1EarthUnited who is a member of my blogging family has recently been taking on the personality of a Russian troll.
Until relatively recently, she would comment on my posts with a point of view of a conservative with conspiracy theory leanings. This was okay with me as she was representing a point of view of peoples who I know and am fond of, except we rarely go down that route of discussing politics when we get together. She has consistently exhibited a strong antipathy towards the 2016 Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton to where she would refer to old conspiracy theories which have been debunked numerous times by credible fact-checking sites. Again, for me this was nothing new. She would use references that are rated high in fake content like WND, Horn news. (FOX TV, Infowars, Breitbart) are examples of right wing media outlets that are also rated high in “fake news”content. She has been informed by me that there are conservative outlets out there that rate high in accurate fact content like my favorite, the Weekly Standard.
That she was prone to the right wing conspiracy theories didn’t faze me, as I have a family member who is vulnerable to being drawn to conspiracy theories.
She has shared with me, the fact that she is an avid fan of the writings and thinking of Lady Rada. I am convinced that Lady Rada is a Russian troll and that my blogging family member 1EarthUnited has been exhibiting the signs of a Russian troll under the influence of this Lady Rada.
This is a time for an intervention. I am asking all those in my blogging family to call out 1EarthUnited whenever she starts to sound like a Russian troll.
It is important for the average American voter to be informed as to how Russian Trolls actually do operate and how to discern their disinformation/ propaganda work when you see it. As the midterm November 2018 election season closes in on us, these folks will be ratcheting up their campaign to somehow suppress the vote/ to keep peoples from being motivated to cast their ballots.
An education campaign as to this 2018 Russian Troll Voter Suppression campaign is the antidote to keep them from succeeding this November like they did in 2016.
Here are some articles that address this subject, “Russian trolling“…
On March 14, 2018, Simon Shuster and Sandra Ifraimova of Time Magazine penned the following report, “A Former Russian Troll Explains How To Spread Fake News”
“In the fall of 2014, soon after he moved to St. Petersburg from his hometown in Siberia, Vitaly Bespalov, an aspiring journalist, came across a series of online job listings for a “content manager.” They looked too good to be true. The pay was 45,000 rubles per month – around $700 at the time – well above the starting salary in his field. “There were no requirements,” he recalls. “No job descriptions.” And no mention of the informal title that came with the position: Internet troll.”
“After a short interview with a company manager, Bespalov began clocking in every morning at 55 Savushkina Street in St. Petersburg, the home of Russia’s now-infamous troll factory, otherwise known as the Internet Research Agency.”
“The daily grind was simple: create fake accounts on social media and use them to post comments online as the bosses instructed. The broader effort of the factory, however, was a state-of-the-art propaganda campaign. And over the next few years, it set out to interfere in the course of a U.S. presidential election, according to an indictment handed down on Friday by Special Counsel Robert Mueller.”
“Bespalov says he stopped working at the factory by January 2015 and was not involved in that campaign. To his relief, he was also not among the thirteen Russians charged by the Special Counsel. But on a recent afternoon, he agreed to show TIME how the trolls at the factory operated. Its bosses imposed a few strict rules. First, never be late and never leave early. Second, never criticize President Vladimir Putin online, at least not while on the clock. “We were not even allowed to say anything funny about Putin,” Bespalov says. “We would either talk positively about him or not at all.”
“Apart from a few ideological employees who referred to themselves as “Putin’s trolls,” the staff at the factory was mostly indifferent to politics and motivated only by money, says Bespalov. They were paid to meet specific quotas for online comments, blogs and other posts on social media. They were given strict instructions on what issues to write about and how to spin the news of the day.”
“Their most frequent target at the end of 2014 was President Barack Obama, whom they depicted as a loser or a fool in comparison to Russia’s President, says Bespalov; German Chancellor Angela Merkel was meanwhile cast as a fascist; Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko was depicted as a pig.”
“As the weeks dragged on, it was the mindlessness and venom of these posts that led Bespalov to quit not long after he started. His boss at the factory, a woman named Anna, was disappointed to hear it. “‘This is life,’” he remembers her telling him as she pointed out the window. “We are Pro-Kremlin over here and they are Pro-American over there.’”
On May 11, 2018, Arpita Aneja and Sandra Ifraimova of Time Magazine penned the following report, “How To Spot A Russian Troll”
“How can American citizens and civic-minded individuals recognize trolls? What should be done to prevent attacks on US democracy? In this video, TIME spoke to political activists who have been duped by trolls, cyber warfare experts and Russian trolls themselves to gain insight into how the U.S. election season was infiltrated.”
“David Patrikarakos, author of War in 140 Characters: How Social Media Is Reshaping Conflict in the Twenty-First Century, says that recognizing trolls is becoming increasingly difficult, as propaganda efforts become more sophisticated.”
“But he also offers a few important signs for spotting a troll social media account:”
As per a July 9, 2018 Salon article by Bob Cesca, “Little more than a year ago, I posted and pinned the following predictive tweet: “Get ready. A year from right now we’ll be up to our asses in Russian fake news, malware, hacks, mayhem aimed at the midterms. Pinning this.” Granted, it wasn’t a difficult forecast knowing what we knew at the time.”
“Today, in addition to prior intelligence community assessments indicating that Russia attacked the presidential election with the intention of helping Donald Trump win, the Republican-controlled Senate Intelligence Committee has released its own verification of the intelligence community’s conclusions: “The Committee believes the conclusions of the [intelligence community assessment] are sound, and notes that collection and analysis subsequent to the ICA’s publication continue to reinforce its assessments.”
“All told, those of us who are keeping track of the revelations from both Robert Mueller’s office and the Intelligence Committee know what’s what. And that includes Vladimir Putin’s ongoing “active measures” meant to disrupt American democracy.”
“So far in the 2018 cycle, we haven’t seen any evidence of hacker attacks similar to what transpired in early 2016 and throughout that year, with malicious Russian hackers linked to that nation’s military intelligence agency, the GRU, infiltrating Democratic Party accounts then releasing the stolen emails through WikiLeaks. Anyone who’s spent time in the harrowing weeds of political Twitter recently, however, has surely witnessed the prevalence of trolls and bots swarming popular liberals and “blue checks” while simultaneously spreading propaganda designed to influence the outcome of the election.”