Washington Post, November 24, 2016: Russia Spread Fake News to Subvert the 2016 U.S. Election

Photo of Vladimir Putin
Washington Post, November 24, 2016 Russia spread fake news during the 2016 U.S. election

From the Washington Post:

Watts’s report on this work, with colleagues Andrew Weisburd and J.M. Berger, appeared on the national security blog War on the Rocks this month under the headline “Trolling for Trump: How Russia Is Trying to Destroy Our Democracy.” Another group, called PropOrNot, a nonpartisan collection of researchers with foreign policy, military and technology backgrounds, planned to release its own findings Friday showing the startling reach and effectiveness of Russian propaganda campaigns.

The researchers used Internet analytics tools to trace the origins of particular tweets and mapped the connections among social-media accounts that consistently delivered synchronized messages. Identifying website codes sometimes revealed common ownership. In other cases, exact phrases or sentences were echoed by sites and social-media accounts in rapid succession, signaling membership in connected networks controlled by a single entity.

PropOrNot’s monitoring report, which was provided to The Washington Post in advance of its public release, identifies more than 200 websites as routine peddlers of Russian propaganda during the election season, with combined audiences of at least 15 million Americans. On Facebook, PropOrNot estimates that stories planted or promoted by the disinformation campaign were viewed more than 213 million times.

Some players in this online echo chamber were knowingly part of the propaganda campaign, the researchers concluded, while others were “useful idiots” — a term born of the Cold War to describe people or institutions that unknowingly assisted Soviet Union propaganda efforts.

The Russian campaign during this election season, researchers from both groups say, worked by harnessing the online world’s fascination with “buzzy” content that is surprising and emotionally potent, and tracks with popular conspiracy theories about how secret forces dictate world events.

Some of these stories originated with RT and Sputnik, state-funded Russian information services that mimic the style and tone of independent news organizations yet sometimes include false and misleading stories in their reports, the researchers say.

Read more on the Washington Post:

Russian propaganda effort helped spread ‘fake news’ during election, experts say

I kept a screenshot log of the disinformation campaign against
Hillary Clinton here:  A Gilded Throne of Lies – The Right Wing War on Truth







9 thoughts on “Washington Post, November 24, 2016: Russia Spread Fake News to Subvert the 2016 U.S. Election

  1. Dear Rob,

    And DT with Sycophants are still looking the American public in the eyes while claiming Russia had nada to to do with hacking democratic campaign websites; the transferring of stolen data to WikiLeaks along with Russia’s propaganda machine spouting out months of disinformation and false news stories.

    Of course, if they admitted to Russia’s interference with our elections, they would have to admit colluding with a foreign government attempting to create havoc.

    Hugs, Gronda

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I wonder if collective abuse works like individualism abuse. This election was described as painful and unbearable, people shut themselves off or described obsessively ruminating over it. One writer for one of the major news outlets described how he found himself questioning reality.

      This disinformation campaign is designed to pit us against each other by race, gender, class and gender identity.

      This past election felt familiar to anyone who has had a psychologically abusive parent or spouse–Donald Trump is a classic narcissistic perp.

      We who were abused as children shuddered when we read the account of Trump’s alleged assault of a 13 year old.

      We’ve heard threats like the ones Trump is alleged to have made. We know that child rape happens for real.

      And we know how it feels to have someone play gaslight with us.

      A weaponized disinformation campaign is nuclear gas-lighting.

      It is the use of the media to gaslight an audience into doubting reality, and in our case, our ability to remain a democracy.

      Abuse survivors experience episodes of denial and emotional numbing, a sense of despair, and if the abuse is ongoing, feelings of rage and shame.

      My point is that it’s hard to be in the abuse and above it at the same time.

      I wonder how we do that?


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