports on certain group pages and individualized posts.”

The group worked hard to make its work look like it came from real Americans. Apart from the occasional typo — or a phrase that, in hindsight, was clearly written by a non-native English speaker — the group’s Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Tumblr pages were convincing. They looked like many other politically-themed pages on social media: Designed to take advantage of Americans’ divisions, to get engagement by stoking outrage.”

https://money.cnn.com/2018/02/16/media/internet-research-agency-mueller-indictment/index.html

This CNN Business report chronicles Russians hiring unsuspecting Americans and even one incident of the Russians using a stolen identity, including the social security number, of an American citizen.  This report also mentions the alarming 2016 incident where Russian influence operations orchestrated two opposing events, on the same day, at the same location in Houston, to try to incite an actual real world confrontation:

“The Internet Research Agency also worked hard to ensure that its influence would stretch beyond social media and into the physical world, the indictment says. It successfully organized real demonstrations.

In one case, as CNN has previously reported, the troll group organized and promoted two opposing events on the same day at the same location in Houston, Texas.”

Yes, it’s obvious the Russians upped their influence operations in America in recent years, however the mainstream media/Dem/Left new Red Scare SPIN messaging effort serves only their shallow, single focus, partisan political agenda of trying to delegitimize Trump, by any means necessary.  The absurdity of their new Red Scare messaging coupled with the destructive calls to censor social media and online speech bode poorly for American free speech rights.

There’s even a “bipartisan”, absurd online McCarthyite listing of alleged Russian bot accounts – Hamilton 68, which is the work of the Alliance for Securing Democracy. Hamilton 68 is rolling out a 2.0 effort soon, geared toward:

“Starting in 2019, we will transition to a new interface that will communicate Kremlin information operations in a manner less vulnerable to misinterpretations, with a particular focus on the outputs of overt, Russian state-sponsored social media accounts and websites – reflecting what we believe is an increased role of such accounts in driving narratives (the list of monitored accounts will be available to the public). The new site will incrementally incorporate new functions and visualizations as they come online; always improving, updating, and adapting to the outputs of Putin’s propagandists operating across the entire mainstream and social media ecosystem.”

https://securingdemocracy.gmfus.org/hamilton-68/

What’s the point of publishing lists of suspected Russian bots, thereby letting the Russians know which of their bots, are compromised?  Honestly, how many Americans are going to scan lists of alleged Russian bots while using social media?   If they do come into contact with a Russian bot, so what.   On social media you have complete control on who you choose to communicate with.  On Twitter, you can mute or block accounts, that you don’t wish to see.  Instead, of all this public fear mongering about Russian influence operations, the real intelligence operators should be quietly upping their game.

In my opinion, instead of media efforts hyping the new Red Scare, the time and effort would be better spent trying to educate Americans about American constitutional principles, good citizenship and treating other Americans with respect.

On Twitter, I’ve been accused several times of being a bot.  I have very few followers, dropped a few recently –  52.  I could not care less really.  Being “popular” has never been a goal of mine, nor has “amplifying”  my message to large numbers of people.  I hope a few select people might listen to my message.  For 20 years, I’ve been trying to expose “SPIN” as a vicious information warfare operation targeting the American people and it’s been run by the Dems/Left colluding with the mainstream media to “amplify” the Dem SPIN messaging and control the “spin cycles”.  Controlling the SPIN effectively controls public opinion in America.

For the umteenth time, hostile foreign influence operations have easy pickings fomenting distrust and divides in America.  Along with escalated Russian influence operations in recent years, the Dems/Left ramped up their SPIN info war and Trump broke through the Left’s lock on controlling SPIN messaging in America.  In my opinion, while all the hostile foreign influence operations are a serious threat, the much larger threat to America’s political institutions comes from within.  We have both political parties and our media totally invested in a very corrupt, divisive scorched earth homegrown SPIN information war, which provides our enemies with non-stop messaging ammunition to foment more anger and division.

Along with being “unpopular”, often I feel like a lone voice in the wilderness warning about our domestic, scorched earth SPIN information war, as the civil carnage and wholesale public corruption leave American culture a virtual wasteland.

The Dems and the media hyping Russian influence operations creates only fear, hysteria and a sense of helplessness among Americans. 

Teaching Americans that each and every one of them has the power to defeat Russian influence operations (or anyone else’s influence operations) in their own lives would do more to empower Americans.  How about teaching Americans to fearlessly think for themselves?  How about teaching them to not let media and political figures scare them?

Online influence operations are ONLY words and videos promoting a message, which every American can CHOOSE not to buy into.  Don’t let other people scare you about communicating with people on social media and expressing your opinions online.

 

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Filed under Corrupt Media Collusion, General Interest, Information War, Politics

Another Dem. Red Scare spin effort underway

Almost two weeks  have passed since the last mainstream media report on the mysterious Twitter account, @2020fight, identified as the main amplifier of the Covington/Phillips video.

Twitter and the mainstream media have obviously moved on from this story, but I still have plenty of unanswered questions about what Twitter investigators found out about that account holder(s).  I still want to know more about Molly McKew’s statement in the CNN Business report:  “she later realized that a network of anonymous accounts were working to amplify the video.”… after she retweeted to help amplify it

Was there a network of anonymous accounts working to amplify the video and how did McKew know this?  What is her source for this information?

McKew, besides claiming to be an information warfare expert and a narrative architect, launched  a social media intelligence firm, New Media Frontier.  McKew is also on the board of Stand Up Ideas, a non-profit started by Evan McMullin, failed independent 2016 presidential contender.   Stand Up Ideas mission is:

“At its core, Stand Up Ideas is a leadership and education organization. SUI engages people across the political spectrum who all share a commitment to the principles of individual rights, Constitutional checks and balances, rule of law, informed dialogue and demand honest and wise leadership.

Stand Up Ideas was founded in 2017 by Evan McMullin and Mindy Finn to address the growing acceptance of autocratic rule in America.”

https://standupideas.com/about-us

No answers on whether it was one lone account or a network of anonymous accounts,  as McKew, was quoted as saying in the CNN Business report,  but unsurprisingly more questions keep popping up about the Dem/media Red Scare spin narrative, that’s now being rolled out again.  That Dem. Red Scare narrative was used against Trump since 2016, it was used against Roy Moore in his senatorial campaign in 2017, and lo’ and behold it’s now being rolled out against Dem. presidential candidate, Tulsi Gabbard.

Here’s the February 2nd headline NBC blared:

“Russia’s propaganda machine discovers 2020 Democratic candidate Tulsi Gabbard”

Not surprisingly, the “experts”, NBC quotes are, you guessed it, New Knowledge, again:

“Experts who track inauthentic social media accounts, however, have already found some extolling Gabbard’s positions since she declared.

Within a few days of Gabbard announcing her presidential bid, DisInfo 2018, part of the cybersecurity firm New Knowledge, found that three of the top 15 URLs shared by the 800 social media accounts affiliated with known and suspected Russian propaganda operationsdirected at U.S. citizens were about Gabbard.

Analysts at New Knowledge, the company the Senate Intelligence Committee used to track Russian activities in the 2016 election, told NBC News they’ve spotted “chatter” related to Gabbard in anonymous online message boards, including those known for fomenting right-wing troll campaigns. The chatter discussed Gabbard’s usefulness.

“A few of our analysts saw some chatter on 8chan saying she was a good ‘divider’ candidate to amplify,” said Renee DiResta, director of research at New Knowledge.”

https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/2020-election/russia-s-propaganda-machine-discovers-2020-democratic-candidate-tulsi-gabbard-n964261

The company, whose chief executive was implicated in the 2017 Dem. digital smear effort used against Roy Moore, with the Dem. fake Russian bot, false flag operation, it’s amazing how NBC touts New Knowledge as the company the Senate Intelligence Committee used to track Russian activities in the 2016 election…  Has anyone on the Senate Intelligence Committee read the news about the Dems’  false flag op in AL and wondered if New Knowledge should be the “experts” they’re entrusting to report accurately on “Russian social media influence activities”?

The links between these Dem. cyber hijinks seem to completely fly by the mainstream media.  Since that December 2018 NY Times report about the Dems cyber dirty trick in the Moore campaign, the mainstream media hasn’t reported anything new there and it’s assuredly going to be another one of those Dem. “nothing to see here” efforts, where the mainstream media buries that in the “old news” file.

There’s also an Evan McMullin- big Dem. money connection to the Moore campaign in 2017 too – December 8, 2017 Washington Post article:

“MONTGOMERY, Ala. – Stand Up Republic, a 501(c)4 group co-founded by former independent anti-Trump presidential candidate Evan McMullin, is spending $500,000 on digital and TV ads that ask Alabama conservatives to reject Republican nominee Roy Moore’s Senate bid.”

https://www.mercurynews.com/2017/12/08/anti-trump-conservatives-fund-ads-against-moore/

A few days later, The Daily Caller, reported:

“McMullin’s recently founded non-profit organization, Stand Up Republic, jumped into the Alabama Senate race this week with a $500,000 ad buy against Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore. One of the ads features a man saying Roy Moore “makes Republicans and us Christians look bad.”

The massive ad buy “may end up being one of the largest third-party interventions in the state,” according to the Washington Post.”

The story continues:

“Groups like Stand Up Republic are allowed to spend money in elections — which they are doing in Alabama — as long as their “primary” purpose isn’t overtly political. This generally requires spending less than half of the organization’s resources on political activities, although that rule can be difficult to enforce.

McMullin revealed in a tweet last August that his group had “about 4,000 donors across the country from both sides of the political spectrum and larger donors from Silicon Valley.”

One of McMullin’s large Silicon Valley donors is billionaire eBay founder Pierre Omidyar, who funded an anti-Trump super PAC during the presidential campaign.

Omidyar announced a $250,000 donation to Stand Up Republic in May through his organization, Democracy Fund. (Democracy Fund publicizes all its grants in the interest of transparency.)

Democracy Fund said the donation to Stand Up Republic was to support the group in “confronting and engaging in important work to protect the norms of our democracy and to push back against dangerous demagoguery in our politics.”

The identities of McMullin’s other “larger donors from Silicon Valley” remain a secret and he intends to keep it that way.”

https://dailycaller.com/2017/12/10/evan-mcmullins-secret-silicon-valley-donors/

Lest you worry Evan McMullin just announced a new media effort… Defusing Dininfo.  He wants to protect democracy from dangerous disinformation… just don’t ask him who is funding his efforts.

In light of the emerging financial trails with these big money Silicon Valley progressive connections, to being both the gatekeepers of technical expertise on Russian digital influence operations and participants in funding and orchestrating some very underhanded Dem. digital operations, like the Moore fake Russian bot false flag operation,  it seems like the mainstream media should be chasing down the big money Silicon Valley money trails… but don’t hold your breath on it.

No matter how much high-tech lingo and fancy titles these big Dem. political operatives and their media spinners invent to throw up smokescreens to mask the truth about their shady SPIN info war operations, the surest route to the truth is to follow their big money trails…

 

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

No Intelligent Life Left Here

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.””

https://www.foxnews.com/politics/democratic-operatives-created-fake-russian-bots-in-alabama-race-designed-to-link-kremlin-to-republican-roy-moore

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.

https://www.foxnews.com/politics/democratic-operatives-created-fake-russian-bots-in-alabama-race-designed-to-link-kremlin-to-republican-roy-moore

And this:

“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.”

https://www.foxnews.com/politics/democratic-operatives-created-fake-russian-bots-in-alabama-race-designed-to-link-kremlin-to-republican-roy-moore

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.

Here’s more:

“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.”

and

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.”

https://www.mercurynews.com/2018/12/26/billionaire-apologizes-for-funding-disinformation-in-alamaba/

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.”

https://www.newknowledge.com/about-us/

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.

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

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.”

https://libertybellediaries.com/2019/01/24/twitter-cover-up/

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.”

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/twitter-account-amplified-covington-catholic-d-c-march-video-appears-n961981

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.”

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/twitter-account-amplified-covington-catholic-d-c-march-video-appears-n961981

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???

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Twitter cover-up?

Busy tweeting this morning, with so much to comment about. NBC reported on the email account linked to propelling the Covington boys and the Native American man incident to go viral. Buried down at paragraph 11, there’s this bit of information:

“On Wednesday afternoon, @2020fight deleted her Twitter account, seemingly after Twitter lifted her suspension. (Suspended accounts cannot be deleted.)”

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/twitter-account-amplified-covington-catholic-d-c-march-video-appears-n961981

Why on earth would Twitter lift the suspension on this account at the center of the controversy?  If the account was actually an account in the San Francisco bay area, was it connected with some partisan political operation?  Shouldn’t the intent be to preserve an account with so many questions about it and even Democratic Senator Warner asking Twitter for more information about that account yesterday?.  Check out paragraph 2, which exonerates  the account holder of any malign intentions:

“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.”

If the video wasn’t the result of foreign info operators, was it the result of domestic partisan info operators?  Starting to smell like the Dems corrupt Moore Alabama type operations might be a widespread Dem social media operation.

So, many questions…

Added Comment: January 25, 2019, 11:44 am,  The vague weasel words the media uses always cause my spin antennae to twitch.  In the 2nd paragraph, it begins, “but it appears” and ends with  “and, to all appearances”.  No one states whether those conducting the investigation into the account had any conversation or communication with the account holder(s).

The account triggered suspicions, because of the profile stating it was a CA school teacher, but the profile picture was a Brazilian blogger.  The CNN article quoted Rob McDonagh, an assistant editor at Storyful:

“McDonagh said he found the account suspicious due to its “high follower count, highly polarized and yet inconsistent political messaging, the unusually high rate of tweets, and the use of someone else’s image in the profile photo.””

https://www.cnn.com/2019/01/21/tech/twitter-suspends-account-native-american-maga-teens/index.html

What exactly does  “highly polarized and yet inconsistent political messaging,” mean?  Was it political messaging playing to (targeting) different political factions?  So, we don’t know what the messaging in the deleted account, with a very high rate of tweets,  which was crucial to propelling the Covington student/Nathan Phillips video to go viral, actually contained.  We need more information about what  McDonagh meant by “inconsistent political messaging”.

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Filed under General Interest, Information War, Politics, Twitter Tales, Uncategorized

Another worrying sign

“We may never know exactly how SPIN info war evolved or who all was involved in developing the techniques.  We may never know if hostile foreign intelligence was involved at its inception, but we assuredly know, with the escalated Russian cyber attacks and online troll activities, that they are definitely involved now.”

Thought from my previous blog post, About Information Voids

The weekend viral story of a  confrontation of Native American activist and some Catholic high school boys wearing MAGA hats seemed to charge ahead of the Buzzfeed story claiming President Trump told Michael Cohen to lie in testimony to Congress.

Tonight CNN has a report, Twitter suspends account that helped ignite controversy over viral encounter.

According to CNN, the good news is that Rob McDonagh, an assistant editor at Storyful, an online content vetting service, was monitoring Twitter activity and noticed a suspicious account and Twitter investigated and suspended the account:

“The account claimed to belong to a California schoolteacher. Its profile photo was not of a schoolteacher, but of a blogger based in Brazil, CNN Business found. Twitter suspended the account soon after CNN Business asked about it.

The account, with the username @2020fight, was set up in December 2016 and appeared to be the tweets of a woman named Talia living in California. “Teacher & Advocate. Fighting for 2020,” its Twitter bio read. Since the beginning of this year, the account had tweeted on average 130 times a day and had more than 40,000 followers.

Late on Friday, the account posted a minute-long video showing the now-iconic confrontation between a Native American elder and the high school students, with the caption, “This MAGA loser gleefully bothering a Native American protester at the Indigenous Peoples March.”

That version of the video was viewed at least 2.5 million times and was retweeted at least 14,400 times, according to a cached version of the tweet seen by CNN Business.”

https://www.cnn.com/2019/01/21/tech/twitter-suspends-account-native-american-maga-teens/index.html

The CNN report also quotes Molly McKew, an information warfare researcher (anti-Trumper), even though she admitted she saw the tweet and retweeted it on Saturday, claiming, “she later realized that a network of anonymous accounts were working to amplify the video.”

I wonder if we have people in our national security apparatus paying close attention to this stuff or if America is at the mercy of random civilian cyber peeps to catch this stuff?

Added thought: I’ve wondered for a long time if some of these short-lived viral stories making Americans look too dumb to exist, that burst onto social media, create mass overreaction, and garner news notice, then disappear quickly are the work of hostile foreign information operations.  Seeing how this account plucked the video from an Instagram posting and then amplified on Twitter made me think about this again.  An example of what I mean, are stories like that viral Teens Eating Tide Pods story.  Just one more thing  I will continue to ponder about.

Update: January 22, 2019, 5:54 PM

The CNN report cited above was updated this afternoon.

“The source familiar with Twitter’s investigation told CNN Business the company’s initial findings suggested the account was run from the US, but said it can be difficult to determine an account owner’s actual location.
Twitter users can try to mask their true location using services like virtual private networks, which can allow users to appear as if they are in a different country.
CNN Business has not independently determined where this account was being run from.”
CNN Business also tried to reach out to the account holder(s) to inquire about the account, but was blocked by the account holder(s).  So, basically, they don’t know who the account really belongs to yet.

 

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