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.
The plant is not primarily a Lincoln plant — the MKC represents roughly 10 percent of its total output. The MKC is a more expensive version of the Ford Escape, which is a much bigger seller than the MKC. Production of the Escape alone is enough to keep the Louisville plant running at full capacity.
Moreover, the decision to keep the MKC in Louisville was made before the two men spoke on Thursday, not as a result of their conversation, according to Ford.
The only news that still carries the Ford story as a victory for Trump is fake news:
In a statement, Ford said the company “confirmed with the President-elect” that it would continue producing Lincoln MKCs at the Louisville plant and added that it was “encouraged that President-elect Trump and the new Congress will pursue policies that will improve U.S. competitiveness and make it possible to keep production of this vehicle here in the United States.”
Below are five fake news sites that regularly pop-up on Yahoo News and Bing as legitimate news media.
WorldNet Daily, founded in May 1997, purportedly to expose wrongdoing, corruption, and abuse of power. Wikipedia
5. The Federalist, founded in 2013, purportedly rejects the assumptions of the media establishment” and says it is dedicated to discussing “the philosophical underpinnings of the day’s debate” Wikipedia
These disinformation sites are lesser versions of Fox News which is the best organized and best funded fake news site in the United States.
Expect them to do everything they can to subvert fact based coverage of the Trump administration.