Update 10/05/2917: The Wall Street Journal reports that the Facebook legal team decided to delete all references to Russia from an April report about election meddling.
A 13-page report, published on April 27 and titled “Information Operations and Facebook,” was shortened by several pages by Facebook’s legal and policy teams from an earlier draft, and didn’t mention Russia at all, the people said.
Rather, it concluded that “malicious actors” engaged in influence campaigns during the U.S. presidential election but said it couldn’t determine who was responsible. The extent of Facebook’s understanding at the time of Russian influence is unclear.
Update: 09/27/2017 This is the latest update from ABC News on Russia’s weaponized use of Facebook to subvert the 2016 U.S. Election
Posts that circulated to a targeted, swing-state audience on the social media site railed against illegal immigrants and claimed “the only viable option is to elect Trump.” They were shared by what looked like a grassroots American group called Secured Borders, but Congressional investigators say the group is actually a Russian fabrication designed to influence American voters during and after the presidential election.
“Their goal was to spread dissension, was to split our country apart, and they did a pretty good job,” said Sen. Mark Warner of Virginia, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee.
Facebook told Congressional investigators about a series of posts from a group calling itself “Secured Borders,” which had the look of a grassroots American, anti-immigrant organization. Many of the group’s posts, retrieved from online archives by ABC News, include pointed, pro-Trump messages.
“How dare they accuse Donald Trump of racism and sexism just because he’s concerned about the well-being of Americans??” read one using an image of actor Jack Nicholson, dated Oct. 19. “If wanting to remove criminal alien scum from our streets is raciest and deplorable, then by all means count me in that basket!”
Update: 09/25/2017 This is the latest update from the Washington Post on Russia’s weaponized use of Facebook to subvert the 2016 U.S. Election.
The Russian campaign — taking advantage of Facebook’s ability to send contrary messages to different groups of users based on their political and demographic characteristics — also sought to sow discord among religious groups. Other ads highlighted support for Democrat Hillary Clinton among Muslim women.
These targeted messages, along with others that have surfaced in recent days, highlight the sophistication of an influence campaign slickly crafted to mimic and infiltrate U.S. political discourse while also seeking to heighten tensions between groups already wary of one another.
I’ve used the meme in the header to illustrate the use of half-truth as propaganda.
Comey, Clapper and Brennon did not say there is no Russian collusion.
What they said, to be precise is this:
“There should be no fuzz on this whatsoever; the Russians interfered in our election.” James Comey June 08, 2017
The Russians used cyber operations against both political parties, including hacking into servers used by the Democratic National Committee and releasing stolen data to WikiLeaks and other media outlets. Russia also collected on certain Republican Party- affiliated targets, but did not release any Republican-related data. The Intelligence Community Assessment concluded first that President Putin directed an influence campaign to erode the faith and confidence of the American people in our presidential election process. Second, that he did so to demean Secretary Clinton, and third, that he sought to advantage Mr. Trump. These conclusions were reached based on the richness of the information gathered and analyzed and were thoroughly vetted and then approved by the directors of the three agencies and me. James ClapperMay 08, 2017
“Well, for the last 241 years, the nation and the citizens have cherished the freedom and liberty upon which this country was founded upon. Many brave Americans have lost their lives to protect that freedom and liberty and lost their lives to protect the freedom and liberties of other peoples around the world. Our ability to choose our elected leaders, as we see fit, is, I believe, an inalienable right that we must protect with all of the resources and authority and power.
“And the fact that the Russians tried to influence resources and authority and power, and the fact that the Russians tried to influence that election so that the will of the American people was not going to be realized by that election, I find outrageous and something that we need to, with every last ounce of devotion to this country, resist and try to act to prevent further instances of that. And so, therefore, I believe, this is something that’s critically important to every American. Certainly, it’s very important for me, for my children and grandchildren to make sure that never again will a foreign country try to influence and interfere in the foundation stone of this country, which is electing our democratic leaders.” John Brennon NPR
The term ‘Russian collusion’ is a classic gaslight.
Brennon, Clapper and Comey did not mention “Russian collusion” because
the Russians can’t collude with their own intelligence operations.
Russia committed an more serious crime and on this, they all agree:
“ President Putin directed an influence campaign to erode the faith and confidence of the American people in our presidential election process. Second, that he did so to demean Secretary Clinton, and third, that he sought to advantage Mr. Trump. ‘ James Clapper
Who benefits from spreading lies?
Today I learned the folks who run Facebook knew that Russia was working to subvert the 2016 U.S. election and allowed them to do it.
Facebook officials reported that they traced the ad sales, totaling $100,000, to a Russian “troll farm” with a history of pushing pro-Kremlin propaganda, these people said. The Washington Post
It’s distressing to have friends and family I dearly love on the irrational side of a political debate based on weaponized lies.
All things are not equal. All systems are not equally corrupt.
Regardless of our mistakes in the United States the hope of a liberal democracy lies in the power of the people to criticize and shape their government.
Most of the ads, according to a blog post published late Wednesday by Facebook’s chief security officer, Alex Stamos, “appeared to focus on amplifying divisive social and political messages across the ideological spectrum — touching on topics from LGBT matters to race issues to immigration to gun rights.”The Washington Post
In short, Vladimir Putin’s government purchased $100,000 in ads to promote racism, sexism, anti-immigrant bashing, and homophobia.
My fellow citizens are not my enemy.
My family is not my enemy.
Old friends are not my enemy.
My enemy is a Russian dictator who uses Internet Technology to poison the political debates of democratic nations.
Facebook reported in its blog post Wednesday that about one-quarter of the ads in question were “geographically targeted,” although company officials declined to provide specifics about what areas or demographic groups were the recipients. Of those targeted ads, the company said, more ran in 2015 than 2016.The Washington Post
Putin targeted specific ‘types’ of people for specific kinds of lies in a bid to control how they think and act.
I wrote this post after I noticed a discrepancy between the Democratic Convention I was watching and one reported in the media. This was the first time I noticed disinformation in the mainstream press. The post is even more relevant now that we know our media was under the influence of Kremlin propaganda. Please note, I’m not calling our legitimate press fake news. Plenty of reasonable people believed the lies peddled by Putin’s web brigades.
I don’t normally watch political conventions but this year I’ve watched both.
As with most Bernie supporters I’m sick of watching the erosion of my wealth by people who spread hatred and fear in an elitist game of divide and conquer.
These are the kinds of people who thought it was OK to euthanize people
with mental illness.
These are the kinds of people who thought it was OK to use poor kids as cheap labor.
Speeches by Democrats are usually a tepid echo of the more fiery
rhetoric delivered by the true believers on the Right.
These were passionate democrats.
The First Lady was brilliant:
“That is the story of this country, the story that has brought me to this stage tonight, the story of generations of people who felt the lash of bondage, the shame of servitude, the sting of segregation, but who kept on striving and hoping and doing what needed to be done so that today, I wake up every morning in a house that was built by slaves — (applause) — and I watch my daughters –- two beautiful, intelligent, black young women –- playing with their dogs on the White House lawn. (Applause.) And because of Hillary Clinton, my daughters –- and all our sons and daughters -– now take for granted that a woman can be President of the United States.” Michelle Obama 2016
Michelle Obama made me proud as a Citizen of the United States of America.
When we unite around a principled stand for the Rule of Law and human rights we set people free.
“And here’s the thing. America isn’t going broke. The stock market is breaking records. Corporate profits are at all time highs… There is lots of wealth in America but it isn’t trickling down to hard-working families like yours. Does anyone here have a problem with that? Well I do, too. People get it. The system is rigged. It’s true. Now, so-called experts claim America’s in trouble because both political parties in Washington refuse to compromise — gridlock. That is just flat wrong. Washington works great for those at the top. When giant companies wanted more tax loopholes, Washington got it done. When huge energy companies wanted to tear up the environment, Washington got it done… Try to do something, anything, for working people and you’ll have a fight on your hand.” Elizabeth Warren 2016
Cory Booker gave an impassioned account of our Nation’s struggle with its imperfections:
“Our founding documents were genius. But not because they were perfect. They were saddled with the imperfections and even the bigotry of the past. Native Americans were referred to as savages, black Americans were referred to as fractions of human beings, and women were not mentioned at all.
But those facts and other ugly parts of our history don’t detract from our nation’s greatness. In fact, I believe we are an even greater nation, not because we started perfect, but because every generation has successfully labored to make us a more perfect union. Generations of heroic Americans have made America more inclusive, more expansive, and more just.
Our nation was not founded because we all looked alike, or prayed alike, or descended from the same family tree. But our founders, in their genius, in this, the oldest constitutional democracy, put forth on this earth the idea that all are created equal; that we all have inalienable rights.
And upon this faithful foundation we built a great nation, and today, no matter who you are – rich or poor, Asian or white, man or woman, gay or straight, any religion or none at all – you are entitled to the full rights and responsibilities of citizenship. “Cory Booker 2016
Sanders placed principles above personality and described how he leveraged the power of his movement: It is no secret that Hillary Clinton and I disagree on a number of issues. That’s what this campaign has been about. That’s what democracy is about. But I am happy to tell you that at the Democratic Platform Committee there was a significant coming together between the two campaigns and we produced, by far, the most progressive platform in the history of the Democratic Party. Among many other strong provisions, the Democratic Party now calls for breaking up the major financial institutions on Wall Street and the passage of a 21st Century Glass-Steagall Act.
It also calls for strong opposition to job-killing free trade agreements like the Trans-Pacific Partnership.
Our job now is to see that platform implemented by a Democratic Senate, a Democratic House and a Hillary Clinton presidency – and I am going to do everything I can to make that happen. Bernie Sanders 2016
Moreover Sanders asserted that he and Clinton were collaborating on a piece of legislation:
“…During the primary campaign, Secretary Clinton and I both focused on this issue but with different approaches. Recently, however, we have come together on a proposal that will revolutionize higher education in America. It will guarantee that the children of any family this country with an annual income of $125,000 a year or less – 83 percent of our population – will be able to go to a public college or university tuition free. That proposal also substantially reduces student debt.” Bernie Sanders 2016
I heard a few boos from the crowd.
I heard chants of black lives matter.
I saw fierce loyalty on the faces of Bernie’s supporters but I also
heard Sanders say very clearly that much of what they want is
in the platform.
I don’t agree that this is the most progressive platform in the history
of the Democratic Party but it’s the most progressive I’ve seen in
But I saw no concessions to the right on first night of this Convention.
I’m hyper vigilant even when watching T.V.
I notice everything.
I saw none of the chaos and rage that I saw at the GOP Convention in Cleveland.
Imagine my surprise when I went to my favorite corner store this morning and read this headline on the San Francisco Chronicle:
I think that makes a big difference but maybe I missed something.
Please describe what you saw if you watched the speeches on the first night of the Democratic Convention.
The only way to correct the corporate bias of our media is for us to report what we saw.
The San Francisco Chronicle is owned by the Hearst Corporation.
Below is a little info about the Hearst Corporation
Hearst Corporation (www.hearst.com) is one of the nation’s largest diversified media and information companies. Its major interests include ownership of 15 daily and 36 weekly newspapers, including the Houston Chronicle, San Francisco Chronicle, San Antonio Express-News and Albany Times Union; hundreds of magazines around the world, including Good Housekeeping, Cosmopolitan, ELLE and O, The Oprah Magazine; 29 television stations, which reach a combined 18 percent of U.S. viewers; ownership in leading cable networks, including Lifetime, A&E, HISTORY and ESPN; significant holdings in automotive, electronic and medical/pharmaceutical business information companies; a 50 percent stake in global ratings agency Fitch Group; Internet and marketing services businesses; television production; newspaper features distribution; and real estate.