Sunday, November 27, 2016

Russian Propaganda Effort Used Facebook Etc. To Spread Fake News To Help Trump / Punish Clinton

Read it.
   In short, we face a de facto alliance among Putin's Russia, American right-wing crazies, and the low-information voters that form a large part of the GOP base:
The flood of “fake news” this election season got support from a sophisticated Russian propaganda campaign that created and spread misleading articles online with the goal of punishing Democrat Hillary Clinton, helping Republican Donald Trump and undermining faith in American democracy, say independent researchers who tracked the operation.
Russia’s increasingly sophisticated propaganda machinery — including thousands of botnets, teams of paid human “trolls,” and networks of websites and social-media accounts — echoed and amplified right-wing sites across the Internet as they portrayed Clinton as a criminal hiding potentially fatal health problems and preparing to hand control of the nation to a shadowy cabal of global financiers. The effort also sought to heighten the appearance of international tensions and promote fear of looming hostilities with nuclear-armed Russia.
Two teams of independent researchers found that the Russians exploited American-made technology platforms to attack U.S. democracy at a particularly vulnerable moment, as an insurgent candidate harnessed a wide range of grievances to claim the White House.
McFaul said Russian propaganda typically is aimed at weakening opponents and critics. Trump’s victory, though reportedly celebrated by Putin and his allies in Moscow, may have been an unexpected benefit of an operation that already had fueled division in the United States. “They don’t try to win the argument,” said McFaul, now director of the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies at Stanford University. “It’s to make everything seem relative. It’s kind of an appeal to cynicism.”
   Russian autocracy didn't just win a battle--it seems to have installed an incompetent, mentally unstable, criminal pro-Russian idiot as the President-elect of the United States. This really is an off-the-scale victory. Putin must feel roughly like bin Laden felt when we invaded Iraq--nobody really expects an operation like this to succeed so unequivocally.
   And I'd add: this was accomplished by leveraging the irrationality, and credulity/dogmatism that right-wing media has fostered in the GOP base for the past thirty years. And again I'm going to assert: it largely started with Rush (sounds like "Russia") Limbaugh. What you see on the right is a lot like what you see on the pomo/PC left, IMO: awful, destructive habits of mind that are more poisonous than any particular belief or conclusion. Firmly entrenched tendencies to accept bad forms of reasoning, which act as a steady source of more and more false beliefs. Teach a man a falsehood and he's dumb for a day; teach him how to reason badly and he's crap at thinking forever. 


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm not sure what's more outrageous, that this happened or that most people don't seem to care very much. Is there a precedent for this level of foreign interference in an American presidential election? I'm not aware of this happening before. I'm doing my best to try to think clearly about this because I'm so angry, but it does seem worth considering whether this kind of interference merits a more forceful response. A concerted propaganda campaign may not rise to the level of an attack on the sovereignty of the United States, but when we're talking about the election of the US President, that does seem different and like a more serious kind of interference. What seems clear to me is that this can't be tolerated and allowed to become the norm. If we take it to the next level, we have to start considering more direct attempts to interfere with a major American election and how we can prevent it or respond.

7:10 PM  

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