Does Trump Treat Putin Like a Confidant?

Logged into Bing this morning and saw this odd little snippet:

Screenshot of Trump and Putin with the caption Trump treats Putin like a Confidant
Trump Treats Putin Like a Confidant

Does Trump ‘reportedly’ treat Putin like a ‘confidant’?

I can believe it, but is it true?

I looked for the source, Business Insider.

Who owns Business Insider?

A screenshot of the search result for who owns Business Insider, it reads Business Insider was launched in February 2009 and is based in New York City. Founded by DoubleClick's former CEO Kevin P. Ryan, Dwight Merriman, and Henry Blodget
Business Insider was launched in February 2009 and is based in New York City. Founded by DoubleClick’s former CEO Kevin P. Ryan, Dwight Merriman, and Henry Blodget

Ok.

Business Insider is nine years old, possibly center-left and uses a
cickbait style.

You can tell it’s click-bait because…

Screenshot of Business Insider headline claiming that Trump treats Putin like a confidant
Click bait…

Are other media outlets reporting this story?

I ran a search for Trump treats Putin like a confidant:

Screenshot of Google Search Results
Google Search Results #!

The top five results are Business Insider, Reddet, YouTube and a December
2016 piece on Kissinger by Politico.

The YouTube video is of an unnamed ex-intelligence chief who says the U.S.
needs to treat Vladimir Putin as an equal.

It looks like pro-Putin propaganda.

The YouTube video is from Sky News.

Rupert Murdoch founded Sky News in 1989.

screenshot of SkyNews was founded in 1989 by Rupert Murdoch
SkyNews was founded in 1989 by Rupert Murdoch

What if I Google Trump ‘reportedly’ treats Putin like a confidant?

Screenshot of search results for Trump Reportedly Treats Putin like a Confidant
Google Search Trump reportedly treats Putin like a confidant

The top five search results are Business Insider and MSN (Bing)
and that December 2016 piece on Kissinger by Politico.

Does Trump treat Putin Like a Confidant?

Perhaps.

I think it’s true.

But that doesn’t make it true.

Based on my research the Business Insider headline is nothing but clickbait
and has no value as news.

So, Business Insider:

Judging you animated gif from GIPHY
Judging you

Rob Goldstein 2018

Screenshots are for educational purposes only.

Animated gif found on GIPHY

Vladimir Putin’s Stepford Trolls

Intelligence chief Dan Coats says the United States is ‘under attack’  by Vladimir Putin who continues to use our media to spread lies and half-truths as a way to sow division between Americans.

What does this look like for everyday users of Twitter and Facebook?

Screenshot of one of thousands of Russia's Twitterbot

Yesterday I found a list of Russian twitter bots compiled by @slack2thefuture and @horridpoplyrics, two excellent sources of information for twitter users who want to screen out Russian Propaganda.

There are thousands of bots posing as Liberal/Resistance accounts on twitter simultaneously sending the same scripted tweets.

Screenshot of a Russian Twitterbot

Screenshot of a Russian Twitterbot

On first glance the tweets look benign.

Are they?

The tweets are emotional, inflammatory, and divisive.

Screenshot of a Russian Twitterbot
They use Putin’s standard strategy of telling a half truth as in above tweet
about the death of Muhiydin Moye.

Yes, Muhiydin Moye was shot and killed in New Orléans, but there is no evidence the shooting was related to his activism as the tweet implies.

Here’s the full story on CNN:

“An adult black male, identified as Mr. Muhiydin Moye, sustained a gunshot wound to the thigh in a shooting incident that occurred shortly before 1:30 am on February 6th. He was transported to a hospital and subsequently died of his wounds,” NOPD spokesman Beau Tidwell said in an email.

An attorney for the police department said that the incident report citing aggravated battery was the only one available, and that “the signal was recently changed to a homicide.”

The suspect is an unknown stranger, according to the incident report.

Calling him “Moya,” Camille Weaver, Moye’s cousin, said on the GoFundMe page that the family received a call Tuesday morning “saying that he had died due to excessive blood loss. We don’t have many details, but will update as soon as we do.”

 

This tweet tells us that a White Christian Extremist was busted while planning a major terror attack:


Screenshot of Bot tweet White Christian Activist planned terror attack
If you want to know who the ‘extremist’ is you have to click to a site that will likely download malware to your computer.

I checked and found no story about the bust of a ‘Christian extremist’ dated February 10.

The bots never tweet about TrumpRussia.

I scrolled through at least 50 accounts and didn’t see a single tweet about Putin, the Russian attack on the US election or Mueller’s investigation.

The bots do tweet about Trump’s distractions:

Screenshot of a Russian Twitterbot tweet

They cite legitimate news outlets in these tweets but don’t link to the articles.

There are other ‘tells’ but none is as weird as seeing different accounts with profile pictures of the same woman shot from different angles.

Screenshot of a Russian Twitterbot

Cindy Rebala is Stacy Roland

Screenshot of a Russian Twitterbot

Stacy Roland is Kyle Rosemary

Screenshot of a Russian Twitterbot

Kyle Rosemary is Lizza Simmon

Screenshot of a Russian Twitterbot

It’s so weird and diabolical that it’s hard to believe this is happening in life.

Cincinnati political science professor, Dr. Richard Harknett said in testimony before the House Armed Services Committee about Russian cyber operations, “…We are facing comprehensive  strategic campaigns to undermine our national sources of power.”

Screenshot of a Russian Twitterbot
Briteny Alonso is Sasha Mathew

Screenshot of a Russian Twitterbot

I look at these screen shots and feel like I’m looking at a nightmare mashup of Charlie’s Angels and The Stepford Wives:

‘Angel-bots, you’re going under cover; stupid cover, but this is Moscow.’

Rob Goldstein 2018 (all images are twitter screenshots and are presented here for educational purposes)

15 tip-offs that it’s Russian Propaganda

I posted this checklist as the close of,  ‘If you based your vote on Russian Facebook ads you were tricked‘ but decided to post it as an Info-graphic for
people to download and share.

This check-list comes from the Ukraine so the translation into English is a
little shaky. The point is Trump/Putin are pulling the same stunts in the
United States.

Screen shot of 15 points of Russian Propaganda from Euromaidan Press (EP)
15 points of Russian Propaganda from Euromaidan Press (EP)

The only way to stop Putin’s Cyber Attacks is to take his weapon away
from him. We can that, in part, by saying no to his racist appeals and
cynical distortions of the truth.

A russian facebook ad targeting immigrants
One of 470 sites set up by a Russian troll farm –Facebook ads from Russia

Russian information warfare is a psychological attack based on decades
of advanced Soviet Era research into human behavior. 

Peter Pomerantsev, the author of Nothing Is True and Everything Is Possible: The Surreal Heart of the New Russia” says,Moscow’s propaganda works because it breaks down the distinctions between fact and fiction and provides emotionally satisfying narratives regardless of their truthfulness.”

Screenshot of a russian facebook ad blaiming immigrants for American poverty
Russia’s stories are more emotional and the stories are more exciting even if we know they’re not true.

“The Kremlin narrative,” says Pomerantsev, “is ‘there is no truth out there, and you’ll never find it; but go with us because our emotional content is more vital.”

That promotes cynicism and “cynicism breaks down critical thinking” because at its root is something quite medieval and emotional – a world of myths and storytelling.”

“When you don’t believe in facts,” Pomerantsev concludes, “you are just left with that.”

from Euromaidan Press (EP)

Russian Propaganda Works by confusing fact with fiction

Please download and share the graphic.

Thanks,

Rob Goldstein

A Prayer for Sutherland Springs

As of this writing, the tragedy in Sutherland Springs is not yet three hours old and it’s already in use by Russian trolls on social media to tear people apart.

Screenshot of twitter troll account accusing liberals of politicizing the Sutherland Springs tragedy
Putin’s propaganda of division and hate will not stop until we make it stop.

The best way to honor the dead is to do what we can to stop their use in a vicious enemy’s cynical game.

My prayers for Sutherland Springs are not to God, but to my fellow citizens: I pray that we Americans will unite as a community and work together to exercise our rights with wisdom and common sense.

I pray that we once again value our common heritage and vision
as Americans.

Not as liberals.

Not as Conservatives.

As Americans.

Below is a video from the New York Times about the problem of Russian propaganda and how it affects the quality of our lives.

How Russian Bots and Trolls Invade Our Lives

 

Update: 8:10PM PST

From Adam Schiff:

Update: 8:46PM PST

From Adam Schiff

Update: 11/06/17 10:56AM

There is no evidence 26-year-old Devin Patrick Kelley was affiliated with the so-called ‘left wing’ or connected to the so-called ‘antifa movement.’

From the New York Times:

According to The San Antonio Express-News, Kelley served in the Air Force but was court-martialed in 2012 and guilty of domestic violence. He’d assaulted his wife and young child, the court-martial found, and sentenced him to 12 months of confinement and gave him a “bad discharge” from the Air Force. In 2014, Kelley appealed the ruling but lost, The New York Times reported. “He assaulted his stepson severely enough that he fractured his skull, and he also assaulted his wife,” retired colonel Don Christensen, who was the chief prosecutor for the Air Force, told the Times. “He pled to intentionally doing it.”

Yet, this morning, Russian State Media, Russia Today, is playing gaslight with Facebook readers with lies about the shooting in Sutherland Springs:

According to every credible news outlet the gunman was violent toward his wife and child and sent a threatening text to his mother-in-law before the shooting.

Facebook is still letting Russian State Media use its platform to spread frightening and divisive lies.

Why?

Update: 11/06/17 2:54PM

Russia Today retracts its story that the Sutherland Springs shooter had leftist ‘antifa’ connections:

Screenshhot of a Russia Today retraction of a claim that the Sutherland Springs Shooter was a leftist
Screenshot of Russia Today story retraction.

“We got it wrong and will do our best to provide you verified information in dynamic breaking news circumstances.”
Russia Today

 

Is this more recent story about Twitter based on ‘verified information’?

A Lie posted by Russia Today to its Facebook feed that reads Twitter admitted to censuring the Podesta and DNCLeaks hashtags during the 2016 election cycle.
A Lie posted by Russia Today to its Facebook Timeline

Despite Igor Koske’s fervent gratitude to Russia Today for providing a Russian citizen with an alternative to America’s Cable Network News, this RT Twitter fiction doesn’t exist beyond Russia’s fog of fake right-wing news outlets.

A screenshot of Google's top results for a search for 'Twitter admits suppressing Podesta and DNCLeaks hashtags with Brietbart and Infowars in the top four.
Russia’s Fog of Fake Right Wing News Outlets

 

Rob Goldstein 2017

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