Reblog Of Post On Russian Trolls And WordPress

This reblog is of an important report about how Russian operatives have been working overtime to do a repeat attack of what they did during the US elections season in 2016, in 2018 during and prior the November elections season. One of their tactics is to spread propaganda/ disinformation designed to spread confusion, lies to where enough voters become weary, discouraged enough that they decide to stay home and not vote.

As per The 12/11/17 Atlantic (Video) report, “During the 2016 presidential campaign, Russian hackers attacked the U.S. on two fronts: the psychological and the technical. Hackers used classic propaganda techniques to influence American voters, bought thousands of social media ads to propagate fake news, and broke into Democratic party email servers to steal information. And it won’t be the last time. Russian-backed psychological cyber warfare will only get better, and its methods more sophisticated.”

Link to article: How Russia Hacked America—And Why It Will Happen Again

It is in the Russians’ interests to keep their man in the White House unencumbered by a US Congress where the majority of its seats are held by Democrats. It’s all of our jobs to educate the public on this subject and to do everything possible to instill the concept in people’s hearts that it is their duty to get out to vote, no matter what.

Sack cartoon: Russian hacking

Xena of  Blackbutterfly7.wordpress.com has penned an excellent case study report on how this could even effect Word Press bloggers, Russian Infiltration of Word Press Blogs”

Excerpts:

“In spite of Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell warning Russia to “quit messing around in our elections,” Russians have not stopped.  They continue their influence and propaganda.  With social media such as Facebook and Twitter taking note and making changes, Russian propagandists have turned to Word Press blogs.”

“Earlier this year, I received notifications from Word Press for email followers.  I didn’t pay much attention to the first one because there are people who follow this blog via email who do not have Word Press accounts to comment.   When I received two more notifications on the same day, and they too had Outlook email addresses, I knew that was not usual.  I checked a Word Press forum and found that others were experiencing the same and were concerned about it.”

“A thread in one Word Press forum began in January 2018.   Also in January, a blogger named Ray wrote what he was experiencing with these strange email followers.”

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“Another thread began in March, and still another was started in April.   A staff person posted in April;”

“My guess is it’s an attempt to overload our (WordPress.com’s) mail servers by making us send out more subscription emails than our system can handle. The other option is that they’re hoping bloggers will email them at that address to thank them for following, which will give them access to active email addresses which they can then attempt to spam or hack directly.”

“The follows in themselves are not an actual threat, though – our system can handle many times more emails than these additional subscriptions are making us send, and there’s no way receiving these follows can compromise your site or account, so really all they’re achieving is to annoy people.”

“I only access Word Press through computer, and I use the old way of assessing the Admin side of the blog.  What I learned earlier this year is that if I go to the Word Press ribbon that appears at the top of the blog when I’m signed in and click “My Sites,” that I can scroll down to where it says “People”.  Clicking that takes me to a screen with three tabs, one of which is labeled “Email Followers”.  By clicking there, I can not only see who is following my blog via email, but I can also remove them. “

“Bloggers began speculating for the reason for the influx.  Not all of the bloggers experiencing the influx blogged about the same interests or issues.   There was no pattern that identified a possible reason for why we were being followed by weird email addresses through Outlook.”

“Word Press came to the rescue.  Of the several Outlook email followers that I missed and had not removed, Word Press cleaned them up.”

“It wasn’t long thereafter when we began receiving comments with one word — “What?”  It was the response to every comment on a post.  Because I use the option that participants must be signed in via a Word Press account, (Twitter and Facebook are also acceptable), those “What?” responses went directly into the spam queue.”

Image result for cartoons about russian trolls

Some other bloggers weren’t so lucky.

“In June, myself and other Word Press bloggers discovered that likes were being clicked to comments on our blogs, and the Gravatar accounts for those doing it ranged from strange to filthy.   Whomever it was clicking like to comments were stalking bloggers to other blogs where they commented and clicking like there.  It happened to me.   I disengaged the like option for comments on my blog until Word Press resolved the issue.”

“Someone on a Word Press forum stated that the Gravatar profiles contained links to websites for Russian escort services. It was also suggested that the real purpose was not to sell Russian escort services, but an effort to get people to click the link to the non-Word Press website with possibility of infecting the computers of visitors with malware or some other nefarious virus.”

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“Most recently, I received 4 notifications of new followers whose blogs are sites for dating Peruvian and Ukrainian women.  The blogs consist of some photos of women and an “About” page with a link.  I removed them from followers.”

“With the indictments filed by Special Counsel Robert Mueller the other week, I began putting the pieces together.  The dates, the timing, the methods, and the issue that Russian propaganda operatives infiltrated Facebook, Twitter, and other social media, so why not Word Press?  The following is not inclusive.”

“According to Mother Jones, Russian operatives on the internet sow discord by targeting certain communities and linking them up with certain issues.”

“As email followers, they wanted to become familiar with what bloggers write about.   They looked for specific subjects.  Based on information about how the Russian operatives acted, Black Lives Matter was a targeted issue.  Russian operatives aimed to stir discord and hatred between races, assuming that support to equality means hatred against the government, police forces, and Whites.”

“Another subject is being kind and loving.  While that is an appeal to many, it also puts targets on our backs by people who misconstrue it to mean that we are submissive, weak, easily influenced.  I also noticed that some bloggers reporting the email followers had blogs that write about Christianity.”

Link to entire article: Russian Infiltration Of Word Press Blogs

5 comments

    • Dear Horty,

      Just think. If the democrats win the majority of elected seats because of the Nov. 2018, Russia will have been taught the lesson of what a truly free election look like unless they are able to rig the system. I want there to be record turnouts, where the exit polls favor democrats by a huge margin, where if something goes askew, that it would be patently obvious..

      Thanks a million times over for all of your support and for this reblog.

      Hugs, Gronda

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Dear Horty,

    I’m not counting on anything. There will not be a blue wave unless peoples turn out to vote. It’s coming down to crunch time.

    I’m telling everyone to participate in local canvassing projects, where peoples knock on doors to educate folks on how important it is to vote democrat in this election cycle, make sure they are registered to vote and to have them check on line that their voting data is correct and to sign up for the early mail-in votes.

    This is an election that we cannot take for granted. However, the polling data is looking great for democrats.

    Hugs, Gronda

    Like

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