9
   

Russian (disinformation) targeted Robert Mueller, reports say.

 
 
Reply Tue 18 Dec, 2018 12:33 am
Russian (disinformation) targeted Robert Mueller, reports say.


Published December 17, 2018
Quote:
Months after President Donald Trump took office, Russia’s disinformation teams trained their sights on a new target: special counsel Robert Mueller III. Having worked to help get Trump into the White House, they now worked to neutralize the biggest threat to his staying there.

The Russian operatives unloaded on Mueller through fake accounts on Facebook, Twitter and beyond, falsely claiming that the former FBI director was corrupt and that the allegations of Russian interference in the 2016 election were crackpot conspiracies. One post on Instagram - which emerged as an especially potent weapon in the Russian social media arsenal - claimed that Mueller had worked in the past with ‘‘radical Islamic groups.’’

Such tactics exemplified how Russian teams ranged nimbly across social media platforms in a shrewd online influence operation aimed squarely at American voters. The effort started earlier than commonly understood and lasted longer while relying on the strengths of different sites to manipulate distinct slices of the electorate, according to a pair of comprehensive new reports prepared for the Senate Intelligence Committee and released Monday.

One of the reports, written by Oxford University’s Computational Propaganda Project and network analysis firm Graphika, became public when The Washington Post obtained it and published its highlights Sunday. The other report was by social media research firm New Knowledge, Columbia University and Canfield Research.

Together the reports describe the Russian campaign with sweep and detail not before available. The researchers analyzed more than 10 million posts and messages on every major social media platform to understand how the Russians used American technology to build a sprawling online disinformation machine, with each piece playing a designated role while supporting the others with links and other connections.

The reports also underscore the difficulty of defeating Russian disinformation as operatives moved easily from platform to platform, making the process of detecting and deleting misleading posts impossible for any company on its own to manage.

Twitter hit political and journalistic elites. Facebook and its advertising targeting tools divided the electorate into demographic and ideological segments ripe for manipulation, with particular focus on energizing conservatives and suppressing African-Americans, who traditionally are more likely to vote for Democrats.

YouTube provided a free online library of more than 1,100 disinformation videos. PayPal helped raise money and move politically themed merchandise designed by the Russian teams, such as ‘‘I SUPPORT AMERICAN LAW ENFORCEMENT’’ T-shirts. Tumblr, Medium, Vine, Reddit and various websites also played roles.

‘‘We hope that these reports provide clarity for the American people and policymakers alike, and make clear the sweeping scope of the operation and the long game being played,’’ said Renee DiResta, research director at New Knowledge.

Social media researchers said the weaponization of these sites and services highlights the broadening challenge they face in combating the increasingly sophisticated tactics of Russia and other foreign malefactors online.

‘‘Some of the platforms that don’t have as much traffic, but still have highly engaged communities, are the most vulnerable to a challenge like misinformation,’’ said Graham Brookie, head of the Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensic Research Lab. ‘‘They don’t have the resources to dedicate to making their platforms more resilient.’’

One unexpected star of the new reports Monday was Facebook’s photo-sharing subsidiary Instagram. Over the years of the disinformation campaign, Instagram generated responses on a scale beyond any of the others - with 187 million comments, likes and other user reactions, more than Twitter and Facebook combined.

But it had been the least scrutinized of the major platforms before this week as lawmakers, researchers and journalists focused more heavily on Facebook, Twitter and Google. Instagram’s use by the Russians more than doubled in the first six months after Trump’s election, the researchers found. It also offered access to a younger demographic and provided easy likes in a simple, engaging format.

‘‘Instagram’s appeal is that’s where the kids are, and that seems to be where the Russians went,’’ said Philip Howard, head of the Oxford research group.

The report anchored by New Knowledge found that the Russians posted on Instagram 116,000 times, nearly double the number of times they did on Facebook, as documented in the report. The most popular posts praised African-American culture and achievement, but the Russians also targeted this community for voter suppression messages on multiple platforms, urging boycotts of the election or spreading false information on how to vote.

On Monday, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People called for a weeklong boycott of Facebook starting Tuesday, saying the company’s business practices - and the spread of ‘‘disingenuous portrayals of the African-American community’’ on its site - should prompt further congressional investigation.

Facebook said in a statement that it has ‘‘made progress in helping prevent interference on our platforms during elections, strengthened our policies against voter suppression ahead of the 2018 midterms, and funded independent research on the impact of social media on democracy.’’

Reddit and Medium did not immediately respond to requests for comment. Tumblr pointed to a November blog post, which said the company took down Russian-related disinformation ahead of the 2018 election. PayPal said it ‘‘works to combat and prevent the illicit use of our services.’’ Twitter said it has made ‘‘significant strides since 2016 to counter manipulation of our service.’’

The emergence of Mueller as a significant target also highlights the adaptability of the Russian campaign. He was appointed in May 2017 as special counsel to investigate allegations of Russian influence on the Trump campaign. In that role, he has indicted the St. Petersburg-based Internet Research Agency, the Kremlin-linked troll farm behind the disinformation campaign, and others affiliated with the disinformation campaign on criminal charges.

A Clemson University research team, not affiliated with either of the reports released Monday, found that the Russians tweeted about Mueller more than 5,000 times, including retweets first posted by others. Some called for his firing, while others mocked him as incompetent and still others campaigned for the end of his ‘‘entire fake investigation.’’

The report by New Knowledge highlighted the focus on Mueller and fired FBI director James Comey, who was falsely portrayed as ‘‘a dirty cop.’’

The Russian operatives often spread jokes to undermine the investigations into their disinformation campaign, the researchers found. One showed Democrat Hillary Clinton saying, ‘‘Everyone I don’t like is A Russian Hacker.’’ Another showed a woman in a car talking to a police officer, with the caption, ‘‘IT’S NOT MY FAULT OFFICER, THE RUSSIANS HACKED MY SPEEDOMETER.’’

At one point, shortly after the 2016 election, the Russian operatives also began to make fun of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg for saying social media didn’t have an impact on Trump’s victory - a claim for which he later apologized.

On Capitol Hill, top Democrats said Monday that the revelations in the pair of Senate reports underscored the need to study social media and consider fresh regulation in order to stop Russia and other foreign actors from manipulating American democracy in future elections.

‘‘I think all the platforms remain keenly vulnerable, and I don’t have the confidence yet companies have invested the resources and people power necessary to deal with the scope of the problem,’’ said Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., the incoming chairman of the House Intelligence Committee.

In particular, Schiff described the Instagram revelations as ‘‘surprising,’’ contradicting the data and testimony Facebook previously provided to the committee. ‘‘If Facebook was unaware of it, it’s one problem,’’ he said. ‘‘If they were aware of it and didn’t share that information, that’s a completely different problem.’’

Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C., the chairman of the committee that asked the researchers to analyze the tech companies’ data, said the findings show ‘‘how aggressively Russia sought to divide Americans by race, religion and ideology.’’

Every other GOP lawmaker on the Senate Intelligence Committee declined to comment or didn’t respond.

Facebook executives barely discussed the role of Instagram when they testified before Congress late last year about Russian meddling. At the time, the company said the Russian campaign reached 126 million people on Facebook and 20 million on Instagram.

https://www.bostonglobe.com/news/politics/2018/12/17/russian-disinformation-targeted-robert-mueller-reports-say/Y3rgRvZrdRMJvEJN5k66tK/story.html
 
roger
 
  3  
Reply Tue 18 Dec, 2018 01:20 am
@Real Music,
I am delighted the Russians think he's a threat.
engineer
 
  4  
Reply Tue 18 Dec, 2018 07:52 am
@roger,
Should we be offended here at A2K that we only have one Russian troll and they only stop by every two weeks at 8:00pm EST to make a few posts? I mean, we're not Facebook, but only one troll and one who really only makes a token effort?
maporsche
 
  5  
Reply Tue 18 Dec, 2018 09:26 am
@engineer,
engineer wrote:

Should we be offended here at A2K that we only have one Russian troll and they only stop by every two weeks at 8:00pm EST to make a few posts? I mean, we're not Facebook, but only one troll and one who really only makes a token effort?


Well to be fair, we have several people gullible and diseased enough to repeat their propaganda repeatedly and ad nauseam.
Sturgis
 
  3  
Reply Tue 18 Dec, 2018 10:17 am
@maporsche,
So, you saying we are being overwhelmed by surrogate trolls?

Egads!
0 Replies
 
maxdancona
 
  2  
Reply Tue 18 Dec, 2018 12:35 pm
How much do the Russians pay? (I am not getting anything for the work I do here.)
RABEL222
 
  2  
Reply Tue 18 Dec, 2018 03:14 pm
@maxdancona,
But considering the great job you do in trolling you should check with the Russians. You might have a big check laying around.
maxdancona
 
  -2  
Reply Tue 18 Dec, 2018 03:51 pm
@RABEL222,
Well thank you Rabel. Trolling is an important task, without it a community or society becomes stagnant, self-righteous and homogeneous.

It is nice to be appreciated. (It should be clear that I am not actually interested in what the Russians are doing.)
0 Replies
 
Real Music
 
  3  
Reply Wed 19 Dec, 2018 10:21 pm
Russians Targeted Mueller & Black Voters
In Effort To Aid President Trump

Published December 17, 2018
0 Replies
 
izzythepush
 
  2  
Reply Mon 14 Jan, 2019 05:22 am
@RABEL222,
Lying is one thing, being believed is another matter entirely, and for that you need some credibility.
0 Replies
 
RABEL222
 
  1  
Reply Mon 14 Jan, 2019 06:04 pm
Me Edgar or Trump?
izzythepush
 
  1  
Reply Tue 15 Jan, 2019 01:26 am
@RABEL222,
Are we playing snog, marry, avoid?

Sorry I misread your original post, I'd thought misspelt lying and was accusing Max of such.

Sorry again.
RABEL222
 
  1  
Reply Wed 16 Jan, 2019 03:07 pm
@izzythepush,
Ok, no problem. As I gain in age i seem to misinterpret post quite often. Thats why I always reread ones that offend me.
0 Replies
 
McGentrix
 
  0  
Reply Wed 16 Jan, 2019 03:50 pm
Not enough tinfoil in the world to make this make sense.
0 Replies
 
Real Music
 
  2  
Reply Thu 31 Jan, 2019 10:25 pm
Russia Accused Of Disinformation Campaign In Disinformation Case.

Rachel Maddow explains Robert Mueller's accusation that Russia used
material provided through the legal discovery process in the Concord
Management case and manipulated it into a disinformation gambit to
undercut public perception of the special counsel's case.

Published January 31, 2019
0 Replies
 
Real Music
 
  2  
Reply Sat 2 Feb, 2019 06:18 pm
Russian troll accounts purged by Twitter pushed Qanon and other conspiracy theories.

The accounts’ tweets featured the hashtag #MAGA, usually in support of President Trump, almost 38,000 times — the most of any hashtag.


Published February 2, 2019
Quote:
A new batch of troll accounts identified by Twitter as having ties to Russia’s propaganda operation revealed an emphasis on promoting far-right conspiracy theories such as Qanon to Americans.

Twitter announced Thursday the removal of 418 accounts tied to the Kremlin-backed Internet Research Agency, the disinformation group whose employees were indicted by special counsel Robert Mueller last February for attempted election interference.

The accounts’ tweets featured the hashtag #MAGA, usually in support of President Donald Trump, almost 38,000 times — the most of any hashtag. #ReleaseTheMemo, a social media campaign pushed by allies of the president last year that aimed to discredit some members of the FBI, was tweeted 37,583 times.

In all, the 400-some accounts tweeted more than 900,000 tweets.

At the time, close allies of Trump brushed off suggestions that #ReleaseTheMemo, which trended on Twitter, was boosted by Russian influence. "Russian trolls have nothing to do with releasing the memo. That was a vote of the intelligence committee,” counselor to the president Kellyanne Conway said last February.

Some now-purged users spammed Twitter with tweets repeating the hashtag “#ReleaseTheMemo.”

When removing the spam-style messages that included multiple hashtags, the second-most tweeted topic for the Russian troll accounts was #Qanon, a baseless conspiracy theory that claims Mueller and Trump are secretly working together to take down a global pedophile ring run by celebrities and Democratic politicians.

#GreatAwakening and #FollowTheWhiteRabbit, which are catchphrases for #Qanon followers, also featured prominently in the Russian trolls’ tweets.

Nina Jankowicz, a global fellow at the Kennan Institute focusing on Russia and technology, told NBC News that Qanon’s often outlandish narratives about a secret global cabal fueled by the United States fits well with Russian propaganda’s larger narrative.

“One of the Kremlin’s favorite tactics is to inspire confusion and doubt to sow distrust in government. Qanon certainly does that,” Jankowicz said.

“Amplifying the conspiracy theory also makes it look like it has more supporters, distracting from more substantive issues in the online discourse.”

Qanon, a more elaborate offshoot of the "pizzagate" conspiracy theory, came to prominence when several Trump supporters showed up at the president’s rally in Tampa, Florida, this past August carrying “Q” signs and wearing T-shirts supporting the conspiracy.

In the last year, believers in the conspiracy have also been in armed standoffs with the police in Arizona, and one blocked the Hoover Dam demanding the “Release of the OIG Report,” a Qanon-based conspiracy theory loosely derived from the success of #ReleaseTheMemo.

All of the 30 most-used hashtags pushed by the suspected Russian troll accounts focused on either support for Trump, conspiracy theories that targeted his political opponents or a separate — but sometimes overlapping — trolling campaign that meant to demean Muslims.

The hashtags #IslamIsTheProblem, #StopImportingIslam and #BanShariaLaw were each tweeted more than 15,000 times by the 481 Russian troll accounts.

The accounts attempted to emulate Americans on both sides of the political aisle.

One account identified by Twitter as a Russian troll account, @QuartneyChante, posed as an African-American woman. One of her tweets received more than 66,000 retweets.

“Dear White People. It’s a privilege to learn about racism instead of experiencing it your whole life,” the tweet read.

The account was even featured in several news articles, including a Mashable story dubbed "Dear white women: Here's how to step up for women of color.”

Jankowicz said the widespread dissemination of the tweets is a good reminder not to trust everything you read on social media.

“That account was created fairly recently and gained a lot of traction quickly, it seems,” Jankowicz said. “It’s pretty sad, but unless accounts use a plausible name and personal photo on Twitter, I’d advise users against interacting with them.”

https://www.nbcnews.com/tech/social-media/russian-troll-accounts-purged-twitter-pushed-qanon-other-conspiracy-theories-n966091
0 Replies
 
Real Music
 
  3  
Reply Wed 20 Feb, 2019 10:28 pm
‘Sustained and ongoing’ (disinformation) assault targets Dem presidential candidates.


Published February 20, 2019
Quote:
A coordinated barrage of social media attacks suggests the involvement of foreign state actors.

A wide-ranging disinformation campaign aimed at Democratic 2020 candidates is already underway on social media, with signs that foreign state actors are driving at least some of the activity.

The main targets appear to be Sens. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), and former Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-Texas), four of the most prominent announced or prospective candidates for president.

A POLITICO review of recent data extracted from Twitter and from other platforms, as well as interviews with data scientists and digital campaign strategists, suggests that the goal of the coordinated barrage appears to be undermining the nascent candidacies through the dissemination of memes, hashtags, misinformation and distortions of their positions. But the divisive nature of many of the posts also hints at a broader effort to sow discord and chaos within the Democratic presidential primary.

The cyber propaganda — which frequently picks at the rawest, most sensitive issues in public discourse — is being pushed across a variety of platforms and with a more insidious approach than in the 2016 presidential election, when online attacks designed to polarize and mislead voters first surfaced on a massive scale.

Recent posts that have received widespread dissemination include racially inflammatory memes and messaging involving Harris, O’Rourke and Warren. In Warren’s case, a false narrative surfaced alleging that a blackface doll appeared on a kitchen cabinet in the background of the senator’s New Year’s Eve Instagram livestream.

Not all of the activity is organized. Much of it appears to be organic, a reflection of the politically polarizing nature of some of the candidates. But there are clear signs of a coordinated effort of undetermined size that shares similar characteristics with the computational propaganda attacks launched by online trolls at Russia’s Internet Research Agency in the 2016 presidential campaign, which special counsel Robert Mueller accused of aiming to undermine the political process and elevate Donald Trump.

“It looks like the 2020 presidential primary is going to be the next battleground to divide and confuse Americans,” said Brett Horvath, one of the founders of Guardians.ai, a tech company that works with a consortium of data scientists, academics and technologists to disrupt cyberattacks and protect pro-democracy groups from information warfare. “As it relates to information warfare in the 2020 cycle, we’re not on the verge of it — we’re already in the third inning.”

An analysis conducted for POLITICO by Guardians.ai found evidence that a relatively small cluster of accounts — and a broader group of accounts that amplify them — drove a disproportionate amount of the Twitter conversation about the four candidates over a recent 30-day period.

Using proprietary tools that measured the discussion surrounding the candidates in the Democratic field, Guardians.ai identified a cohort of roughly 200 accounts — including both unwitting real accounts and other “suspicious” and automated accounts that coordinate to spread their messages — that pumped out negative or extreme themes designed to damage the candidates.

This is the same core group of accounts the company first identified last year in a study as anchoring a wide-scale influence campaign in the 2018 elections.

Since the beginning of the year, those accounts began specifically directing their output at Harris, O’Rourke, Sanders and Warren, and were amplified by an even wider grouping of accounts. Over a recent 30-day period, between 2 percent and 15 percent of all Twitter mentions of the four candidates emanated in some way from within that cluster of accounts, according to the Guardians.ai findings. In that time frame, all four candidates collectively had 6.8 million mentions on Twitter.

“We can conclusively state that a large group of suspicious accounts that were active in one of the largest influence operations of the 2018 cycle is now engaged in sustained and ongoing activity for the 2020 cycle,” Horvath said.

Amarnath Gupta, a research scientist at the San Diego Supercomputer Center at the University of California at San Diego who monitors social media activity, said he’s also seen a recent surge in Twitter activity negatively targeting three candidates — O’Rourke, Harris and Warren.

That increased activity includes a rise in the sheer volume of tweets, the rate at which they are being posted and the appearance of “cluster behavior” tied to the three candidates.

“I can say that from a very, very cursory look, a lot of the information is negatively biased with respect to sentiment analysis,” said Gupta, who partnered with Guardians.ai on a 2018 study.

According to the Guardians.ai analysis, Harris attracted the most overall Twitter activity among the 2020 candidates it looked at, with more than 2.5 million mentions over the 30-day period.

She was also among the most targeted. One widely seen tweet employed racist and sexist stereotypes in an attempt to sensationalize Harris relationship with former San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown. That tweet — and subsequent retweets and mentions tied to it — made 8.6 million “potential impressions” online, according to Guardians.ai, an upper limit calculation of the number of people who might have seen it based on the accounts the cluster follows, who follows accounts within the cluster and who has engaged with the tweet.

Another racially charged tweet was directed at O’Rourke. The Twitter profile of the user where it originated indicates the account was created in May 2018, but it had authored just one tweet since then — in January, when the account announced it had breaking news about the former Texas congressman leaving a message using racist language on an answering machine in the 1990s. That tweet garnered 1.3 million potential impressions on the platform, according to Guardians.ai.

A separate Guardians.ai study that looked at the focus of the 200 account group on voter fraud and false and/or misleading narratives about election integrity — published just before the midterm elections and co-authored by Horvath, Zach Verdin and Alicia Serrani — reported that the accounts generated or were mentioned in more than 140 million tweets over the prior year.

That cluster of accounts was the driving force behind an effort to aggressively advance conspiracy theories in the 2018 midterms, ranging from misinformation about voter fraud to narratives involving a caravan coming to the United States, and even advocacy of violence.

Horvath asserts that the activity surrounding the cluster represents an evolution of misinformation and amplification tactics that began in mid-to-late 2018. The initial phase that began in 2016 was marked by the creation of thousands of accounts that were more easily detected as bots or as coordinated activity.

The new activity, however, centers on a refined group of core accounts — the very same accounts that surfaced in the group’s 2018 voter fraud study. Some of the accounts are believed to be highly sophisticated synthetic accounts operated by people attempting to influence conversations, while others are coordinated in some way by actors who have identified real individuals already tweeting out a desired message.

Tens of thousands of other accounts then work in concert to amplify the core group through mentions and retweets to drive what appears, on the surface, to be organic virality.

Operatives with digital firms, political campaigns and other social media monitoring groups also report seeing a recent surge in false narratives or negative memes against 2020 candidates.

A recent analysis from the social media intelligence firm Storyful detected spikes in misinformation activity over social media platforms and online comment boards in the days after each of the 2020 candidates launched their presidential bids, beginning with Warren’s announcement on Dec. 31.

Fringe news websites and social media platforms, Storyful found, played a significant role in spreading anti-Warren sentiment in the days after she announced her candidacy on Dece. 31. Using a variety of keyword searches for mentions of Warren, the firm reported evidence of “spam or bot-like” activity on Facebook and Twitter from some of the top posters.

Kelly Jones, a researcher with Storyful who tracked suspicious activity in the three days after the campaign announcements of Harris, Warren, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii), and Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.), said she’s seen a concerted push over separate online message boards to build false or derogatory narratives.

Among the fringe platforms Storyful identified were 4Chan and 8Chan, where messages appeared calling on commenters to quietly wreak havoc against Warren on social media or in the comments section under news stories.

“Point out that she used to be Republican but switched sides and is a spy for them now. Use this quote out of context: ‘I was a Republican because I thought that those were the people who best supported markets,’” wrote one poster on the 4Chan message board.

“We’re seeing a lot of that rhetoric for nearly each candidate that comes out,” Jones said. “There is a call to action on these fringe sites. The field is going to be so crowded that they say ‘OK: Operation Divide the Left.’”

An official with the Harris campaign said they suspect bad actors pushing misinformation and false narratives about the California Democrat are trying to divide African Americans, or to get the media to pay outsized attention to criticism designed to foster divisions among the Democratic primary electorate.

Researchers and others interviewed for this story say they cannot conclusively point to the actors behind the coordinated activity. It’s unclear if they are rogue hackers, political activists or, as some contend, foreign state actors such as Russia, since it bears the hallmarks of earlier foreign attacks. One of the objectives of the activity, they say, is to divide the left by making the Democratic presidential primary as chaotic and toxic as possible.

Teddy Goff, who served as Obama for America’s digital director, broadly described the ongoing organized efforts as the work of “a hodgepodge. It’s a bit of an unholy alliance.”

“There are state supporters and funders of this stuff. Russia. North Korea is believed to be one, Iran is another,” he said. “In certain cases it appears coordinated, but whether coordinated or not, there are clearly actors attempting to influence the primary by exacerbating divisions within the party, painting more moderate candidates as unpalatable to progressives and more progressive candidates as unpalatable to more mainstream Dems.”

A high-ranking official in the Sanders campaign expressed “serious concerns” about the impact of misinformation on social media, calling it “a type of political cyber warfare that’s clearly having an impact on the democratic process.” The official said the Sanders campaign views the activity it’s already seeing as involving actors that are both foreign and domestic.

Both Twitter and Facebook, which owns Instagram, have reported taking substantial measures since 2016 to identify and block foreign actors and others who violate platform rules.

While Twitter would not specifically respond to questions about the Guardians.ai findings, last year the company reported challenging millions of suspect accounts every month, including those exhibiting “spammy and automated behavior.” After attempts to authenticate the accounts through email or by phone, Twitter suspended 75 percent of the accounts it challenged from January to June 2018.

In January 2019, Twitter published an accounting of efforts to combat foreign interference over political conversations happening on the platform. Earlier efforts included releasing data sets of potential foreign information operations that have appeared on Twitter, which were composed of 3,841 accounts affiliated with the IRA, that originated in Russia, and 770 other accounts that potentially originated in Iran.

“Our investigations are global and ongoing, but the data sets we recently released are ones we’re able to reliably attribute and are disclosing now,” a Twitter spokesperson said in a statement to POLITICO. “We’ll share more information if and when it’s available.”

Facebook says it has 30,000 people working on safety and security and that it is increasingly blocking and removing fake accounts. The company also says it has brought an unprecedented level of transparency to political advertising on its platform.

At this early stage, the campaigns themselves appear ill-equipped to handle the online onslaught. Their digital operations are directed toward fundraising and organizing while their social media arms are designed to communicate positive messages and information. While some have employed monitoring practices, defensive measures typically take a backseat — especially since so much remains unknown about the sources and the scale of the attacks.

One high-level operative for a top-tier 2020 candidate noted the monumental challenges facing individual campaigns — even the ones with the most sophisticated digital teams. The problem already appears much larger than the resources available to any candidate at the moment, the official said.

Alex Kellner, managing director with Bully Pulpit Interactive, the top digital firm for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign, warns that campaigns that don’t have a serious infrastructure set up to combat misinformation and dictate their own online messaging will be the most vulnerable to attack in 2020.

“I think this is going to be a serious part of any successful campaign: monitoring this and working with the platforms to shut down bad behavior,” Kellner said.

Kellner said that even though platforms like Twitter and Facebook have ramped up internal efforts to weed out bad actors, the flow of fake news and misinformation attacks against 2020 candidates is already strong.

“All the infrastructure we’ve seen in 2016 and 2018 is already in full force. And in 2020 it’s only going to get worse,” Kellner said, pointing to negative memes attacking Warren on her claims of Native American heritage and memes surrounding Harris relationship with Brown.

The proliferation of fake news, rapidly changing techniques by malicious actors and an underprepared field of Democratic candidates could make for a volatile primary election season.

“Moderates and centrists and Democratic candidates still don’t understand what happened in 2016, and they didn’t realize, like Hillary Clinton, that she wasn’t just running a presidential campaign, she was involved in a global information war,” Horvath said. “Democratic candidates and presidential candidates in the center and on the right who don’t understand that aren’t just going to have a difficult campaign, they’re going to allow their campaign to be an unwitting amplifier of someone else’s attempts to further divide Americans.”

https://www.politico.com/story/2019/02/20/2020-candidates-social-media-attack-1176018
JohnKloper
 
  -3  
Reply Thu 28 Feb, 2019 08:58 am
@Real Music,
Hahaha...

Sometimes it's scary to start reading articles in the American press. It seems that he looked at another planet (Pandora for example). So much nonsense around, and everyone with a smart look is all discussing, suing, and so on.
And you can somehow easier to look at the world. After all, world is much cleaner, you only have to raise your head up.
America cannot deal with its internal conspiracy theories - from which the whole world shakes a little.
Well, funny, in fact!

By the way, in topic ..., the next cyber attack on the Russian media from USCYBERCOM:
(Klimov A. - Deputy Chairman of the Federation Council Committee on Foreign Affairs)
“It is obvious to me that half of the cyber attacks that took place last year, in relation to not just Russia, but against the most important Russian infrastructure - state, public - came from the territory of the United States. And I will say this very diplomatically. The score goes to billions of attacks. Therefore, what they show on us is a wretched babble. All that they have strained for two years, otherwise you will not name. I even feel a little sorry for them, ”concluded Andrei Klimov.
engineer
 
  2  
Reply Thu 28 Feb, 2019 09:35 am
@JohnKloper,
JohnKloper wrote:

The score goes to billions of attacks.

Hmmm, thirty plus attacks a second for every second of an entire year? (I guess at least double that since they said "billions"). Sounds unlikely.
JohnKloper
 
  -3  
Reply Thu 28 Feb, 2019 11:29 am
@engineer,
They take their cue from the Americans ... probably
0 Replies
 
 

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