Thursday, September 28, 2017

Greenwald: "Yet Another Russia Story Falls Apart. Is Skepticism Permissible Yet?"

Well, Glenn Greenwald is largely a shithead...and he sure doesn't like the U.S...but...he's not obviously wrong about this.
   It's starting to seem like Russia Derangement Syndrome to me...and it may be a consequence of TDS.


Blogger Pete Mack said...

This is not the only Russian story. And we already knew about a number of states that WERE targeted this way. Those stories were not debunked.
Keep in mind that the US election story doesn't stand in isolation: Russia meddled in European elections using similar methods including fake news and provocateur style political action. Russia was setting up pro-Trump and anti-immigrant rallies in the US. This is pretty well established; indeed Facebook has acknowledged it. So I wouldn't base too many claims on this one story, either way. It's no surprise that some of these reports will prove false: investigating Russia isn't easy.

11:58 PM  
Blogger Winston Smith said...

Yes, good points.

I'm in no way convinced that Russia *didn't* try to meddle...but I do occasionally agree with Greenwald...and I do think that the eagerness to accept anti-Russia stories is pernicious...and that it's permissible to be skeptical.

Putin's an asshole, and I wouldn't put anything past him. But anti-Russia hysteria is a terrible response. As is so often the case, the media is acting as a force multiplier for the bad guys.

11:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In our previous Red Scare, we literally had an assistant treasury secretary, Harry Dexter White who was a Soviet intelligence asset. He was the architect of Bretton Woods, and a major contributor to the creation of the IMF and the World Bank. And even then, we are easily able to understand the danger of that hysteria in hindsight.

Now, we have essentially harmless scraping attempts on government systems (that under inspection are not even election related), which is done to literally any domain put on the public internet. And we have "Russia setting up pro-Trump and anti-immigrant rallies in the US", which was actually some group in Idaho promoting a anti-immigration rallly, which apparently has some degree of separation from a Russian-sponsored troll farm, but we are never told exactly what. So either the current Russians think the next revolution is starting in Idaho (which means they are as sophisticated as I keep hearing from the Senate Intelligence Committee yet have no idea about the easily google-able population of Idaho), or the 2016 election was atypically divisive even by American standards, and thus an unusually fertile crowd for trollish antics.

(Who by the way, could arbitrage political mania to generate clicks on their own phony blogs, which they can sell ads on themselves. Look at all the low profile "political" blogs that exploded in 2016. There was money to be made in this, in addition to lulz, which seems like a much better explanation than Putin secretly manipulating every nihilist in Russia with access to a comment board.)

Also, someone who is not an obvious hack needs to comb through the BS on "Russia"'s social media ad spend. Sub $1 million ad campaigns are being spun as some sort of danger to democracy, when in fact there is almost no chance there was meaningful engagement at those levels. Internet advertising has the worst impression rates in the business, by miles. And the targeting wasn't sophisticated. From what I've heard, any knuckle-dragger with a FB ad account and access to American news could easily place those ads, which were basically geo-targeted.

3:14 PM  

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