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Russian hacker bots behind anti-gun movement

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  • Russian hacker bots behind anti-gun movement

    The liberal gun grabbers will not complain, but I’m thinking maybe there should be a Senate hearing and a special investigator appointed.....

    SAN FRANCISCO — One hour after news broke about the school shooting in Florida last week, Twitter accounts suspected of having links to Russia released hundreds of posts taking up the gun control debate.
    The accounts addressed the news with the speed of a cable news network. Some adopted the hashtag #guncontrolnow. Others used #gunreformnow and #Parklandshooting. Earlier on Wednesday, before the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., many of those accounts had been focused on the investigation by the special counsel Robert S. Mueller III into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election.
    “This is pretty typical for them, to hop on breaking news like this,” said Jonathon Morgan, chief executive of New Knowledge, a company that tracks online disinformation campaigns. “The bots focus on anything that is divisive for Americans. Almost systematically.”
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    One of the most divisive issues in the nation is how to handle guns, pitting Second Amendment advocates against proponents of gun control. And the messages from these automated accounts, or bots, were designed to widen the divide and make compromise even more difficult.
    Any news event — no matter how tragic — has become fodder to spread inflammatory messages in what is believed to be a far-reaching Russian disinformation campaign. The disinformation comes in various forms: conspiracy videos on YouTube, fake interest groups on Facebook, and armies of bot accounts that can hijack a topic or discussion on Twitter.
    Those automated Twitter accounts have been closely tracked by researchers. Last year, the Alliance for Securing Democracy, in conjunction with the German Marshall Fund, a public policy research group in Washington, created a website that tracks hundreds of Twitter accounts of human users and suspected bots that they have linked to a Russian influence campaign.
    The researchers zeroed in on Twitter accounts posting information that was in step with material coming from well-known Russian propaganda outlets. To spot an automated bot, they looked for certain signs, like an extremely high volume of posts or content that conspicuously matched hundreds of other accounts.
    The researchers said they had watched as the bots began posting about the Parkland shooting shortly after it happened.
    Amplified by bot swarms, Russian-linked Twitter accounts tried to foment discord before and after the election. Hundreds of accounts promoted false stories about Hillary Clinton and spread articles based on leaked emails from Democratic operatives that had been obtained by Russian hackers.
    Facebook, Google and Twitter have, to varying degrees, announced new measures to eliminate bot accounts, and have hired more moderators to help them weed out disinformation on their platforms.
    But since the election, the Russian-linked bots have rallied around other divisive issues, often ones that President Trump has tweeted about. They promoted Twitter hashtags like #boycottnfl, #standforouranthem and #takeaknee after some National Football League players started kneeling during the national anthem to protest racial injustice.
    The automated Twitter accounts helped popularize the #releasethememo hashtag, which referred to a secret House Republican memorandum that suggested the F.B.I. and the Justice Department abused their authority to obtain a warrant to spy on a former Trump campaign adviser. The debate over the memo widened a schism between the White House and its own law enforcement agencies.
    The bots are “going to find any contentious issue, and instead of making it an opportunity for compromise and negotiation, they turn it into an unsolvable issue bubbling with frustration,” said Karen North, a social media professor at the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism. “It just heightens that frustration and anger.”
    Intelligence officials in the United States have warned that malicious actors will try to spread disinformation ahead of the 2018 midterm elections. In testimony to Congress last year and in private meetings with lawmakers, social media companies promised that they will do better in 2018 than they did in 2016.
    But the Twitter campaign around the Parkland shooting is an example of how Russian operatives are still at it.
    “We’ve had more than a year to get our act together and address the threat posed by Russia and implement a strategy to deter future attacks, but I believe, unfortunately, we still don’t have a comprehensive plan,” said Senator Mark Warner, the Virginia Democrat who is the vice chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, during a hearing this month on global threats to the United States. “What we’re seeing is a continuous assault by Russia to target and undermine our democratic institutions, and they’re going to keep coming at us.”
    When the Russian bots jumped on the hashtag #Parklandshooting — initially created to spread news of the shooting — they quickly stoked tensions. Exploiting the issue of mental illness in the gun control debate, they propagated the notion that Nikolas Cruz, the suspected gunman, was a mentally ill “lone killer.” They also claimed that he had searched for Arabic phrases on Google before the shooting. Simultaneously, the bots started other hashtags, like #ar15, for the semiautomatic rifle used in the shooting, and #NRA.
    The bots’ behavior follows a pattern, said Mr. Morgan, one of the researchers who worked with the German Marshall Fund to create Hamilton 68, the website that monitors Russian bot and fake Twitter activity. The bots target a contentious issue like race relations or guns. They stir the pot, often animating both sides and creating public doubt in institutions like the police or media. Any issue associated with extremist views is a ripe target.
    The goal is to push fringe ideas into the “slightly more mainstream,” Mr. Morgan said. If well-known people retweet the bot messages or simply link to a website the bots are promoting, the messages gain an edge of legitimacy.
    An indictment made public on Friday by Mr. Mueller as part of the investigation into Russian interference in the election mentioned a Russian Twitter feed, @TEN_GOP, which posed as a Tennessee Republican account and attracted more than 100,000 followers. Messages from this now-deleted account were retweeted by the president’s sons and close advisers including Kellyanne Conway and Michael T. Flynn, the former national security adviser.
    The indictment also described how fraudulent Russian accounts on Twitter tried to push real Americans into action. The indictment said the fake Twitter account @March_for_Trump had organized political rallies for Mr. Trump in New York before the election, including a “March for Trump” rally on June 25, 2016, and a “Down With Hillary” gathering on July 23, 2016.
    By Friday morning, the bots that pushed the original tweets around the Parkland shooting had moved on to the hashtag #falseflag — a term used by conspiracy theorists to refer to a secret government operation that is carried out to look like something else — with a conspiracy theory that the shooting had never happened.
    By Monday, the bots had new targets: the Daytona 500 auto race in Daytona Beach, Fla., and news about William Holleeder, a man facing trial in the Netherlands for his suspected role in six gangland killings. It is unclear why.


    https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/af...ced/ar-BBJlGVk
    Dispite our best intentions, the system is dysfunctional that intelligence failure is guaranteed.
    Russ Travers, CIA analyst, 2001

  • #2
    Originally posted by Urban hermit View Post
    The liberal gun grabbers will not complain, but I’m thinking maybe there should be a Senate hearing and a special investigator appointed.....


    https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/af...ced/ar-BBJlGVk
    I don't care about Russian Hackers or Liberal gun grabbers, as long as the second amendment stands, I worry about neither!
    BTW my Wife is at my Front Gate with an AR 15 and an M 37 looking for Russians while I am taking a break here at the House.
    Last edited by Trung Si; 20 Feb 18, 21:26.
    Trying hard to be the Man, that my Dog believes I am!

    Comment


    • #3
      If Sandy Hook and Bobo didn't have an impact, nothing's going to happen.
      Any man can hold his place when the bands play and women throw flowers; it is when the enemy presses close and metal shears through the ranks that one can acertain which are soldiers, and which are not.

      Comment


      • #4
        It's a safe bet who's money is backing the latest anti gun movement.
        “Breaking News,”

        “Something irrelevant in your life just happened and now we are going to blow it all out of proportion for days to keep you distracted from what's really going on.”

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Arnold J Rimmer View Post
          If Sandy Hook and Bobo didn't have an impact, nothing's going to happen.
          Bobo had Democrat supermajorities in both houses of Congress for most of his first two years in office and did nothing on gun control.

          Why? Because the Clinton "assault weapons" ban was one of the three main reasons the Democrats got their asses kicked in the 1994 election.
          Watts Up With That? | The world's most viewed site on global warming and climate change.

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          • #6
            It's reasonable to assume the Bots are also posting gun rights messages.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by The Doctor View Post
              Bobo had Democrat supermajorities in both houses of Congress for most of his first two years in office and did nothing on gun control.

              Why? Because the Clinton "assault weapons" ban was one of the three main reasons the Democrats got their asses kicked in the 1994 election.


              Good times.
              Any man can hold his place when the bands play and women throw flowers; it is when the enemy presses close and metal shears through the ranks that one can acertain which are soldiers, and which are not.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by III Corps View Post
                It's reasonable to assume the Bots are also posting gun rights messages.
                Why?
                Watts Up With That? | The world's most viewed site on global warming and climate change.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Urban hermit View Post
                  The liberal gun grabbers will not complain, but I’m thinking maybe there should be a Senate hearing and a special investigator appointed.....


                  https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/af...ced/ar-BBJlGVk
                  Russian Bots spread lies about guns and frac'ing... Not a peep out of Democrats.

                  Russian Bots tell the truth about Hillary... Not a peep out of Democrats while Trump has less than a 1% chance of winning the election

                  Trump crushes Hillary in the election... Democrats go into apoplectic seizure over Russian bots.

                  But, but, but... TRUMP!!!

                  Watts Up With That? | The world's most viewed site on global warming and climate change.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by The Doctor View Post
                    ...Why?...
                    Discord. Stir up both sides against each other.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by III Corps View Post
                      Discord. Stir up both sides against each other.
                      That explains why they might be doing it... But not why it's reasonable to assume that they are doing it.
                      Watts Up With That? | The world's most viewed site on global warming and climate change.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by III Corps View Post
                        Discord. Stir up both sides against each other.
                        Russian bots spread lies about frac'ing because increased US oil & gas production is bad for Russia...
                        Russia’s Anti-Fracking Social Media Focus Has Republican Congressman Upset

                        October 23rd, 2017 by Nexus Media

                        By Jeremy Deaton

                        The 2016 presidential election was historic not just for the outcome, but for the circumstances that contributed to that outcome, most notably Russian efforts to mislead the American public using fake news articles, fake Facebook accounts and fake Twitter accounts to disseminate all manner of misinformation.

                        It looks like Russia may be at it again — this time with a different target in mind. Russia is now using some of the same tools and tactics to spur opposition to hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” a controversial technology used in the production of natural gas.

                        Russia has run anti-fracking stories on its state-funded news outlet and possibly has purchased anti-fracking online ads. Russia’s efforts have earned the attention of Texas Republican Lamar Smith, who found it necessary to launch a probe into the matter, even though he dismissed Russia’s influence on last year’s election.

                        Here’s why Russia, a natural-gas superpower, is spreading anti-fracking messages, and why Smith, who has largely kept mum on Russia, wants to investigate.

                        Fracking allowed the United States to overtake Russia as the world’s largest producer of natural gas.


                        [...]

                        U.S. producers now want to sell gas in Russia’s backyard.


                        Now, however, the United States is trying to break into the European market by upping exports of liquefied natural gas (LNG), which can by shipped overseas. European countries would certainly welcome another supplier of natural gas, given their history with Russia, which cut exports to Europe amid a 2008 dispute with Ukraine. In a speech given in Europe earlier this year, Trump said, “The United States will never use energy to coerce your nations, and we cannot allow others to do so.”

                        [...]
                        https://cleantechnica.com/2017/10/23...ressman-upset/

                        Like with guns, there's no way for Russia to play both sides of the issue. One side is wrong and the other side needs no assistance from Russian bots. Neither the oil & gas industry or the NRA need Russian assistance to make their case.

                        With election interference, the Russian goal is to instill distrust of our democratic processes.
                        Watts Up With That? | The world's most viewed site on global warming and climate change.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by The Doctor View Post
                          Why?
                          because the Russians also give money to NRA

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by craven View Post
                            because the Russians also give money to NRA
                            According to anonymous sources as reported by the lamestream media...

                            Jan 24, 2018:
                            But from the perspective of a blog about political parties, there is one undernoticed story with enormous implications for American politics. Last Thursday, McClatchy DC published a story titled “FBI Investigating Whether Russian Money Went to NRA to Help Trump.” It states:
                            The FBI is investigating whether a top Russian banker with ties to the Kremlin [Alexander Torshin] illegally funneled money to the National Rifle Association to help Donald Trump win the presidency, two sources familiar with the matter have told McClatchy.

                            At this point, there are few details, and the NRA is not responding to press inquiries.
                            https://www.vox.com/mischiefs-of-fac...oney-nra-trump

                            As of February 21, 2018 the evidence that Russia sent money to the NRA is...

                            Watts Up With That? | The world's most viewed site on global warming and climate change.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Russian hackers [enter subject]!
                              Wisdom is personal

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